Last year, New York entered a three-year, $10 million partnership to help marginalized communities better access services. The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is now offering virtual forums throughout June on the work being done. (See below.)

The goal of the partnership, made between OPWDD and Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC), is to advance policies and practices relating to diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and cultural and linguistic competence (CLC) into all components of OPWDD’s supports and services.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) experience disparities in all aspects of community living, according to the Georgetown website. And these disparities, says Tawara Goode, the director of NCCC, are “long-standing, well documented, and disproportionately affect minoritized populations, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and the communities in which they live.”

The NCCC, among other things, will:

  • Look at OPWDD policies and programs, and review core values, structures, practices, behaviors and attitudes;
  • conduct remote sessions and provide consultations to help service providers, staff, people with developmental disabilities and their families develop a plan of action;
  • assess the professional development needs of OPWDD staff and provide ongoing training with an emphasis on organizational change;
  • provide OPWDD with consultation services on developing standards, benchmarks and other measurements to assess DEI and CLC within the entire service system;
  • offer technical assistance and consultation services to the NYS Community of Practice, an organization for developmental disability service providers.

Virtual Community Forums with Georgetown University and OPWDD

OPWDD is inviting people with developmental disabilities, their friends and family members, and developmental disabilities service providers to learn about the partnership and to share their thoughts and questions at one of several virtual community forums throughout  June:

New York State developmental disability service provider network, including Care Coordination Organizations 

  • June 6, 2023, from 5 pm – 6 pm ET
  • June 8, 2023, from 3:30 – 4:30 pm ET

Persons with lived experience of developmental disabilities, their family members, and advocacy organizations 

  • June 13, 2023, from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
  • June 17, 2023, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET

All forums will be accessible in languages other than English and provide ASL interpretation services.

Please note that these forums will only be available for live participation and will not be archived for later viewing.

NOTE: Please register by Friday, May 26, 2023

Click this link to register.

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