Budget cuts continue to destroy valuable services to our students! We are sharing the following press release from United New York Early Intervention Providers.
Nearly 8 months ago, NYS Early Intervention through the office of DOH Commissioner Richard Daines, embarked on a mission to dismantle NYS Early Intervention in the name of fiscal responsibility. Small agencies were closed, home-based independent contractors, the front-line of NYS Early Intervention, were met with a 10-20% rate decrease and, now the children of early intervention, the children with developmental disabilities are no longer receiving the services that they are eligible for through IDEA Part C.
On April 15th of this year, fifteen days after the directive was issued to reduce rates, the United New York Early Intervention Providers (UNYEIP) and Parents As Partners (UNYEIPAP) coalitions whose members include Speech, Physical, and Occupational Therapists, ABA Teachers, Special Educators, Nutritionists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Vision Therapists, parents and caregivers, and other supportive professionals (attorneys, physicians, compensation analysts, academicians, accountants) was founded. Now 700 strong, we are working with attorneys, unions, legislators, professional organizations to enable change and initiate the restoration of services for our children and their families, to return equity, and to initiate the focus on true evidence-based practice.
In the name of fiscal blindness and led by committees and decision-makers with little to no active, current hands-on experience, the DOH has established guidelines that have forced small business entrepreneurships to close their doors across the state, that have increased standards for eligibility and thus left many children and families with no other options. New cases for interventionists are few and far between and those that are realized are accompanied by non-therapeutic mandates. Essentially, in their efforts to achieve fiscal austerity, the NYS DOH has limited and dissolved the most precious of jobs – home-based early intervention. Is this in keeping with President Obama's Federal Stimulus Plan and ARRA whose primary goal is to preserve and create jobs? NO!
It was Governor Mario Cuomo, who on September 17, 1992, signed the Early Intervention Bill (Chapter 428 of the Laws of 1992), landmark legislation. Can we count on his son to renew this commitment to infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays? For more information, please call Leslie Grubler at 347 853 4241 or email at UnitedNYEIProviders@yahoo.com.
Kindly refer to the webpage at http://UnitedNYEIProviders.weebly.com for additional information and membership information. If you are either a parent of a child who has received early intervention or is currently receiving early intervention or a provider of services in any discipline, join us.
I have also provided a link to our Petition for your easy access: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/To-Preserve-and-Protect-NYS-Early-Intervention/
Leslie Grubler MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH
Founding Director, UNYEIP/UNYEIPAP