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News stories tagged with "developmental-disabilities"

Advocates for New York State's hungry rally at the Capitol in Nov., 2012 for an increase in the state's minimum wage. Some social services agencies are concerned about a wage hike. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Advocates for New York State's hungry rally at the Capitol in Nov., 2012 for an increase in the state's minimum wage. Some social services agencies are concerned about a wage hike. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Minimum wage hike pinches social service budgets

As state lawmakers and Governor Cuomo finalize the state budget, it looks like New York will raise the minimum wage gradually over three years.

Under the emerging agreement, the current $7.25 hourly minimum wage would increase to $8 an hour in January, to $8.75 at the beginning of 2015, and reach $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

If it happens, it would mean a wage jump of 24 percent in three years. Business leaders have expressed concern about the increased costs, while labor unions, religious, and anti-hunger groups are pushing for the hike.

Social services agencies in the North Country say increasing the minimum wage could help some people, but it also gives them reasons for concern.  Go to full article

Developmentally disabled and advocates lobby for state funding

One of the areas of disagreement in the state budget centers on funding for services for New Yorkers with developmental disabilities.  Go to full article
Zaccary Fargo, at NYSARC Habilitation Center in Canton. Photo: Julie Grant
Zaccary Fargo, at NYSARC Habilitation Center in Canton. Photo: Julie Grant

Proposed developmental disability cuts worry families

New York's government has proposed cuts of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from programs for the developmentally disabled. That's got a lot of North Country families worried, as agencies that provide those services say they're going to have to make some cuts of their own if this goes through as part of the budget.

Daphne Pickert is executive director at the St. Lawrence NYSARC. She says her organization's budget was cut by nearly $1.3 million just a couple of years ago. They made adjustments, and were able to keep all staff and programs intact. But now the agency is slated to be cut by the same amount again this year.  Go to full article
Amy Colesante, center, protests provisions of New York's new gun control law that she says unfairly stigmatize people with mental illness. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Amy Colesante, center, protests provisions of New York's new gun control law that she says unfairly stigmatize people with mental illness. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Mental health advocates find problems in NY SAFE law

Second Amendment rights advocates, who have held rallies in Albany recently, are not the only group upset with portions of the state's recently enacted gun law. Some people with developmental disabilities believe the law unfairly stigmatizes them.  Go to full article
Courtney Burke heads New York's Office for People with Developmentan Disabilities
Courtney Burke heads New York's Office for People with Developmentan Disabilities

Commissioner touts new protections for people with disabilities

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to create a new state agency, designed to protect people with disabilities living in instutions or assisted-living facilities across New York.

Yesterday, Courtney Burke, who heads the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, traveled to Plattsburgh to promote the idea, which is now being considered by the state Assembly. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Sunmount under fire following incident last year (NCPR file photo)
Sunmount under fire following incident last year (NCPR file photo)

Officials say reforms underway at Sunmount and statewide

Yesterday in Albany, the state Assembly held a public hearing into allegations that some disabled people have been abused while cared for at facilities like Sunmount in Tupper Lake.

A New York Times report last week suggested that "systemic abuse" exists across the state, especially at large institutional care facilities. As Todd Moe reports, state officials say reforms are now underway.  Go to full article
Sunmount Developmental Center (Photo:  Brian Mann
Sunmount Developmental Center (Photo: Brian Mann

Community leaders, workers defend Sunmount

Fall-out continues this week from a New York Times article published Monday that described "patterns of abuse" at the Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake

Sunmount cares for some of the most troubled and vulnerable people with developmental disabilities. The facility is also one of the region's top employers, providing over one thousand jobs.

State officials and disability advocates said the report in the Times makes it clear that reforms are needed but local workers and elected officials said the vast majority of workers at Sunmount are doing a good job, providing safe and supportive care.

Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
We must thoroughly examine and reform the system to... protect the vulnerable individuals in our system...

NY Times claims "patterns of abuse" at Sunmount in Tupper Lake

Yesterday the New York Times ran a front-page investigative story about the way New York state cares for people with developmental disabilities.

A major focus of the article was the Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake, which cares for some of the state's highest risk and most demanding special-needs clients.

Reporter Danny Hakim wrote that "patterns of abuse appear embedded in the culture of Sunmount." He pointed to four episodes last year where a supervisor was accused of physical and psychological abuse.

Adirondack reporter Brian Mann spoke with Martha Foley about the article and its impact on the debate over Sunmount's future  Go to full article

Four dead, three injured at group home fire in Hamilton County

Four elderly residents died at a group home in Hamilton County on Saturday following an early morning fire. The blaze struck the Riverview home in the town of Wells, which is operated by New York state. Two staff members and a fifth patient were also injured. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

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