Albany, New York State Capitol

This is a guest post from Katy Foxen Faivre, Administrator, New York Alliance for Developmental Disabilities (NYADD

As New York State budget negotiations begin in earnest, self-advocates, families, service providers and members of the New York State Senate and Assembly raised their voices and gave testimony in Albany on Monday, Feb. 12 in support of getting people with developmental disabilities the money they need to live healthy, safe lives.

Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright, chair of the People with Disabilities Committee, summed up the dire situation in her opening statement, saying, “The prognosis doesn’t look good.”

Key Takeaways

  • Providers continue to struggle with recruiting and retaining staff, in large part due to the state refusing to give these workers a living wage, and this impacts their ability to provide quality services.
  • All legislators at the Joint Hearing strongly supported the need to raise the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for direct support professionals and approve the Direct Support Wage Enhancement bill. It’s up to the rest of the legislators and Gov. Kathy Hochul to make this happen.
  • People with developmental disabilities are being discriminated against in a broken system. Change is needed to make a real impact.

Advocates need to reach out to their legislators to demand that they prioritize these funds. There’s strength in numbers. The people elected into office must know that our votes count.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!