On Friday February 26th , 2010, from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the Bronx Mental Retardation & Developmental Disabilities Council will be holding its 23rd Annual Legislative Breakfast at Maestro’s 1703 Bronxdale Avenue (between Morris Park and East Tremont Avenue) in Bronx, NY.
The breakfast is being co-hosted by Assemblyman Peter Rivera, City Council member G. Oliver Koppell and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Invited speakers include the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Diana Jones Ritter and Dr. Adam Karpati from the New York City Department of Mental Health and Mental Hygiene to comment on issues faced by people with disabilities and their families in New York City.
The Legislative Breakfast will focus on the Council’s recommendations in response to Governor David Patterson’s Executive Budget for 2010-2011. The Council will also present its position papers on the impact on issues that impact NYS DOH, SED, OMRDD and NYC DOHMH funded programs and services. With the State’s budgetary challenges before us, it is imperative that elected officials from the Bronx who will be in attendance understand the needs to maintain quality service and a qualified workforce.
The breakfast comes on the heels of a very successful Family Advocacy Day on January 7, 2010, where members of the Council (persons with disabilities, advocates, family and providers) visited every Assemblyperson and State Senator in the Bronx as part of a Statewide effort to reach out to the members of the State Legislature and ask that services for persons with disabilities not be cut, particularly services that affect health and safety. In addition legislators were asked to include a trend increase for the private voluntary direct support professionals who saw no increase last year but whose counterparts in State service received a 3% increase last year and will receive a 4% increase this April.
The Governor’s proposed budget calls for an increase with a retroactive adjustment in some programs (Intermediate Care Facilities) while other Medicaid Waiver programs such as Day Habilitation programs and Residential Habilitation will be cut by 5% and 3% respectively.
Each year, the Breakfast forum allows us to hear from parents and people with special needs about children’s and adult services and urges Bronx delegations to “Do the right thing” for New York State’s most vulnerable citizens.
The Bronx Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Council is an association of parents, advocates, consumers and professionals concerned with the needs of people with developmental disabilities who reside in the Bronx. We are concerned about the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurological impairments and learning disabilities. Whether people have mild moderate or severe impairments, these are lifelong disabilities that affect people of all races, ethnic backgrounds and income levels. People with developmental disabilities receive services for life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!