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"It Matters to Me" by NYSARC, Inc.

Mary and Margaret Derby's Story

Luna's Story

Direct Support Wages


Lisa's Story

Matt's Story

Matthew's Story

Casey's Story


* We continue to be very active with advocating with OPWDD about the future of sheltered workshops as they transform to integrated businesses. Attached find the latest proposal from OPWDD that was reviewed at a public hearing on October 23rd.

* We currently meet the integration requirements of the OPWDD's proposal about the future of work centers, but we continue to have concerns. Hilltop Director Kellie Kennedy, parent Karen Duboy, and Self Advocate Lisa Irwin provided testimony about those concerns to OPWDD at the public hearing. Attached is Kellie's testimony.

* Family Advocacy and Self Advocacy have been hard at work letting OPWDD and our elected officials know what matters to them! Kara Wietz, the new President of the ACT group, sent our petition to Governor Cuomo and asked him to come visit. We had 2,909 signatures.

* Attached are the Top 10 Advocacy Tips that was developed and distributed among the membership of our Family Advocacy group.

* NYSARC is currently running a campaign called "It Matters to Me." Please see the attached talking points for this campaign, which is advocating for new residential and day program development, employment choice and opportunity, fair wages for direct care staff, and preschool programs.

* Several advocates participated in NYSARC's It Matters to Me video about the work center. Please check it out, what a great video! This video was sent to every state level elected official in the state as a video postcard.

* Sign up for Family Advocacy news delivered via email by contacting Kellie Kennedy at