In DD Council Minutes, Minutes
  1. Introductions were completed.
  2. 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 FLYERS DISTRIBUTED



See attached for information on three day Respite Get Away trips to upstate New York for adults and children who live in Manhattan and the Bronx. Must have OPWDD eligibility.

ADAPT Community Network – formerly UCP of New York City

The Housing Assistance office has moved to a new location.

Email for an updated application.

Information is attached regarding program vacancies and family reimbursement. Details are also attached for free workshops and a save the date for the Annual Family Summit in April, 2018.

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

Birch Family Services

There is a residential opportunity for a male on 149th Street. The house is currently an ICF, but it will be converted to an IRA soon. Contact Thomas Forester for more information, 212-616-1814, or


Information is attached for service vacancies. For information about any YAI programs, please call 212-273-6182, or email


Program vacancy list is attached.


Program vacancy list is attached.

  1.  State News – Ellen Bleckman
  • RFS awards for residential development will be announced December 8.
  • There were two rounds of CCO forums sponsored by OPWDD to hear and address stakeholder concerns.
  • The CCO Transition Plan is online at Comments are welcome by January 5.
  • OPWDD will conduct webinars for MSCs beginning in December, continuing twice a month. Dates not yet available.
  • Applications for CCOs were due November 30. Awards will be announced around February 1.
  1. City News – Sandra Piggee

No report.

  1. IAC – Tom McAlvanah
  • The rates for IRAs have not been issued yet, although the fiscal year began July 1. OPWDD/DOH is trying to rebalance the rates fairly.
  • The NYS minimum wage rises to $13/hour in NYC December 31. In addition, there are promised DSP increases of 3.25% on January 1 and another 3.25% on April 1. At the federal level, negotiations on tax reform are continuing, including whether state and local taxes will continue to be deductible. If there are huge tax cuts, it is likely there will be cuts to Medicaid and other entitlements.
  • The bFair2DirectCare campaign held a successful kickoff rally in Brooklyn on December 1. About 100 people attended, including 5 elected officials and representatives. On December 6, there was a rally at the Capitol in Albany. Governor Cuomo did not address the rally, although the campaign brought him a birthday cake. Cuomo’s aides did come out. Continuing issues are the high vacancy and turnover rates, as well as reliance on overtime. National Public Radio covered the event. This will be a tough budget year, but for DSPs every year is a tough budget year. Our original ask was $45 million in 6 installments to get DSPs to a decent living wage of $17.72/hour downstate and $15+/hour upstate. In this year’s budget we got $45 million and an additional $10 million for workers in behavioral health and substance abuse services. We have 4 installments to go, but we are asking for them to be speeded up in 3 installments of $73 million each, due to the worsening staff shortages.
  • IAC is developing a strategy for advocacy regarding the educational sector, which has serious issues. The 853 and 4410 schools are unable to find qualified teachers to hire. These schools take children the public schools cannot handle, yet our teachers are paid one-third less than public school teachers. In 4410 pre-K schools, the public schools are stealing our teachers, exacerbating the problem of inequitable pay. Bad pre-K audits have hurt the industry as a whole.
  • Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) summaries: IAC is gathering data from agencies about errors in the CAS summaries, which is alarming because the CAS will ultimately be the basis for acuity scores that will determine reimbursements. 50% of one agency’s summaries were incorrect. To correct a summary, the family/agency must go through the MSC; the correction will come in the form of an addendum to the ISP. OPWDD needs to develop a more effective process as MSCs are not always available and able to facilitate corrections. Providers can run TABS to see which people have had the CAS done. Summaries are available in CHOICES.
  • Borough DD Council representatives are meeting at IAC December 7.

VII. Committees

Family & Provider Information Committee: On a trial basis, this new committee is merging the Family Support Services, Transition, and MSC committees, which will no longer meet separately. Its inaugural meeting will be Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 10:00 am – noon at Sinergia, 2082 Lexington Ave., 4th floor. Information: Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225;

Family Support Services: Wendy De Leon and Yesenia Estrella reported that Todd Pinkus, CEO of Meaningful NY, presented on Self-Direction at the November meeting. Preparations are underway for the Manhattan Family & Professional Resource Fair on December 14. Volunteers are still needed for stuffing the bags, December 13, 3-7 p.m. at the venue: NY Academy of Medicine, 1216 5th Ave. Volunteers are also needed to greet and assist attendees. This committee will no longer meet separately. See above under the Family & Provider Information Committee.

Legislative: Jim Malley announced that there will be a conference call next week to begin planning for the March 9, 2018, Legislative Breakfast. For information or to participate, contact Jim Malley (212) 928-5810 x 101;

Transition: Kathy Kelly reported that this committee will hold its final meeting Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 9:30 am – noon, AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor Board Room. Kathy invited all committee members to come to the new Family & Provider Information Committee meeting (see above announcement). Information: Kathy Kelly (212) 780-2724;

Manhattan FSS Advisory Council: Margaret Puddington reported that at the next meeting there will be a presentation on the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) by Kathy Broderick, Associate Executive Director, AHRC, and Kathy Kelly, Director of Entitlements and Placements, AHRC. The meeting will be Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 10:00 am – noon, at AHRC, 83 Maiden Lane, 11th floor Board Room. Information: Margaret Puddington (212) 799-2042;

MSC Committee: Carol Lincoln reported that the committee held its final meeting November 29. Members are invited to participate in the new Family & Provider Information Committee meeting (see announcement above). Information: Carol Lincoln (718) 859-5420 x 225;

VIII. New Business – Kathy Kelly

Kathy Kelly reported that at the last DD Council meeting, we restructured the committees and amended the by-laws, enabling us to create the new Family & Provider Information Committee to be chaired by Kathy Kelly and Carol Lincoln. This committee is a merger of the Family Support, Transition, and MSC committees, which were addressing many of the same issues. We hope the new committee will merge audiences as well. The committee will address topics such as self-direction, residential opportunities, CCOs, CAS, and other important issues. The committee can bring the topics back to the Council to look at policies and advocacy opportunities. The committee will meet monthly on the 4th Tuesday. (See meeting announcement above.)

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