While this email is going out, Center for Disaiblty Rights (CDR)/RCIL are both in Albany, New York with roughly 50 advocates to protect the rights of people with disabilities living independently in the community. We are here to address the urgent need for New York State to fully fund attendant overtime rates starting January 1st, when the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) companionship rule changes goes into effect.

This rule change requires attendants be paid for travel time and are adequately paid overtime, but what the change does not include is the additional Medicaid funding necessary to cover these cost increases! If New York State does not establish and implement a mechanism to cover these costs, this change will force CDR and so many other service providers to cut attendant hours; not only harming the attendants affected, but also putting countless people with disabilities at risk of institutionalization!

This issue, like so many others, is an example of the important advocacy work that we do to protects the rights of people with disabilities living independently in home and community-based settings. Our work continues every day.

As CDR/RCIL address this issue here in Albany today, we are asking all of you to consider a donation to RCIL in support of our on-going advocacy efforts, various programs and services, and our mission.

CDR/RCIL are both currently participating in United Way’s 24-hour online giving campaign – ROC the Day. You can simply log onto www.roctheday.org/RegionalCenterforIndependentLiving until 11:59 pm tonight to donate. The size of your donation does not matter; I am asking that you donate any amount that you can afford. Every donation helps!

If you are unable to make a donation, you can still help! Please share this email with friends and family to help support RCIL’s mission.

THANK YOU for your support and Happy Holidays! 

Thank you,

Dean DeRusso
Deaf Systems Advocate
Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)

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