Latest News

Posted 08/14/2015

Dear Consumer or Provider of Long-term Services and Supports,

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is working with the Center for Aging and Disability Education Research at Boston University to conduct a feasibility study about the possibility of creating a new state Office of Community Living. An important part of this feasibility study is to receive public input about services in the state of New York that are provided to two groups:

1. People who are older adults, and
2. People of all ages with disabilities

This survey aims to collect broad public input about coordinating services for older adults and individuals of all ages with disabilities, with the goal of improving service delivery and program outcomes. We are interested in your opinion, as either a consumer or provider of long-term services and supports, about your experiences in obtaining or providing services that help individuals live independently in the community. When thinking about services or assistance, please consider any government sponsored (local, state or federal) service or assistance you receive and/or provide.

We ask that you only complete one survey. Even if you get many copies of the survey from different places, it is important that no one fills out more than one survey.

Please complete the Consumer Survey if you are:

  • A consumer of long-term services and supports (or other services)
  • A family member of, or caregiver to, a consumer
  • If you need long-term services and supports in the community (or other services) but do not currently receive them.

The Consumer Survey can be opened at the following link: NY Consumer Survey

Please complete the Provider Survey if you are:

  • A provider of long-term services and supports (or other services) including workers and administrators
  • A policy-maker, or advocated involved with any government sponsored service.

The Provider Survey can be opened at the following link: NY Provider Survey

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you can stop at any time. If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Abbey Lavazzo at NYSOFA (Phone: 518-391-4553; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We thank you for taking the time to participate in this important survey.

Thank you,
Corinda Crossdale, Director, NYSOFA


Posted 07/27/2015

The Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY) has just published a new report, "ADA at 25: Many Bridges to Cross". Despite the passage of the Americans With Disabilties Act, people with disabilities still experience barriers in many areas of life. Read about the status of people with ‎disabilities‬ in the 25 years since the ADA in the report, with content areas including education‬, employment, income & poverty, ‪‎health‬, ‎housing‬, food, marriage & family, and ‪‎transportation‬.

Find the report on CIDNY's website here: http://www.cidny.org/resources/CIDNY-ADA25-Many%20_Bridges_to-Cross.pdf


Now that the 2015 legislative session is finally over, NYAIL would like to provide you with an update on all of the items on our Disability Priority Agenda. In addition, we are including a number of legislative items which NYAIL and our public policy committees worked on throughout the session which were not on our DPA.

First, we did have a few exciting successes this year.

  • Our Title II bill (A.136/S.1405) passed the Senate and Assembly!!
    • While the Assembly routinely passes this bill each year, it has not been brought to the floor of the Senate in a number of years. Kudos to the entire network on this one, but especially Frank Pennisi who worked closely with the bill’s sponsors and the Governor’s office to ensure this bill’s passage through both houses. We are anticipating that Governor Cuomo will sign this bill into law as his staff approved the language. NYAIL will continue to advocate to ensure its passage. With the 25th anniversary of the ADA this summer, it will be an excellent time for Governor Cuomo to sign this bill into law. We will keep you updated on this exciting development.
  • In addition, our Visitability tax credit bill (A.1276/S.2967A) passed both the Senate and Assembly this session as well!!
    • If signed into law, this bill will provide homeowners with a tax credit to make their homes visitable. NYAIL will continue to advocate for this bill to ensure it is signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
  • We also advocated for A.7598/S.5535, a bill which would delay the transition of the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver participants into Medicaid managed care and develop a work group to develop recommendations to help guide that transition.
    • Thanks to the hard work of advocates across the state, the Department of Health (DOH) announced last week that they have agreed to delay the transition of waiver participants on the TBI and NHTD waivers until January 1, 2017. In addition, DOH will form a stakeholder work group to go over all of the issues associated with the transition. DOH will convene this work group soon, with recommendations to be submitted by August 2016. DOH has also announced that they will maintain the current reimbursement that the NHTD and TBI Waiver providers currently receive in the fee-for-service system for two (2) years after transition. While this was not on our DPA, this is a bill which the network strongly supported and advocated to pass. It was this advocacy which lead DOH to delay this transition to 2017. Great work!
  • The network was also successful in opposing the extension of the use of lever machines in certain local elections.
    • S.5147 (Marchione) was introduced on May 5th. By May 27th, Senator Marchione withdrew the bill. The Election Reform committee was very active all session ensuring that the NYS legislature would not extend the use of lever machines. As nothing was passed this year, very much thanks to everyone’s advocacy, this law is going to sunset at the end of the year!
  • NYAIL also advocated for the New York achieving a better life experience (NY ABLE) savings account act. A.7767B (Gunther) and S.4472D (Carlucci).
    • The ABLE Act will allow qualified New Yorkers with disabilities and their families to create tax deferred savings accounts to cover disability related expenses. The main benefit of these accounts is these assets will not count against programs such as Medicaid and SSI. This bill passed both the Senate and Assembly this year! While this bill was not on our DPA, NYAIL and many of you did advocate for this bill to ensure it was the best version possible. There was a lot of momentum behind this bill in both houses, which suggest Cuomo will likely sign it into law. 

Here is an overview of how the rest of our priorities faired this session. Remember, this is the first of a two year session (2015-2016) so the bills will remain where they are for next year. This gives us an opportunity to build on our legislative advocacy without having to start from scratch next year.

  • Health
    • Authorize an exemption to the Nurse Practice Act to allow for advanced home health aides to perform certain advanced tasks under the supervision of a registered nurse. A.7188 (Glick) and S.5855 (Parker).
      • This bill passed the Assembly but did not pass the Senate this year. Senator LaValle, Chair of the Higher Education committee in the Senate was strongly opposed to this bill despite a comprehensive workgroup process and support from a broad cross section of impacted stakeholders. NYAIL will work with legislators and stakeholders prior to next session to ensure this crucial bill passes next session.
    • Assisted suicide legislationA2129 Rosenthal, S.3685 (Savino), as well as A5261B (Paulin) and S5814 (Bonacic).
      • These bills are all sitting in the Health committee and have not moved. While the lack of momentum is positive, it is concerning that so many bills have been introduced this year to allow assisted suicide in NYS. This summer is an opportunity for the disability community to begin educating our legislators on why we oppose assisted suicide. For resources to assist in this effort, please check out Not Dead Yet’s Toolkit at http://www.notdeadyet.org/disability-rights-toolkit-for-advocacy-against-legalization-of-assisted-suicide
  • Housing
    • Make discrimination by landlords based on a tenant’s source of income illegal under State Human Rights Law. A.3059 (Weprin).
      • This bill has no Senate sponsor and did not move out of governmental operations in the Assembly.
    • Incorporate inclusive home design/visitability features in new residential housing that receives financial assistance for construction from federal, state, county or local governments. A.6402 (Simon) and S.4597 (Krueger).
      • These bills are sitting in the judiciary committee in both the Senate and Assembly.
  • Civil Rights
    • Waive the State’s sovereign immunity to claims under the ADA and Section 504.  A5388 (Lifton)
      • This bill passed the Assembly on Disability Awareness Day. Unfortunately, it does not have a companion in the Senate.
  • Employment
    • Establish a small business tax credit for the employment of people with disabilities.  A5513 (Cusick) and S.4093 (Addabbo).
      • This bill is in Ways&Means in the Assembly and Investigations & Governmental Operations in the Senate. However, the Governor’s Employment First Commission did include a similar proposal in their report. They recommended making the Developmental Disability tax credit a cross disability tax credit.
    • Add disability-owned businesses to the Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.  A.2910 (Weprin) and S.2342 (Marcellino).
      • This bill is in Governmental Operations in the Assembly and Finance in the Senate. However, as with the small business tax credit bill, this recommendation was adopted by the Governor’s Employment First Commission. NYAIL will continue to monitor the administration’s progress on the recommendations of the Employment First Commission to ensure these recommendations are enacted.
  • Transportation
    • Cap fares for paratransit at levels no higher than the base fares for transportation of non-disabled adults using the public transit system. S3720 (Espaillat).
      • This bill is in the Transportation committee in the Senate and has no companion in the Assembly.
    • Require transportation service providers, such as taxis and limousines, to purchase accessible vehicles. A.4211 (Titus).
      • This bill is in the Transportation in the Assembly with no companion in the Senate.
    • Establish a visor communication card for individuals who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. A.7387 (Zebrowski).
      • This bill is in Codes in the Assembly. There is currently no companion in the Senate.
  • Inclusive Education
    • Provides for state grant funding to municipalities for early intervention services for toddlers with disabilities and their families. A.273 (Paulin) and S.4372 (Carlucci).
      • This bill is in Ways & Means in the Assembly and in the Health committee in the Senate.

Report prepared by Meghan Schoeffling, NYAIL's Policy Analyst


Posted December 30, 2014

The Center on Rehabilitation Synergy (CRS) located at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York,  is pleased to send a reminder announcement on the following ONLINE (self-paced*) training program beginning January 12 through February 20, 2015(Registration deadline is Friday, January 9, 2015.)

Supported Employment Certificate Series (ONLINE) includes:

  • Course 1: Orientation to Supported Employment (January 12-23)

                        - gives history of vocational rehabilitation & introduces “person-first” and “disability-sensitive” language

  • Course 2: Job Coach 1 (January 26-February 6)

                        - introduces the dynamics of providing Support Employment services and strategies

  • Course 3: Job Coach 2 (February 9-20)

                        - student will apply new knowledge to practice writing training plans, as well as implementing a task analysis.

6 CRC credit hours will be awarded per course after successful completion, 18 CRC credit hours total.

*These online courses are convenient; you can complete the program at your own pace (you don't have to attend online classes at a specific time).

Each segment can be taken individually at $60 each. Taken together for the Certificate reduces the price from $180 to $170.

Click (or Ctrl and Click) on the following link to register for the 3-course Supported Employment Certificate Series: https://gseweb.gse.buffalo.edu/gse-survey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=86KKn8lK

Click (or Ctrl and Click) on the following link to register for Course 1 only: Orientation to Supported Employment: https://gseweb.gse.buffalo.edu/gse-survey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=98KKnl9K

Click (or Ctrl and Click) on the following link to register for Course 2 only: Job Coach 1: https://gseweb.gse.buffalo.edu/gse-survey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=98KKnm9K

Click (or Ctrl and Click) on the following link to register for Course 3 only: Job Coach 2: https://gseweb.gse.buffalo.edu/gse-survey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=98KKnn9K

You may also refer to the attached flyer for training information.  In order to view the PDF file, you will need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer.  The following is the link to download a free version of Adobe Reader: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

If you have any questions, please contact us at the number below.  You may also visit our website at http://www.crs.buffalo.edu for complete program descriptions and to view the training calendar.  The Center for Rehabilitative Synergy provides a broad range of vocational rehabilitation and educational services to rehabilitation professionals, teachers/school professionals, family members and employers.

We sincerely hope you can participate!

Center on Rehabilitation Synergy
University at Buffalo
3435 Main Street, 316 Parker Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-3007


Posted December 29, 2014

Getting on Board: Training for
Boards of Directors in Independent Living

COURSE DATES: March 2-20, 2015 


STUDENT ORIENTATION: February 25, 2015


PURPOSE: Participants will be able to discuss the roles and responsibilities of boards of directors, recognize and address conflicts that may arise between IL philosophy and services, and analyze the impact of funding sources on day-to-day activities.

COURSE LEVEL: Introductory to Intermediate

TARGET AUDIENCE: This course will be particularly relevant to members of boards of directors and administrative staff of all CILs. It may also be of benefit to SILCs that have nonprofit status.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Participants will learn--

  • roles and responsibilities of a CIL board of directors
  • steps in the planning process
  • ways a board guides a nonprofit organization
  • steps in hiring an executive director and in cultivating leaders
  • basic fiscal responsibilities of board members
  • how to recognize and address conflicts that may arise between IL philosophy and services
  • steps for evaluating the CIL's performance and progress.

FORMAT: Participants will read assignments in the online course manual, complete exercises assigned by the instructor, and interact daily with the instructor and other students in an online discussion forum. Participants can access the course Web site at any time of the day or night. This can be done from any computer with an Internet connection. Participants should plan on spending 1-2 hours each day reading assignments, completing course work and participating in the discussion.

INSTRUCTOR:  Anne Weeks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mountain State Centers for Independent Living and the fundraising arm of the Center, the Foundation for Independent Living. She has been involved with the Center since its beginning. Ms. Weeks has been involved in the disability community for 35 years, was the founding Chairperson of the WVSILC and has served an additional term at Chairperson. She was a charter inductee into the West Virginia Independent Living Hall of Fame and currently also serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Tri-State Literacy Council.  

A full course calendar is on the ILRU Website. 


You may register online or by mail. Online registration is encouraged

For mailed registration, complete, print and mail the form found at this link: 


The mailing address for registration is:
TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center

1333 Moursund

Houston, TX 77030

OTHER QUESTIONS: If you have general questions about how to do an online course more information can be found on our website. This page also includes ILRU policies for Multiple Participants from the Same Organization, Notification of Acceptance, and Refunds/Cancellations.   

METHOD OF PAYMENT: Payment may be made by credit card through the website at the time of registration. Do not send credit card information by e-mail, since such transactions are not secure. Checks or money orders are also accepted and should be mailed with a completed registration form. Return your completed registration form and payment to the address listed above.

COURSE FEES: The course fee is $100 per participant.  

OTHER REQUIREMENTS AND PREREQUISITES: To participate in an IL-NET Online Course you must have access to a computer with an Internet connection through a broadband or dial-up modem. (Broadband connection is preferable.) The Canvas platform used by IL-NET is optimized for the latest versions of Internet browsers; see the list of supported browsers below. You need to have basic computer skills -- you should know how to save files, download files from the Internet and basic knowledge of an Internet browser, (Internet Explorer, Fire Fox or Google Chrome). You should be proficient with any specialized applications you use to make the computer accessible to you (such as screen reading software). If you already use e mail (such as Outlook), a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) and are able to navigate the Internet, you may find it easier to use the course platform. Technical support staff are available to assist you with becoming familiar with Canvas the Learning Management System for the online class; but you need an adequate level of knowledge of your computer, software and any specialized applications that make the computer accessible to you.

REQUEST FOR CLASS EXTENSION: If during an online course exceptional circumstances arise that make completing the course by the last day of class impossible, a student may contact the course instructor and request an individual extension of the course end date.  All extensions are made at the discretion of the course instructor(s). Requests for an extension to complete course work must be made prior to the last week of the course and as a rule extensions will not be granted for a period longer than one week from the official course end date.

REFUND POLICY: Withdrawals, requests for refunds or requests to apply tuition to a future course must be received in writing or by e­mail BEFORE the first day of the course; otherwise no refund or credit can be made. Registrations are non-transferable after the beginning of the course. Only a limited number of participants can be accepted for each course. Withdrawals prevent others from participating.