In DD Council Minutes, Minutes

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: (





Program vacancy list is attached, along with information about free psychological and psychosocial evaluations for people seeking OPWDD eligibility, non-Medicaid Service Coordination, and the family reimbursement program.

Camp Oakhurst

Summer session schedule for children and adults is attached.



Information is attached for service vacancies, free education workshops, and Transition to Independence for young adults on the autism spectrum. For information about any YAI programs, please call 212-273-6182, or email


ADAPT Community Network – formerly UCP of New York City

Information is attached regarding program vacancies and family reimbursement. Details are also attached for free workshops and a save the date/details for the Annual Family Summit in April, 2018. Home modifications are available (less than $3000) in all boroughs except the Bronx, and Day Hab has openings in all boroughs except Queens.

For information on any programs or services, please call 718-436-7979 ext. 704, or email


The “NY Connects” program is a trusted place to go for free, unbiased information about long term services and supports in New York State for people of all ages with any type of disability. The staff from that program are currently trying to conduct site visits to the agencies they refer people to, so they are familiar with the programs.



Information is attached for program openings and a monthly Manhattan Spanish speaking parent support group.


Center for Human Development & Family Services, Inc. (CHDFS)

Community Hab and Respite services are available; see attached for details.




New York Deaf Blind Collaborative

Family Learning sessions on the topic of IEP and Related Services in February and March – see attached for more information.


***Check out the new and improved Manhattan DD Council website!*** Thanks to Joe Jordan of SNACK for his redesign and to Jackie Ceonzo, CEO of SNACK, for making Joe available. Any comments or suggestions about the website should be sent to, with the subject line: Manhattan DD Council website.

If you have information from your agency that you would like to include it on the Council website, please email pdf files to



Presentation: Shain Anderson, CIDNY: Paratransit Advocacy, Access-A-Ride Reform Group (AARRG!)

Shain explained that CIDNY advocates for people with disabilities with the goal of erasing barriers preventing full inclusion in all areas of life. CIDNY has a range of services, including healthcare, housing, and much more.

Shain spoke about the Access-A-Ride Reform Group’s (AARRG) work to improve AAR. The AARRG is distributing a survey, attached, for AAR users, parents, and home attendants, asking about their AAR experience (driver, wait times, etc.). AARRG successes include the prevention of a fare hike for AAR users. Shain invited AAR users or their advocates to complain to AARG about any problems with the service. Shain can be reached at (646) 368-8031.

Shain shared a great deal of information about how AAR works. Please see his very detailed powerpoint.

  1. january-2018-presentation-aar-powerpoint
    State News – Ellen Bleckman
  • OPWDD’s MSC webinars on the transition to CCOs began in December and are occurring twice per month (2nd and 4th Wednesdays).
  • OPWDD’s Transition Plan to CCOs is published on the OPWDD website. The comment period closed January 5. Responses will be made public over the next few weeks.
  • Central office is working on a process for applying for high-needs funding. Training for providers and state staff will occur by the end of January.
  • Applications for intensive respite are available at
  • Regional offices have been reaching out to MSC agencies to locate any available MSC opportunities. They will continue this effort on a regular basis. They will also be inquiring about vacancies at site-based day hab programs. To find out where Manhattan vacancies are, call anyone at the Manhattan DDRO (Front Door, MSC coordination, Community Services Department, etc.).
  • Regional offices were asked to resolve provisional eligibility cases prior to CCO enrollment. They are sending letters to MSCs and parents, asking them to update eligibility documents as the individual approaches age 8. Manhattan is well prepared and will be looking at getting 7.5 year-olds ready for eligibility determination.
  • Ellen is now the Region 4 CCO liaison. She can be reached at 646-766-3247 or


  1. City News – Sandra Piggee

No report.


  1. IAC – Suzanne Timmerhans
  • IAC member events are listed on the IAC website: On January 19, Denise Miranda, new director of the Justice Center, will be speaking; January 25 is the annual meeting with OPWDD Acting Commissioner Kerry Delaney. Registration is limited to IAC members.
  • Lobby Day will be held jointly with Coalition of Provider Associations (COPA): February 28 in Albany. You can register on the IAC website.
  • OPWDD rates are due out today.
  • The Governor’s State of the State address did not include any information specific to OPWDD. But the first installment of a 3.25% increase for DSP codes 100 and 200, won by the bFair2DirectCare campaign, was issued this month. The second installment, which includes the 300 codes, is due in April. Hopefully, that will be in the budget. The original bFair2DirectCare request was for increases to be paid over 6 years, but now, with so much fiscal uncertainty at the federal level, the bFair request is to collapse the increases into 3 years.
  • Chris Treiber is collaborating on school issues with other organizations that have never before worked together. Chris Suriano, Assistant Commissioner of Special Education, NYS SED, has been very helpful.
  • Tax reform will not impact IAC’s tax exempt financing programs. IAC’s capital fund is not at risk, either.


Jim Malley added that:

  • IAC is reviewing the implications of call-in/on-call regulations, requiring additional payment for staff hours in certain situations. A position paper was sent to DOL.
  • The IAC website now includes IATS transportation’s weather alert. IATS recipients can check on weather-related program closures that day.


VII. Committees

Family Support Services Committee: Marco Damiani thanked co-chairs Yesenia Estrella and Wendy De Leon for the tremendous amount of excellent work they did on the December Family & Professional Resource Fair. Yesenia reported that despite the snow there were 421 attendees, including 169 families. There were 217 Fair evaluations collected, 98% of which rated the Fair as good-excellent overall. Yesenia gave special thanks to Caroline Dunn, YAI; John Williams, Esperanza; and Margaret Puddington, parent, for their assistance. Information: Yesenia Estrella (212) 928-5810 x 173;


Legislative Committee: Jim Malley reported that the committee will meet following today’s DD Council. A Save-the-Date flier for the Legislative Breakfast was distributed and is attached to these minutes. Information: Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101;


Transition Committee: Kathy Kelly reported that at the December meeting the merger of this committee into the new Family & Provider Information Committee was discussed and a flier, attached, was distributed. Committee members stressed that the new committee should maintain a focus on transition. There may be an ad hoc transition committee or special meetings pre or post the Family & Provider Information Committee meetings. Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;


Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council: Margaret Puddington reported that Kathy Broderick and Kathy Kelly, AHRC, presented on the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS). They pointed out that excluding residential providers from the process was a significant error. After IAC learned anecdotally of widespread errors in CAS summaries, IAC issued a formal survey as to the accuracy of CAS summaries among 8 residential agencies. They discovered egregious errors and an error rate of 42%. AHRC looked at their own individuals’ CAS summaries, and among 50 summaries, found a 50% error rate. At present, there is no effective way to get corrections into the summaries themselves. The presenters urged families to review their family members’ summaries carefully and to notify their MSCs of any significant errors. Kathy B. and Kathy K. offered a number of important tips for families. The next meeting featuring a budget presentation by Wini Schiff, IAC, will be co-sponsored with the DD Council: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 9:30 am – noon, IAC, 150 West 30th Street, 15th floor. Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042;


Family & Provider Information Committee: The inaugural meeting of this new committee, a merger of the family support, transition, and service coordination committees, will be: Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 10:00 am – noon, Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor. Topics: Care Coordination Transition and CAS Assessments. Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225; Please see the attached flier for more information.



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