As many of you are aware, Governor Cuomo needs to hear from you your concerns regarding the State’s responsibility to support our Agency and our industry. A press release was sent yesterday and a virtual press conference is being arranged.  Families, friends, advocates, individuals, everyone who cares about this industry throughout the State are being asked to call and write to the Governor expressing the specific concerns regarding the future of services to individuals with disabilities. They are diminishing as we speak! 

Please open the link below and take the action that is described.  One tab on the top left is the direction to write to the Governor.  The tab on the right provides the instructions to call the Governor.   

The text below is the message to the Governor in the attached link.  You can personalize your message or you can send this message as it is.  That is up to you.

You will note that the message to the Governor is about how OPWDD and CMS are failing individuals with disabilities and the agencies that support them.  Without Governor Cuomo’s intervention on our behalf, the services to our individuals are at risk.  Agencies will close and OPWDD and CMS do not seem to care.

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) continues to fail the very people they have been charged with protecting. Once again, actions by this agency threaten the system that provides reliable services to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

We urge you to immediately stop the cuts and provide financial assistance to ensure that supports and services will continue for our loved ones with developmental disabilities!

Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with the entire state is in crisis, OPWDD has failed to develop a comprehensive, proactive plan to ensure our loved ones will continue to receive essential services.

A recent announcement by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to end “retainer day payments” will lead to a significant reduction in services. These payments allowed programs to be sustained when services aren’t able to be provided due to program closure – something that has become common during this crisis.

Without this funding, we do not know if the provider we currently use will still be in service in the future.

This is just the latest in a series of blows to the I/DD community. Over the past four months, OPWDD has made budget cuts totaling $265 million annually, slashed revenue for not-for-profit providers, and refused to allocate any of the additional federal funds the state received to the agencies nonprofits that support our loved ones.

OPWDD must act to protect people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Family members of people with disabilities – your constituents – are confused, frustrated and angry.

We need to know that New York cares for citizens with I/DD and that the quality of life, to which they are constitutionally guaranteed, will not be threatened by unnecessary cuts.

Therefore, you must direct OPWDD to work with providers to find solutions that will ensure critical services for our loved ones are not disrupted.

Please open the link and write and call the Governor today!! 

Thank you!!!!

Karen Geller-Hittleman
Assistant Executive Director
Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County
380 Washington Avenue
Roosevelt, New York 11575