Wednesday, November 4, 2015


NYSARC'S "It Matters to Me" Campaign
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To bring attention to critical issues affecting people with intellectual and other disabilities and their families, providers and staff dedicated to serving them, NYSARC Chapters statewide have been involved in a grassroots advocacy campaign. The "It Matters to Me" Campaign organized by NYSARC, Inc., is designed to share personal, compelling stories of the individuals we serve, their concerned families, and providers on the issues that matter the most to them.

The issues that matter most to us, include residential housing and other opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are living with aging caregivers and employment opportunities for our individuals to remain in a non-competitive settings, consistent with the individual's wishes and the Olmstead Supreme Court decision.  The other issues that matter to us are increased wages for direct support professionals and increased preschool rates. 
Please join us in our advocacy efforts so that the needs and wants of people, with intellectual and other disabilities, are heard and addressed by our Legislators as they work on the State Budget. We also ask that you share your concerns with our Legislators and Governor by writing letters as well as sharing this information with your friends on all your social media outlets.  Below is a sample letter that you can customize to let Governor Cuomo as well as our other Legislators know your issues and concerns.

(Sample Letter)

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:
I am writing to you as a (IDENTIFY RELATIONSHIP: PARENT, SIBLING, CAREGIVER, FRIEND, ETC.) of a person with developmental disabilities.   I, along with thousands of other family members, am extremely concerned about the future of needed programs and services that are critical to the well-being of people with developmental disabilities.

The field of developmental disabilities is facing enormous challenges and supports for people have started eroding.  Among the challenges is a shortage of residential opportunities for people living at home, particularly for those whose family members who are elderly and may be coping with health problems of their own; difficulty in recruiting and retaining direct support staff due to inadequate wages; the lack of employment opportunities for people who wish to work in the community or remain in a viable work center; and acutely inadequate funding for special-needs preschool services.

(TELL YOUR STORY HERE:  Pick the one or two issues most critical to you and tell the Governor how it impacts you personally, your family and/or your loved one with a developmental disability, as well as your community.)

As you prepare the state budget for the next fiscal year, I hope you consider all of these issues and are willing to increase funding to help us provide needed residential opportunities, a living wage for direct support staff, an adequate inflationary increase for special-needs preschools, and enhanced employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.   On behalf of myself and my (IDENTIFY RELATIONSHIP), I am personally asking for your help in making sure my (IDENTIFY RELATIONSHIP TO PERSON AND/OR ISSUE) has access to the services (HE/SHE/THEY) need.

Governor, thousands of family members and people with developmental disabilities would be enormously grateful to you for including resources in this year’s budget to begin to ensure that critical programs and services will be available to those who are in need.
We are depending on you.

   Let our Governor and Legislators know what matters to us!

Below is a link that will take you to NYSARC's “It Matters To Me” page.  Please take the time to watch the videos that address the many issues.  The most recent video is introduced by NYSARC President Laura Kennedy.  Please click on the photo to watch.

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