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To bring attention to critical issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families, and providers and staff dedicated to serving them, NYSARC Chapters statewide are conducting awareness events. These events include town hall meetings, family/legislative breakfasts, news conferences, media roundtables, and visits with their Legislators.
The events are part of "It Matters to Me," a statewide grassroots advocacy campaign organized by NYSARC, Inc., designed to share the personal, compelling stories and circumstances of concerned families and providers on the issues that matter most to them.
"IT MATTERS TO ME" KEY ISSUES:
Residential housing and other opportunities for people with I/DD living at home with aging caregivers: Thousands of families statewide live in constant fear as to who will take care of their sons and daughters when they are unable to do so.
Employment: NYSARC is advocating for the conversion of workshops into integrated businesses so that people with developmental disabilities have the choice to earn a paycheck and work alongside their friends and colleagues, consistent with the individual’s wishes and the Olmstead Supreme Court decision.
Wages: Direct Support Professionals (DSP) are the foundation of New York’s system of supports for people with I/DD. With newly adopted minimum wage increases for fast food workers, NYSARC contends consideration should also be made for DSPs, including the immediate and significant adjustment in approved rates, fees, and state contracts, to ensure the ongoing financial viability of I/DD providers.
Preschools: Preschools that serve children with I/DD are paid significantly less than it costs to operate these programs. NYSARC Chapters can no longer offer programs that operate at a deficit and thus jeopardize the entire agency.
Please send letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo sharing the key issues in the “It Matters To Me” campaign and how they personally impact YOU. Ask the Governor to include funding for residential services, wage increases for direct support professionals, and preschool funding in the state budget. Explain how each of these issues and employment choice are important to you and your community and why the time to act is now.
Letters should be mailed to:
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
In addition, make sure to write your local Legislators and send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
sharing the key issues in the “It Matters To Me” campaign.
To check out the many videos of those affected by these issues, please click on the link below.
Working at The Arc
Archie Washak – Direct Support Professional
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