This year’s budget creates independent advocacy assistance program for people with I/DD

Originally published in Medicaid Matters New York

Medicaid Matters New York, the statewide coalition representing the interests of people across New York State served by Medicaid, thanks Governor Hochul for including $2 million in the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) budget to create the independent intellectual and developmental disability ombudsman program.  

The coalition also thanks Senator John Mannion for his leadership to advance legislation to create the program in the Mental Hygiene Law.

Thanks to this new program, people with I/DD, their family members and their advocates will now have help navigating the complex system of services and care coordination intended to provide for their needs and choices.  The program will be available statewide and will provide advice and advocacy support to individuals with I/DD, their family members, and advocates.

We applaud this as a vital first step in ensuring better services and assistance for people with I/DD.  We look forward to working with OPWDD to ensure the program operates independently and includes functions and activities to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with I/DD and the system of I/DD services that serves them.