In DD Council Minutes, Minutes

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: (

Announcements: Click Here For Handouts

Please see the attached announcements from Shield, YAI, ADAPT Community Network, AHRC, Sinergia, Camp Oakhurst, Esperanza, QSAC, Archcare, and others.

Presentation: Sylvia Verga, Family Specialist, New York Deaf-Blind Collaborative (NYDBC).

Sylvia explained that her organization serves deaf-blind children, 0-21, throughout New York State. There are DBCs in every state.   Children with combined hearing and vision loss, to various degrees, are eligible for their services. The children may also have additional disabilities. Funded by the Department of Education, Special Education, NYDBC offers free services, including teaching strategies and skills, on-site coaching, modeling, providing information and resources, and networking. Services are also provided in Spanish. They are housed at Queens College. Their mission is to achieve measurable improvements in quality of life. They offer needs-based technical assistance, training, and support to key agencies, personnel, and families.

Initiatives: early identification and referral, instructional practice, productive partnerships with families, related services, transition assistance. They provide technical assistance for assessment, negotiation of goals, and decision-making about services. This entails general dissemination of information, targeted/specialized training, and intensive/sustained 1:1 services.

Please see the attached Power Point:A Tool for Identifying Vision & Hearing Loss NYDBC For more information, contact the NYDBC at (718) 997-4856. E: W:

DD Council Committee Restructure

At the October Council meeting Marco Damiani reported that the Executive Committee proposes combining the Family Support, Transition, and MSC committees into a single larger committee, the Family and Provider Information Committee, whose focus would be education and information/outreach; accessing services; and coordinating services. Currently, there is much duplication of issues raised at the existing committees—e.g., CCOs, CAS, self-direction, etc. By combining the committees, we would address the same issues with a broader base. Another goal would be to attract more families, especially younger families. The Executive Committee proposes piloting this new committee from January through June and then re-evaluating. To do this, we need to amend the by-laws. Prior to today’s meeting, proposed amendments to the by-laws were sent to DD Council members. We would add this sentence: “A core function of the Council is to identify and effectuate the development of standing and ad hoc committees to address the evolving needs of the community. Any standing ad hoc committee that is proposed by Council members will be presented to the Council for review and approval.” Additionally, the by-laws would be amended to eliminate from the list of standing committees: Proposal Review committee [no longer relevant], Family Support Services committee, Transition committee, Children’s Services committee, Service Coordination Conference committee. The remaining standing committees will be the Legislative committee and the Manhattan Family Support Services Advisory Council. Also, under Mission and Function, the function of proposal review will be eliminated.

Lynn Decker made a motion to vote to approve the amendments. Susan Williams seconded the motion. The vote to approve the amendments was carried unanimously. Kathy Kelly and Carol Lincoln will be the co-chairs of the new committee, which will meet the fourth week of each month. Subcommittees may also be formed as needed. 

State News – Ellen Bleckman

  • OPWDD is holding a forum on Care Coordination Organizations on November 9, 5:00-7:00 pm at IAC, 150 West 30th There will be additional forums November 25, 5:00-7:00, at IAC and December 4, 5:00-7:00, at the Queens DDRO. Please register in advance for the Manhattan forum by contacting:; for the Queens forum, register with
  • Care Coordination Organization applications are due November 30. Notification letters will be sent out in February, 2018, with a July 1, 2018, launch date. Readiness procedures will occur February-June.
  • High needs funding: There has been recent provider training on the application process for high needs funding for people who are new to residential services. Training will eventually be expanded to existing individuals in residential and those in day programs.
  • The due date for proposals for the RFS for residential services has been extended to December 8. To date, 37 NYC agencies have expressed interest. NYC has 113 opportunities.

City News – Sandra Piggee

Sandra reported that Tawanda Mitchell is the new Director of Program Services for people with I/DD.

IAC – Suzanne Timmerhans

  • IAC is working with OPWDD on new rates. The residential rates have been rolled back while OPWDD/DOH examine their calculations.
  • CAS issues have been raised by families. It has emerged that CAS summaries are not always accurate. IAC is asking agencies to check the summaries and advise IAC whether they are accurate. IAC will then alert OPWDD. IAC is also looking at procedures for correcting summaries.
  • IAC is participating in OPWDD’s ISS workgroup, regarding rental subsidies, etc.
  • IAC is also participating in OPWDD’s regulations work group.
  • Chris Treiber has been active in several statewide special education groups. Presently, he is advocating to discontinue the DOE practice of forbidding someone who was employed by DOE, or who merely applied for DOE employment, from working in non-public schools. DOE is insisting these individuals be fired, even those who never worked for DOE but simply applied.
  • COPA is planning bFair2DirectCare rallies in Brooklyn, December 4, and in Albany, December 6.
  • IAC has begun prioritizing legislative asks for the coming budget: living wage for DSPs, COLA, residential development, funding for recruitment and retention in 853 and 4410 schools, and tuition increases for schools.


Family Support Services: Wendy De Leon announced that intensive Fair preparation is underway.

Manhattan Family & Professional Resource Fair
Thursday, December 14m, 2017
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Ave. (entrance on 103rd St.)

She reminded members that the Fair is a DD Council undertaking, requiring literally dozens of volunteers. Caroline Dunn of YAI is coordinating the stuffing of bags, which will take place beginning at 3:00 pm, December 13, at the Academy of Medicine. John Williams of Esperanza is coordinating the greeters. Michelle Lang of YAI is coordinating the information table. Pat Liu of GHO is in charge of the A/V equipment. Janet Davis is handling registration. Please consider volunteering or encouraging your colleagues to volunteer. To volunteer, contact Wendy at or Yesenia at Next meeting: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 10:00 am – noon, Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor. Topic: Self-Direction by Todd Pinkus, COO, Meaningful NY. Information: Yesenia Estrella (212) 928-5810 x 173;


Legislative: Jim Malley again asked for ideas on how to enhance the Breakfast. So far, no one has responded. Please e-mail your ideas to Jim. Next meeting to be announced. Information: Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101;

Transition: Kathy Kelly announced that the committee met the previous day. Of the four District 75 schools that attended the meeting, there are 65 graduates, 50 of whom will need OPWDD adult day services, and 30 of the 50 who already have eligibility, some with MSC as well. The next meeting will be Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 9:30 am – noon, AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11thfloor Board Room. Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;


Manhattan FSS Advisory Council: Margaret reported that Carol Lincoln presented on the CCOs at the November 2 meeting, which attracted over 40 families. Carol’s presentation was excellent and helped the families to understand what is coming and eased their anxiety somewhat. There will not be a meeting in December in order to encourage the families to attend the fair. The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 10:00 am – noon, AHRC 83 Maiden Lane, 11thfloor Board Room. Kathy Broderick, Associate Executive Director of AHRC, will present on the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS). Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042;

MSC Committee: Carol Lincoln reported that the next meeting will be Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm, at ADAPT Community Network, 80 Maiden Lane, 4th floor. Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225;

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