MDDC Meeting Minutes – 9/14/17

I. Introductions were completed.

II. Minutes from the last meeting were approved; if you would like to refer to past minutes, they are always available on the DD Council website: (

III. Announcements


See attached for information on day hab services, pre-vocational, respite get away trips upstate, and Wednesday and Saturday recreation programs for people living in Manhattan and the Bronx.

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Workshops are held for parents of children ages 0-21 in the DOE or who are receiving CPSE services.  See attached for details on upcoming special education trainings for parents in October, being held in English and Spanish.

NYPLI has an intake line available from 9am to 3pm, where people with any disability can call for information.  If the staff at NYLPI can’t assist, they will refer the person to the appropriate provider.  Call 212-244-4664 for details.


Information is attached for service vacancies, including Mindfulness Training for Parents (no OPWDD eligibility required), “Transition to Independence” programs for young adults on the autism spectrum, and Crisis services.  For information about any YAI programs, please call 212-273-6182, or email

Ohel Bais Ezra

Reimbursement for goods and services for families living in Manhattan.  See attached for details.

ADAPT Community Network – formerly UCP of New York City

Information for an upcoming free Family Forum on 10/20 on Conflict Free Case Management, which will be replacing MSC early next year, and on Partners Health Plan (PHP), which is for people over 21 who have both Medicaid and Medicare.

Information is also attached regarding program vacancies and family reimbursement.

Call 718-436-7979 ext. 704, or email


Program vacancy list is attached, along with information on Family Reimbursement.

Include NYC

There will be a six-week advocacy training and networking opportunity for parents, held on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.  Parents will learn about laws and changes in Special Education services, gain effective communication skills, and gain knowledge on how to work with schools.  The goal is to have parents find education and community resources, so that they can become experts and leaders in their communities, and be able to help others and share information.  Go to for more information.

NYC FAIR – Family Advocacy Information Resource

A meeting is being scheduled for October, to discuss CCO’s and CAS.  Any parents who want to become involved should go to, or email


Joshua Trost is looking for ways to get music and computers to people with disabilities.  See attached for details, and contact him if you can help, or would like help.

The Bronx DD Council’s Children’s Committee would like to invite parents to a presentation on Saturday, October 21.  Topics will include transition preparation, due process rights, negotiating the IEP, and employment services.  See attached for registration details.

Council Dues Are Due!  See attached for the invoice for non-profit agencies to pay dues.  Paid members will have any non-fundraising events listed on the Council’s calendar of events.

Presentation: Jennifer Smith, Outreach Director, NY Connects at CIDNY

Newly launched in NYC, this statewide service connects people of all ages with any disability, and caregivers, with information on care and support, I/DD services, mental health and substance abuse services, services to help people remain independent, transportation, supports for caregivers, supported employment programs, Medicare, Medicaid, other benefits, durable medical equipment, home health aides, legal services, and more.  Their website includes a resource directory.  The goal of NY Connects is to enable people to remain at home longer.  NY Connects provides seamless access for benefits and services – one-stop shopping, where you make just one call to NY Connects and they forward the information to the appropriate agency.  Family members and caregivers can call on behalf of the person.  NY Connects counselors are trained; there is a translation phone line.  For more information and assistance: or 844-862-7930.

Presentation: Alex Elegudin, Accessibility Program Manager, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission

Alex explained that as a result of a lawsuit settlement, 50% of yellow taxis and 33% of green taxis are required to be wheelchair accessible by 2020. A proposal has been put forward to require for-hire taxis, such as Uber and Lyft, which are subject to TLC rules, to send 25% of their dispatched trips to wheelchair-accessible vehicles. This would create parity between the for-hire and yellow taxi sectors.  The goal is to ensure equivalence in waiting time and fares between disabled and non-disabled riders.

The Commission will hold a public hearing September 21, 2017, at 10:00 am, in the hearing room at 33 Beaver Street, 19th  Floor, New York, NY 10004. The hearing room is wheelchair accessible.  To comment on the proposed rule at the public hearing, you must sign up to speak by calling 212-676-1135. You can also sign up in the hearing room before the hearing begins. Speeches are limited to three minutes. Or you can send written comments by September 21 to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, Office of Legal Affairs, 33 Beaver Street,  22nd Floor, New York, NY 10004 or

IV.  State News – Liz Cambra 

  • OPWDD disseminated an RFS for development of new certified residential opportunities for people with emergency and substantial need.  NYC was allocated 113 opportunities, out of 455 statewide. Proposals are due to OPWDD by October 6.  Notification of awards is expected November 10.
  • High needs funding: CMS has given verbal approval to OPWDD’s proposal.  Agencies in need of this special funding can submit a request.  Guidance from the DDRO will be available.
  • The RFS for Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) was released in September.  Proposals are due by the end of November.  CCOs are projected to launch July 2018.
  • The hearing for OPWDD’s 5.07 plan will be September 25, 3-7 pm, at OPWDD, 25 Beaver St.  To register, contact
  • Helene De Santo, Executive Deputy Commissioner of OPWDD, is retiring in December.  Jay Kionaga, formerly at OPWDD and currently at the Justice Center, will assume her responsibilities.
  • Donna Limiti, Director of Region 4, OPWDD, is retiring September 20. Liz Cambra will be Acting Director.  Donna sent an appreciative farewell letter to the DD Council.

V.  City News – Sandra Piggee

City Council contracts are being returned to the City.

VI.  IAC/Federation – Richard Bosch

Richard mentioned the small proportion of new certified residential opportunities to be developed in NYC—only 25%, essentially the same as the amount for Western NY.  NYC used to get 40% or more of NYS’s new development opportunities.  It is essential that NYC not be undercounted; we need to rev up outreach to people in need of certified residential opportunities.  Currently, there are two waiting lists, the Residential Request List (RRL) and the Certified Residential Opportunity (CRO) list, which are managed locally.  People needing residential services soon must be on the CRO list.  To get someone on the CRO list, MSCs/families should contact Evette Herdsman at 646-766-3298;  Matchmaking between agencies and individuals occurs at the regularly scheduled borough meetings (see attached list).

IAC is continuing its joint efforts on the bFair2DirectCare campaign.

VII.  Committees

Family Support Services: Wendy De Leon and Yesenia Estrella reported that at the committee’s meeting on September 12, Carol Lincoln, Adapt Community Network, presented on CCOs.  Planning for the Fair has begun.  It will be held December 14 at the NY Academy of Medicine.  Yesenia Estrella is overseeing work on the Directory.  Agencies will be getting copies of their entries to update.  They are asked to respond promptly.  Volunteers are needed for the day of the Fair, as well as for the preparation of the bags the day before.  The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 19, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor.  Information: Yesenia Estrella (212) 928-5810;

Legislative:  Jim Malley reported that upcoming advocacy efforts around the budget will likely center on DSP salaries.  The call letter for state agencies to submit proposed budgets is not yet out.  There is no indication yet of what we can expect in the Governor’s Executive Budget.

Transition:  Kathy Kelly stated that there are 15 June, 2017, graduates without opportunities.  Some are awaiting eligibility, one person who uses a wheelchair is seeking site-based services in lower Manhattan.  Next meeting: Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 9:30 am – noon, AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor board room.  Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;

Manhattan FSS Advisory Council: Margaret Puddington reported that Kate Bishop, OPWDD, is presenting on Self-Direction: Questions & Answers at the next meeting: Monday, September 25, 2017, 5:30-7:30 pm, SUS, 305 7th Ave., 11th floor.   Location may be changed due to the overwhelming response and the need to find a larger space. Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042;

MSC Committee: Carol Lincoln stated that at the next meeting, there will be CASA and START presentations: Friday, September 29, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Adapt Community Network (formerly UCP), 80 Maiden Lane, 4th floor.  Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225;

VIII.  New Business

Marco Damiani explained that DD Council Executive Committee meetings were held over the summer, where the Council’s committee structure was examined with a view to strengthening advocacy and reaching more people.  At the next DD Council meeting, October 12, we will discuss this fully.

Family Support Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 6/13/17

Announcements: MFSC Meeting docs 6132017

  1. Alexandra Pimentel, ADAPT Community Network announced vacancies:
  • Beginning July 1st, 2017 there will be funds available for Family Reimbursement.
  • We are actively enrolling in the Community Habilitation Program.

For more information, contact Alexandra Pimentel at 877-827-2666.

  1. Caroline Dunn, YAI announced vacancies:
  • There are Manhattan openings for the following:

Crisis Intervention, Emergency Respite Reimbursement, In-home behavior management

  • Parent Training: Behavior and Sexuality
  • Transition to Independence (17-21 years of age with ASD)
  • Social Skills (9-19 years of age with ASD)
  • Supported Employment
  • Free Evaluations (Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan)

For more information, contact LINK AT 212-273-6182.



Special Education 101: Special Education 101 Power Point

Presented by Lilliana Diaz-Pedrosa from Advocates for Children

  1. IDEA is a federal law that authorizes services for children. All children up to age 21 with a disability have the right to a free, appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment.
  2. Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) means programs and services designed for the student’s unique needs, must provide a meaningful benefit, and helps the students progress.
  3. Least restrictive environment’s goal is inclusion. Students with a disability learning with students without a disability.
  4. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act outlaws discrimination based on disability. The school must make reasonable accommodations. The rights apply to parents too. Accommodations such as classroom accomodations, testing accommodations, nursing services and physical modifications go in a 504 plan.
  5. Supports and services include assistive technology, paraprofessional, OT, PT, Speech & Language therapy, and Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS).
  6. Continuum of Services can go from least restrictive to most restrictive.
  7. The Special Education Process includes referral, consent to evaluate child, IEP development, placement and services.
  8. Referral for special education can be made by the parents or the school. The referral has to be done in writing and sent to the school.
  9. An evaluation should include a social history, psycho-educational, classroom observation, recent physical, and any other areas of concern. Students must be tested in all areas of suspected disability. Evaluations must be bilingual if the student uses a language other than English. For initial evaluations, it must happen 60 days from referral.
  10. An IEP is a legally binding document. Everything on it must be provided to the student and it is good for one year.
  11. Those present at the IEP meeting include the parent(s), Special Education teacher or General Ed teacher, school psychologist who explains the evaluations or change in setting, District Representative who knows district services, the student (age 15 or older), and if needed interpreters.
  12. Tips for an IEP meeting involve asking for any reports or evaluations before the meeting, getting the finalized IEP, sign and get a copy of the attendance sheet, and get a draft of the IEP after the meeting.
  13. The important sections in an IEP are: present levels of performance, FBA/BIP, annual goals, recommended program, related services/AT, testing accommodations, transition plan, promotion criteria, and parent concerns.
  14. For the Program recommendation, prior written notice has to be given, it describes the program, type of school and services on the IEP. The school location letter states which school the student should attend. The parents have the right to visit the school.
  15. If you disagree with the DOE, you can file an informal dispute resolution or a formal

dispute resolution.



Message from OPWDD and DOH Regarding the 1115 Waiver Draft Application

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may know, over the past several years the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has worked to offer New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and their families more control, flexibility and opportunities for innovative support customized to their abilities and needs.

This year, OPWDD developed a multi-year housing strategy to ensure that individuals seeking residential supports, including those living at home with family, will have supports available to meet their needs. We have helped more people self-direct their supports, leading to thousands more individuals with developmental disabilities taking greater control of their services. And, we have worked to help New Yorkers with developmental disabilities to find employment, in conjunction with the Governor’s Employment First Commission.

While these actions have led to great progress in OPWDD’s system, there is still much we would like to do to increase flexibility and choice. Individuals, families and service providers agree that individualized services and not one-size-fits-all solutions are the way to the future. While we have increased person-centeredness, taking the next step requires new approaches to transform.

An important step in this transformation is People First Care Coordination, an initiative of OPWDD and the Department of Health, to offer care coordination that integrates healthcare and community services—in addition to OPWDD-funded long-term support services—in a single life plan for each person served. While not impacting the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) supports a person receives, People First Care Coordination offers new opportunities for person-centered planning and integrated supports for people with complex needs.

To support this initiative, OPWDD is seeking a change to the authority under which Home and Community Based Services are delivered. This change will be effective January 1, 2018 pending approval from the federal government.

This transition is necessary for moving into the next phase of OPWDD’s transformation, allowing for the implementation of Care Coordination Organizations, operating under the federal Health Homes program in a conflict-free environment, and establishing a pathway to managed care.

New York State’s highest priority is to ensure that individuals and families will have continuity of care and existing plans of care will remain in place as this transition occurs. New York State’s draft application for this change, and instructions for submitting comments, can be found at this link:

Comments will be accepted until August 21, 2017. OPWDD will be scheduling a stakeholder briefing to review the application in detail and more information regarding date and time will be available shortly.



Jason A. Helgerson                            Kerry A. Delaney

Medicaid Director                               Acting Commissioner

New York State Department              New York State Office for People

Of Health                                            With Developmental Disabilities

People First Care Coordination Webinar for Individuals and Families

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you may have heard, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is moving forward with a new initiative aimed at enhancing care coordination for people with developmental disabilities. Through this initiative, called People First Care Coordination, healthcare, behavioral health, and other community services will be coordinated—in addition to the OPWDD services a person receives—in a single “Life Plan”. People First Care Coordination builds on the current service coordination model to offer greater simplicity, improved follow-up, and a person-centered planning approach that considers the whole person.

As part of our continuing outreach and information-sharing regarding People First Care Coordination, we are pleased to announce a webinar on Monday, August 7 for individuals and families served through the OPWDD system. This online presentation will describe plans for the move to enhanced care coordination, as well as provide the reasons for this shift and a timeline of anticipated next steps.

If you would like to attend this webinar, please note that advance registration is required. You may register by clicking this link. To experience the full webinar, both an Internet-connected computer and telephone are required. If you do not have access to a computer, you can also connect with just a telephone and listen to the presentation. For those who are unable to attend, once the webinar is completed, a recording will be posted to the OPWDD website for viewing.

In the meantime, if you would like more information, please visit the People First Care Coordination section of the OPWDD website and feel free to submit any feedback you have about People First Care Coordination to The website also includes links to the draft application that entities seeking designation as Care Coordination Organizations will be required to submit. The application lays out the standards and requirements for Care Coordination Organizations in the OPWDD system. Comments on the draft application can be submitted until August 4.

We are making strides toward enhancing person-centered planning and taking a more holistic approach in our system and your continued involvement assures your participation as we move into the future. I hope you will join us to learn more about the People First Care Coordination initiative by registering at this link.


Kerry A. Delaney

Acting Commissioner