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Advocacy

With almost 20 million people living in New York state, and only 130,000 people being served by agencies under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) umbrella, it can seem that these advocate voices would not be heard.

However, each one of those 130,000 individuals has a circle of support that expands that number exponentially, including their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and more. Arc GLOW believes everyone has the power to advocate for people with disabilities and can help provide them with the resources to make an impact.

Family Advocacy

Support from friends and family can become a circle of influence. With that influence, you can let our elected officials know that your vote comes with a condition: support and maintain the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities!

Amplify your voice as part of a larger group. Follow us on social media, become an agency member, write or call your representatives, join the advocacy group or its mailing list, and encourage someone you know to do the same.

Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself about the rights and responsibilities in your life. People who do so are called “self advocates,” and having once learned how to speak up for themselves can assist others in doing so as well.

Arc GLOW currently has three active self advocacy groups: Advocates Coming Together (ACT) in the southern region and Friends for the Future and Self Advocacy All Stars in the northern region.

Notable News

Direct Support Professionals are not designated with their own Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as a result, DSP wage and occupation data is not accurately captured. This diminishes the true impact of the workforce crisis, hinders opportunities for professional advancement, certifications, and the pursuit of a life-long career.

In 2022, Arc GLOW hired 180 DSPs to serve over 2,000 people with IDD over 2,400 square miles. In the first year over 60 left — more than 33 percent. The DSP turnover rate within the first 180 days of employment as of the fourth quarter of 2022 was 36.8 percent.

Arc GLOW is working on Direct Care Workforce Development project to help DSPs grow in their chosen field and to cut down on turnover.

On the federal level, “Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act” creates a SOC for DSPs and has passed the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) with unanimous support! Now it is up to us to help usher this legislation through the full Senate and subsequently through the House of Representatives.

We are grateful for any help you can offer in our fight to provide a living wage that honors the incredible work our staff do every day. To contact your legislators regarding important advocacy topics, check out all of One-Click Campaigns organized by The Arc NY.

2024-25 Budget Asks

The Arc New York works in conjunction with other provider agencies as New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) to define fieldwide budget asks, and advocate with a unified voice. The Arc New York and our NYDA partners are calling for:

  • Inclusion of the statutory 3.2% Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Establishment of a Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE)

The DSWE is a targeted workforce investment. Through the DSWE, provider agencies will receive $4,000 per eligible employee to enhance the hourly rate of pay for all staff that have direct care/support responsibilities for individuals with I/DD. This wage enhancement will enable provider agencies to raise wages by approximately $2.00 per hour.

The annual COLA is intended to increase budgets appropriately to adjust for inflation and rising costs. Over the past decade, inflation rose nearly 30%, yet providers of supports and services received only 10.5% COLA over that same period. Our system only received 1/3 of what was needed to appropriately sustain supports and services for New Yorkers with I/DD. Direct care workers and people with I/DD are not 1/3 of a person and should not be treated as such.

Our 2024-25 ask is derived from NYS statute, which states the annual COLA will be calculated based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) from July of the previous year. Upholding the COLA will support the increased cost of delivering quality services and sustain supports for the future.

Additional advocacy resources and strategies will be forthcoming, including a broader calendar of events and advocacy opportunities in the coming year.

Budget Priorities Information Sheet | Template Op-Ed for providers, families, self-advocates, and allies

How to Advocate

With almost 20 million people living in New York state, and only 130,000 people being served by agencies under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) umbrella, it can seem that these advocate voices would not be heard.

However, each one of those 130,000 individuals have a circle of support that expands that number exponentially, including their families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and more. Arc GLOW believes everyone has the power to advocate for people with disabilities and can help provide them with the resources to make an impact.

On this page, you will find Arc GLOW’s position on various pieces of legislation and how you can get involved.

2024 Legislative Priorities Include

Federal Government Representatives

Senator Charles E. Schumer
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301
New York, NY 10017

Click to E-mail

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Kenneth B. Keating Federal Office Building
100 State Street
Room 4195
Rochester, NY 14614

Click to E-mail

Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, 24th District

New York’s 24th District includes all of Cayuga County, Wayne County, Seneca County, Yates County, Ontario County, Livingston County, Wyoming County, Genesee County, almost all of Oswego County, the southern half of Jefferson County, the southern half of Orleans County, and the eastern half of Niagara County.

Lockport District Office
169 Niagara Street
Lockport, NY  14094

Phone: (716) 514-5130

Click to E-mail

Congressman Joseph Morelle, 25th District

New York’s 25th District includes all of Monroe County and the northern part of Orleans County.

3120 Federal Building
100 State Street
Rochester, NY  14614

Click to E-mail

State Government Representatives

New York State Sen. Pamela Helming, 54th Senate District

New York’s 54th Senate district includes Livingston, Monroe, Ontario and Wayne counties.

Geneseo Satellite Office
6 Court St.
Room 304
Geneseo, NY 14454

Phone: (315) 568-9816
Fax: (585) 393-0825

Click to E-Mail

New York State Sen. George M. Borrello, 57th Senate District

New York’s 57th Senate district includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Genesee and Wyoming counties.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County
420 E. Main St.
Batavia, NY 14020

Phone: (585) 507-8139

Office Hours: noon to 4 p.m. Mondays or by appointment

County Government Building
143 N. Main St.
Warsaw, NY 14569

Phone: (585) 786-5048

Office Hours: 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays or by appointment

Click to E-Mail

New York State Sen. Robert G. Ortt, 62nd Senate District

New York’s 62nd Senate district includes Monroe, Niagara and Orleans counties.

District Office
175 Walnut Street, Suite 6
Lockport, NY 14094

Phone: (716) 434-0680
Fax: (716) 434-3297

Click to E-Mail

Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes, Assembly District 133

New York’s 133rd Assembly district is comprised of Livingston County and parts of Monroe, Ontario, Steuben and Wyoming counties.

District Office
79 Genesee St.
Avon, NY 14414

Phone: (585) 218-0038
Fax: (585) 226-2022

Click to E-Mail

Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Assembly District 139

New York’s 133rd Assembly district is comprised of Genesee and Orleans counties, and parts of Erie and Monroe counties.

District Office
121 N. Main Street
Suite 100
Albion, NY 14411

Phone: (585) 589-5780
Fax: (585) 589-5813

Click to E-Mail

Assemblyman David DiPietro, Assembly District 147

New York’s 147th Assembly district contains the southern halves of Erie and Wyoming counties.

District Office
411 Main St.
Aurora, NY 14052

Phone: (716) 655-0951
Fax: (716) 655-0970

Click to E-Mail

Want to learn more about our advocacy efforts and how you can help?

Contact us at (585) 658-2828 or info@arcglow.org.