Special Education Information/Contacts/Resources

Disability Justice, Education, Health Justice, Immigrant Justice, News, Special Education

The back of a student who is walking through a park.

LAST UPDATED: 06/18/2024

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) offers information and resources to students with disabilities, their caregivers, and other advocates. We will update the information weekly. Please contact us if you seek advocacy assistance regarding the education of your child with a disability by calling 212-244-4664 or at www.nylpi.org/get-help/.

*VERY IMPORTANT*

Student Mental Health Resources: School, extracurriculars, work, and life can be stressful from time to time. This is why it’s essential to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being. Check out our list of student mental health resources–all completely free–to use when you’re in need of some extra support. 

Note: This is not a complete list of all the free and low-cost mental health resources available. If you are experiencing a crisis, please call 911 or 988, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. Student Mental Health Resources | Get Schooled

NYTimes: As Misconduct Complaints Rise in N.Y.C. Schools, Investigations Decline: Budget constraints and staff shortages reduced capacity at the agency that investigates criminal behavior in public schools, according to the City Council. Last year, the office received more than 10,260 complaints, a record high, compared with 9,630 in 2019. Full story>>https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/18/nyregion/sexual-misconduct-complaints-nyc-schools-investigations.html?unlocked_article_code=1.0k0.39tE.7edfFK8XQJjM&smid=em-share

Join NYC libraries this summer for free programs and events for all ages!

  • Discover book lists, activities, and challenges to help kids read, learn, and have fun.
  • Find out what’s going on for teens at your local library, including our new and enhanced Teen Centers.
  • Explore book talks, language classes, and career services for adults.
  • Choose from millions of books and more to borrow—with no late fines.
  • Plus, use your library card to get free passes to 90+ museums and attractions across NYC! For more information NYC Summer Reading

NYLPI’S DISABILITY AND HEALTH JUSTICE PROGRAMS WILL CO-HOST VIRTUAL INTRODUCTION TO DISABILITY AND ITS IMPACT ON IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS ON JUNE 27

NYLPI joins the New York Immigration Coaltion (NYIC) and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) for “Representing Immigrants with Disabilities: An Introduction to Disability and its Impact on Immigrant Populations,” a virtual training session on Thursday, June 27, 2024 from 11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. on Zoom. Michelle Kraus, manager, Disability Justice Social Work and Intake Services, Sophie Dalsimer, co-director of Health Justice, and Christopher Schuyler, managing attorney, Disability Justice, will provide a comprehensive introduction to understanding disability from a rights-based perspective, focusing on the vital intersection of disability and immigration. CLE credit will be available, as well as ASL Interpretation and Captioning. Register here: bit.ly/3X8pGyE

NY1-Advocates, elected officials call for more funding for immigrant students and families: Immigrant advocates and some elected officials are calling on the Adams administration to invest more money into academic and early childhood programs for the city’s immigrant youth population, including asylum seekers. Full story>>Rally demands funding for immigrant students and families (ny1.com)

Save the Date-Latino Conference 

¡Reserva la fecha! Celebremos juntos el 11 de octubre, los 20 años de la Conferencia Latina 2024.

Visítenos a yai.org/latino y regístrese en los seminarios web y los recursos para educar y empoderar la comunidad latina. 

¡Te esperamos! ¿Preguntas? Llamenos a 212.273.6412/Envie un correo a [email protected]/#YAILatino

Reopening of NYCHA Section 8 Waitlist: The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) will reopen the waitlist for its Housing Choice Voucher (also known as Section 8) Program from Monday, June 3, 2024, at 12:00 AM through Sunday, June 9, 2024, at 11:59 PM. To apply, visit on.nyc.gov/section8-application

Sinergia-Metropolitan Parent Center: June 21st, 2024, 10:30am-12pm EST

Education Records Organizer: If you have a child with special needs, you have accumulated IEP’s, evaluations, progress reports, correspondence, notes, journals, samples of work and many other documents. This presentation will help you organize your documents so that you are prepared for your next CPSE/CSE or 504 meeting. Language: English with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish via Zoom.RSVP via Zoom June 27th, 2024, 10:30am-12pm EST

College Access & Job Training for Students with Disabilities: In this presentation, Advocates for Children (AFC) will continue its series on supporting students with disabilities as they prepare to transition out of high school. In this segment, AFC will share information on and advocacy tips for (1) job training programs and (2) the college accommodations process, for students with disabilities. Come with questions, as we’ll save time at the end for a Q&A! Language: English with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish via Zoom. RSVP via Zoom

Education 

Disability Scoop-Feds Push Schools To Improve Accessibility-by Shaun Heasley | June 5, 2024-More than 30 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, many schools remain inaccessible to students with disabilities. Now, federal officials are calling for change. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education recently released a webinar detailing recommendations for school districts to make their facilities more accessible. The move comes in response to a Government Accountability Office report issued almost four years ago, which found that the majority of public school districts were not physically accessible to students with disabilities. Full Story>>Feds Push Schools To Improve Accessibility – Disability Scoop

NPR – Education

Why children with disabilities are missing school and losing skills-Cory Turner: Emma has multiple health conditions, including cerebral palsy. She uses a wheelchair, a feeding tube and is nonverbal. To communicate, she uses a special device, like an iPad, that speaks a word or phrase when she presses the corresponding button. She is also immunocompromised and has mostly done school from home this year, over Zoom, with help from an aide in the classroom. At least, that’s what was supposed to happen. Full report>>Children with disabilities are missing school because of a staffing crisis : NPR

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law: Bazelon Celebrates Critical Civil Rights Protections for People with Disabilities in New HHS Rule Implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act The Bazelon Center commends the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS): The rule updates and strengthens the lead regulation implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a federal law that prohibits disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance or that are administered by a Federal agency. Last fall, the Bazelon Center co-authored coalition comments with members of the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) that responded to HHS’ then-proposed Section 504 rule. Full report>> 5-9-24-Bazelon-Celebrates-Expanded-Civil-Rights-Protections-for-People-w-Disabilities-in-Historic-New-HHS-Rule.pdf

AFC: NYC Restores $514M in Funding for Critical Education Programs: After months of advocacy with our partners in the Emergency Coalition to Save Education Programs, it was a big moment when Mayor Eric Adams announced the City would be restoring $514 million in funding for programs that families rely on. While we celebrate this victory, we also continue to advocate: there are still essential programs with funding on the chopping block, and we cannot afford to lose them. Full report>> Emergency Coalition to Save Education Programs – Advocates for Children of New York

AFC’s updated tip sheet on dealing with transportation concerns: https://advocatesforchildren.org/resource/resolving-transportation-issues/

One Way to a Better City: Ask Disabled People to Design It

What would it be like to live in a city designed by, or at least with, the disabled? For starters, that metropolis’s main public library and its most august museum would not sit atop monumental staircases. The designer, historian, and Parsons professor David Gissen opens his book The Architecture of Disability with a description of the day in 1990 when dozens of protesters jettisoned crutches and wheelchairs and hauled themselves up the U.S. Capitol steps on their stomachs or backs. The Capitol Crawl, he points out, was about more than access: It dramatized just how alienated disabled people feel from monuments that are meant to embody a democratic idea. Gissen imagines an urban environment that would do more than grudgingly accommodate people who can’t see or walk or hear, or who have cognitive impairments. Rather than treat disability as a separate category of sufferers with special needs, he yearns for a city that would recognize, and take its shape from, the vast variety of physical experience. Read full article here. 

Office of Eligibility Information Services (EIS)
Please be advised that the Medicaid Alert, Disability Determination by New York State Medicaid Disability Review Unit (SDRU), has been updated and is currently available in the Medicaid Alerts section on the MARC website. To access the document, please click here and use your registered email address to login.

The final budget bill for Health and Mental Hygiene has been published. You can read it here. The legislature will likely pass the budget this weekend.

Federal Judge Lets Human Rights Case Against Access-A-Ride Proceed

The MTA may be violating New York City Human Rights Law for requiring people with disabilities to book Access-A-Ride trips by 5 p.m. the day before travel, a federal judge has found.

While U.S. District Court Judge Jessica Clarke ruled that the paratransit system’s scheduling requirement does not violate the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, she did indicate that its routing operation can lead to excessively long trips because of “illogical and unnecessarily circuitous routes.”

The March 29 decision stems from an April 2023 lawsuit in Manhattan federal court that charged the MTA with failing to provide Access-A-Ride users with paratransit options that offer “comparable” service to what is provided to people without disabilities who take the subways and the buses.  Read more!

Benefit Planning and Work!

COAPSE and The Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities are partnering to bring you an informative webinar about Benefit Planning and Work!
May 1st 6:00-8:00PM  Location: Zoom

Join Lisa Brown, New York Employment Services System (NYESS) Assistant Director for information about why employment is a good idea even while on benefits! The presentation will include:

  • Myths and Facts about Employment and Benefits
  • SSA Benefits (SSI and SSDI),
  • Healthcare Benefits and the use of (Medicaid 1619 (b), and Medicaid Buy-In

Register Today!    http://tinyurl.com/ypfexvku

For needed accommodations or language translation please email:  [email protected]

Gov. Hochul launches expansion of youth mental health clinics in schools across state.

Governor Kathy Hochul made a major announcement on Tuesday in the state’s fight to combat the rising youth mental health crisis. Hochul says the state is launching its expansion of school-based mental health clinics, which will provide extra resources for kids. Read more 

Boldly Reimagining Special Education – Special Education Advisory Council

On December 1st, Chancellor Banks announced plans to form a Special Education Advisory Council to help reimagine special education in NYC. NYC Public Schools convened a diverse group of stakeholders to launch the council on February 27, 2023. Composed of mostly external stakeholders and key NYC Public Schools field personnel, the council serves in an advisory capacity and voices concerns on important issues. 

The council will recommend and provide actionable feedback on the proposals their respective internal working groups make with cabinet’s approval. The advisory council, which includes local community members, public school staff, students, parents, and NYC Public Schools field personnel, meets bimonthly to voice concerns on important issues in special education. Sub-Councils meet monthly to develop recommendations to improve special education.

New York City Public Schools has partnered with the Center for Public Research and Leadership (CPRL) at Columbia University to co-facilitate the Special Education Advisory Council.

Reimagining Special Education Advisory Council Report  

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/special-education/boldly-reimagining-special-education 

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and our two private sector partners, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, are pleased to announce our new report, “A CRISIS IN SPECIAL EDUCATION: New York City’s Failure to Educate Students Classified with ‘Emotional Disability.’” The full report can be found here.

 

SAVE THE DATE

¿TIENE PREGUNTAS SOBRE CÓMO LE ESTÁ YENDO A SU HIJO/A EN LA ESCUELA?  En solo 15-20 minutos hablaremos sobre las próximas conferencias de padres y maestros y como debe prepárese. También compartiremos la política de promoción de kínder- grado 12 para estudiantes en escuelas públicas de la ciudad de Nueva York. Enlace para unirse >>

QUEENS AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES WALK & RESOURCE FAIR. Join families, advocates, and elected officials to raise awareness and connect with local organizations that serve families and children with disabilities in Queens. Rain date: May 18. Learn more >>

Registration is open for the Virtual After School Art Program, Friends are We! Building Social Skills through the Arts!
February – June 2024

This interactive after-school program will offer children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), from ages 3 up to 13 years old, with social skills development through the arts. The program involves the participation of students’ parents to learn skills taught and then to reinforce them at home and in their communities. Students will explore various visual art forms in an interactive small group setting. Contact our intake line at 212-643-2840 Ext. 602 or send an email to [email protected] to learn more about program eligibility and to request an application. Space is limited, priority will be given to Bronx residents, who are NOT OPWDD eligible. Please complete the application here.

Empowering Your Employees with Disabilities

INCLUDEnyc will host a breakfast panel discussion, Empowering Your Employees with Disabilities, as our 2024 benefit on May 15 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. Moderated by Cheryelle Cruickshank, Executive Director at INCLUDEnyc, the discussion will feature Seth Kramer, Vice President, Sustainability, Goldman Sachs and member of the INCLUDEnyc Board; Sujatha Menon Zafar, Global Head of DEI, S&P; Lois Durant, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Sheppard Mullin; and Carly Teichman, CEO, JobPath. To purchase a sponsorship or tickets, click on the button below or contact Steve Clayton at [email protected] or 212-677-4650 – Purchase Sponsorships or Tickets 

Outdoors for Autism
We are so excited to host our eighth annual Outdoors for Autism on Sunday, June 2. Join us at Rev. T. Wendell Foster Park for arts, music, games, sports, and bubbles! (Did we say bubbles?) You bring the blanket and we’ll bring the fun! Register here 

EDUCATION

Disability Scoop: Supreme Court Asked To Consider Whether Parents Can Record IEP Meetings
by Michelle Diament | May 13, 2024. The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to take up a case centering on whether parents have the right to record meetings with their child’s school district about special education services. Full report>> Supreme Court Asked To Consider Whether Parents Can Record IEP Meetings – Disability Scoop

EMPLOYMENT

The Hill- AI is causing massive hiring discrimination based on disability: AI hiring algorithms are riddled with harmful biases. This is a reflection of the real-life hiring data they were trained on, which is heavily biased. An estimated 70 percent of companies and 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use AI in their hiring processes. The consequences are huge, particularly for people who most often experience systemic discrimination in hiring. Full story>> AI is causing massive hiring discrimination based on disability | The Hill

EVENTS

Metropolitan Parent Center Newsletter, May 2024 The Metropolitan Parent Center invites you to join us in person for all future hybrid presentations! We are excited to open our doors once again for parents and professionals to join us at Sinergia post pandemic. To check all events in English and Spanish, check Workshops | Sinergiany

RESOURCES

Students enrolling in NYC schools who have disabilities can get services through a comparable service plan until the NYC school does new evaluations and holds an IEP meeting. They don’t have to wait. Learn more in the Special Education Resource for Newly Arrived Families guide, also available in other languages. Still have questions?Contact Advocates for Children.

Access-A-Ride newsletter and other resources

Read our AAR newsletter and find more resources for paratransit travel in New York. Your AAR reservation and trip info are a click away! Imagine not having to call AAR to make a reservation or locate your vehicle! AAR customers who have access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone can book and track their AAR trips with the MY AAR app. Watch this video to learn how to download MY AAR and start using it today!

HIGH SCHOOL OFFERS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. All information about high school matches is now available on MySchools, including any details about waitlists. Note: if you were matched with a school that was not your first choice, you will notice that you have been automatically added to waitlists for any schools you ranked higher. You can always add yourself to additional waitlists! Learn more >>

MISSED THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR KINDERGARTEN? Families who missed the deadline can still add their child to waitlists online via MySchools. (This does not include kindergarten G&T programs or waitlists.) Learn more in this “How to Add Your Child to Waitlists” video from the DOE. 

YAI’s Social Skills and Ballet Yoga Movement & Socialization programs are currently enrolling applicants for virtual spring groups:
The Social Skills program is open to children ages 5-12 on the autism spectrum.* Groups cover topics including communication, feelings, and friendship. The Zoom sessions are held on Thursdays from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
The Ballet Yoga program is open to children ages 4-10 on the autism spectrum.* Groups provide creative movement activities and introductory yoga poses, while teaching social skills in a relaxed setting. The hour-long Zoom sessions are held on Mondays from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

YAI’s Front Door Information Session

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce that new Front Door Information Session videos are now available for viewing on the OPWDD website

  • Getting Started with OPWDD
  • The Front Door Process
  • Eligibility
  • Services
  • OPWDD Residential and Housing Supports
  • OPWDD Employment Services
  • Self-Direction
  • OPWDD Care Management
  • Assessment
  • Funding

Five tips on filling out the new Better FAFSA

For NYC Public School Parents:
The Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE) is collecting data on the provision of special education services here in NYC. As a result, they have created an anonymous survey on IEP-mandated missed related services (ex. speech, occupational and physical therapy, counseling, assisted technology, etc.). Please help them by filling it out if your child has not received services this school year and/or if they have been delayed.

Disability-friendly colleges Intelligent

QUESTIONS TO ASK AT PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES. 

Not sure what to ask at the first parent-teacher conferences of the year? Our tip sheet has a list of helpful questions to help guide conversations on your child’s classroom participation, reading, learning style, and more. Get the tip sheet >>

Student Loan Repayment Options/Resources:

The U.S. Department of Education’s pause on student loan payments and 0% interest rate period has ended. Student loan interest returned in September 2023, and payments are due starting in October. Resources that may help manage your repayment: Student Loan Repayment Options/Resources

GED Fully Accessible Test Center

People with a wide array of disabilities and barriers to employment come to ICD for the support they deserve. Whether it’s vocational evaluation, career exploration, direct skills training, work readiness training, or job placement, we’re here for you. Questions about the Accessible GED Test Center? Reach out to us: Call (212) 585-6000 or Email [email protected]. ICD’s Fully Accessible GED Test Center — ICD Institute for Career Development (icdnyc.org)

The fully accessible guide to paying for college for students with disabilities
Yahoo! Finance

Guide to trade school for people with disabilities
PrimeWeld

GED
To support New Yorkers with disabilities who didn’t finish high school, ICD launched the first GED test center in NYC designed specifically to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Equipped with assistive technologies, specialized staff, and the accessible facilities needed to accommodate diverse needs, what really sets ICD’s fully accessible GED test center apart is our no-cost wrap-around services.

NEWS

The 19th News-Newly disabled people aren’t given a ‘how-to’ guide. Disability doulas are closing those gaps: Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu began doing disability doula work long before they ever heard the term. From the time they were in middle school, they remember “being responsible for big, intense crisis situations” with their friends. Full Story>>What are disability doulas? People provide support through isolating life transitions (19thnews.org)

USA TODAY-Special education clash at Supreme Court: Why one dad is asking to record school meetings: Like many parents of a child with a learning disability, Scott Pitta is daunted by school meetings to come up with a teaching plan that accommodates his son’s autism. There’s the byzantine special education terminology. The large number of participants. The need to take notes and try to follow what’s being said while advocating for his son, J.J. Full Story>>Special education clash: Dad takes school meeting fight to Supreme Court (usatoday.com)

Chalkbeat

NY is poised to phase out Regents exam requirements. For English learners, especially, it’s past time: I cheered when the news broke Monday morning that the New York State Education Department plans to make Regents exams optional — meaning that passing these tests, which have been administered for more than 150 years, will no longer be required to earn a standard high school diploma.

The Board of Regents still has to vote in November, and students will have to take these exams for at least another year. But the planned change can’t come soon enough, especially for our growing cohort of English Language Learners, or ELLs. Full story>>For English learners, it’s past time to phase out Regents requirements – Chalkbeat

Most NYC high schools don’t have a student newspaper. Teachers can help change that: At the start of seventh period each day, student journalists noisily enter my classroom — many of them still finishing half-eaten lunches. They grab laptops and get to work trying to produce stories for our newspaper.

Some leave class to find people to interview for stories; some decide that the story they pitched isn’t going to work out after all; some ask me questions about our school for stories they’re writing; some read student journalism from elsewhere in the city or from around the country. Full Story>>More NYC schools need newspapers. Teachers can help make that happen. – Chalkbeat

As millions in pandemic food benefits expire in NYC, a new summer meals program approaches: For families across New York City, unused food benefits from the final installment of a pandemic-era program have already begun to expire — but some will see additional funds through a new program that lays on the horizon. Full Story>>What NYC families should know as new summer meals program approaches – Chalkbeat

NY is changing high school graduation requirements. Here’s what’s next in the multi-year effort: Students will no longer be required to pass the state’s Regents exams to earn a high school diploma under a set of proposed actions New York Education officials outlined on Monday. Instead, they will have a menu of options to choose from to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in seven key areas: critical thinking, effective communication, cultural and social-emotional competences, innovative problem solving, literacy across content areas, and a status as a “global citizen.” Full Story>>How NY graduation requirements could change under latest proposed actions – Chalkbeat

After failing English Regents,Principal pushed immigrant students to transfer, They thought graduation was near. Instead, several immigrant students were pressured to transfer: The 18-year-old senior had made quick academic progress since arriving at the Cyberarts Studio Academy in Park Slope, Brooklyn — CASA, for short — from Ecuador last year knowing no English. She had passed four of her five required Regents exams and earned more than enough credits to graduate, according to Genesis and a school staffer familiar with her transcript. Full report>>NYC principal pushed immigrant students to transfer, families and staff say – Chalkbeat

How I talk to my students about gender identity: People sometimes assume trans and nonbinary educators are correcting pronouns resentfully or talking about gender in age-inappropriate ways. The truth is far more mundane. Full story>> I’m a nonbinary educator. Here’s how I talk to students about pronouns. – Chalkbeat

Pre-K providers say 60-day shelter limits have harmed families: Teachers have had to switch up their curriculums mid-year, rebuild relationships, and reset their classroom expectations as large numbers of kids left and new ones arrived. Full report>> 60-day shelter limit had devastating impact on some NYC preschools: report – Chalkbeat

Despite Adams’ promise, some NYC families don’t land a 3-K seat: Mayor Eric Adams has vowed that every family who wants a seat in New York City’s free preschool program for 3-year-olds will receive one, despite recent cuts to city funding for the early childhood system.

But as the city distributed 3-K offers on Thursday, some families say they didn’t receive a seat at any of the programs to which they applied. Full story>> NYC preschool offers: Some families left without a 3-K seat – Chalkbeat

To meet class size mandate, NYC officials look to virtual learning: In a plan released this week outlining ways that schools could meet the law’s goals, the Education Department suggested that some students could “receive regular remote instruction, potentially reducing the overall impacts on space in schools.” Full story>> To meet class size mandate, NYC officials look to virtual learning – Chalkbeat

NYC launches school food donation program:New York City’s Education Department recently launched a program allowing schools to donate unused packaged food to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters — an effort nearly two years in the making.

Amid growing calls to end legacy admissions, New York considers banning the practice: Proponents of the “Fair College Admissions Act” say giving preference to students whose relatives attended elite colleges and universities overwhelmingly favors white, wealthy families. Full story here: A proposed New York law seeks to end legacy admissions – Chalkbeat

Students taking AP African American Studies say to “forget the haters” as they dive deep into American history in pilot course

Students say the course, which is disdained by some conservative politicians, shows more than just the white perspective of American history. Full Story here: These Michigan students are making history while they learn it – Chalkbeat

LGBTQ students wonder what’s next as conservative states seek to block new Title IX rules: Supporters of new Title IX rules say they’ll protect LGBTQ students and promote welcoming schools. Critics say they undermine women, and that schools shouldn’t comply with them. As lawsuits over the rules pile up, educators could be torn between federal rules and state policies that loom large in classrooms. Full Story>> States sue to overturn Biden Title IX rules, leaving LGBTQ kids in limbo – Chalkbeat

Los Angeles Times: Autism Accounts For Growing Percentage Of Students In Special Ed: More students with disabilities have an autism diagnosis, but prevalence of the developmental disability in special education varies by state. (Don Kelsen/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

  • Special education students across the nation are increasingly likely to have autism, with new data showing that the percentage has more than doubled in recent years. Nearly 13% of students with disabilities had autism during the 2022-2023 school year. By comparison, just shy of 5% had such a diagnosis in 2008-2009. 
  • The information comes from a report issued recently by the U.S. Department of Education looking at those ages 5 to 21 served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act who are on the spectrum.
  • At the high end, 17.28% of students with disabilities in California had autism while just 5.76% did in Montana as of the 2022-2023 school year. More than 4 out of 5 students with autism nationally were boys, the Education Department found. About 40% of those with autism spent at least 80% of their day in regular classrooms and roughly 72% ended their time in school by earning a regular high school diploma.
  • The upward trend in the percentage of special education students with autism comes as overall prevalence has grown. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimatesthat about 1 in 36 children have autism, up from 1 in 150 two decades ago.

KFF Health News: Mandatory Reporting Laws Meant To Protect Children Get Another Look: Kristin Jones

Since then, mandatory reporting laws have expanded nationally to include more types of maltreatment — including neglect, which now accounts for most reports — and have increased the number of professions required to report. In some states, all adults are required to report what they suspect may be abuse or neglect.

But now there are efforts in Colorado and other states to roll back these laws, saying the result has been too many unfounded reports, and that they disproportionately harm families that are poor, Black, or Indigenous or have members with disabilities. Full Report>> Mandatory Reporting Laws Meant To Protect Children Get Another Look – KFF Health News

Federal judge lets human rights case against Access-A-Ride proceed
The City

PBS Kids adds American Sign Language interpreters to some of its children’s shows
Fast Company

What a mayoral control extension deal means for NYC schools

Gov. Kathy Hochul pushed for extending mayoral control as budget negotiations continued this week in Albany. It’s a win for Mayor Eric Adams, though it comes with some concessions.

2 New York City congresswomen unveil new electric school bus fleet for Earth Day PIX11

Nearly 30,000 students shut out of city’s popular summer school program City & State

An attempt to rollback protections for trans students in sports angers NYC students and families

A Manhattan parent board’s nonbinding resolution to revisit school guidelines on transgender girls’ participation in sports raised alarms among trans students and their allies.

CCD75 Annual Parent & Caregiver Survey! 

Please complete this survey by Monday, May, 12th 2024 – 2:00 p.m. (EST)

We need your help — please share your opinions in this 5-minute survey! 

You can also email [email protected] to provide feedback.

Your opinions are important to us. We look forward to keeping you updated about this report and hope you take our survey!

New rules that protect students from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity will take effect in August. On Friday, the Biden administration announced long awaited rule changes to Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. Already, state superintendents in Louisiana and South Carolina have told schools to disregard the changes, settling the stage for potential legal battles and leaving many LGBTQ students unsure of their rights.

State spending on preschool hit a record high last year, a new report found. COVID relief funding played a crucial role in that increase, as half of all new state spending on pre-K was backed by pandemic aid. Some states have budgeted money to replace the expiring federal funds, but others haven’t laid out their plans.

For high school senior Miriam Galicia, it took months of calls and extra counseling sessions to successfully apply for college aid. As Galicia writes in this First Person essay, she called the federal helpline so many times that she memorized the automated message. It was just one of the many extra hoops she and other students whose parents lack a Social Security number had to jump through to complete the new FAFSA. All that left her wondering: “Why was our family, our experience, overlooked when this new ‘easier’ FAFSA was implemented?”

As NYC’s education budget hits a fiscal cliff, Adams saves several school programs

The smaller budget is largely the result of expiring federal relief dollars, and Adams’ proposal saves a slew of programs that were on the chopping block.

Advocates for Children released a brief highlighting the impact of the work provided by the 100 shelter-based community coordinators hired in 2022-23. The shelter-based community coordinators (SBCCs) help families find appropriate educational programs, secure busing, navigate the special education process, and so much more. We are excited to share that, just last week, continued funding for the SBCCs was included in the Mayor’s Executive Budget. For more information, see AFC’s press release.

The latest episode of P.S. Weekly dives into New York City’s notoriously complex special education system, which serves 1 in 5 students — or more than 200,000 children.

Students with disabilities have the right to customized support — listed on individualized education programs, or IEPs, or 504 plans — that spell out what accommodations they need, from smaller classes to frequent breaks. But securing a learning plan, and getting the services listed on it, can be an uphill battle. Listen to the episode here or on your preferred podcast platform.

NYC teens launch an online hub to make youth civic engagement more accessible

The ‘Youth Civic Hub,’ an online portal launched on Friday, designed ‘by youth, for youth,’ aims to increase youth civic engagement and electoral participation.

Judge: Lawsuit over pandemic-era services to NYC students with disabilities can proceed

A class-action lawsuit filed by students with disabilities and their parents claiming the city Department of Education failed to provide them with services during the pandemic will proceed, a federal judge ruled Thursday. The lawsuit was filed in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, demanding that the education department provide services like remote learning devices. The case was dismissed in 2022, but an appeals court later overturned that ruling. Read more!

Teaching disability history is long overdue
WBGH

Parents frequently asked questions about upcoming state exams
New York State Education Department

How thoughtful post-secondary planning can raise expectations for students in special education
KQED

Your IEP can be a big help to you at college
Patch

Exercise is essential, but many people with disabilities find gyms inaccessible and unwelcoming
ABC.net

Teaching disability history in schools is ‘long-overdue,’ advocates say
WGBH 

People with disabilities are advocating for more accessibility – and the travel industry is listening
Boston Globe

Mayoral control report finds ‘inconclusive’ research, public calls for reform

The state’s Education Department released Tuesday its highly anticipated report on mayoral control, as negotiations over the city’s polarizing school governance structure remain ongoing.

President Joe Biden has rolled out another student debt relief plan. See if you qualify.

The Biden administration estimates over 30 million people who hold student loan debt would be eligible for some kind of debt relief, although the White House’s plan will likely draw a legal challenge.

Top NYC education official insists schools won’t get leeway on curriculum mandate due to demographics

“There’s no difference in how we’re implementing based on demographics of kids,” Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg said. “That’s actually a pretty disturbing suggestion.

Young adults at Rikers say they’re systematically blocked from school
Young adults incarcerated at Rikers Island are systematically denied the opportunity to attend school, in violation of their legal rights, according to a motion filed Monday in federal court by The Legal Aid Society.

Those at Rikers who are ages 18-21 are entitled to attend the East River Academy, the public school in the facility, to work towards a high school diploma or GED. But in practice, they are frequently told they’re ineligible to attend school based on which housing unit they’re assigned to, or that they can’t attend class because no guards are available to escort them, according to declarations from 29 incarcerated young people. Read more.

NYC suspends Social Security payouts to some disabled foster kids to protect federal fundingSome disabled foster children in New York City’s care aren’t receiving individual Social Security payments — even though Mayor Adams’ administration rolled out a policy two years ago designed to let the vulnerable kids use the federal benefits to build up personal savings, the Daily News has learned.

The policy, enacted in summer 2022, required the city Administration for Children’s Services to stop using the Social Security payments to cover the cost of housing and other services for foster kids entitled to the payments due to qualifying disabilities. Under the 2022 policy shift, the money instead was to be put into savings accounts the kids could tap into upon exiting the foster system — a move Jess Dannhauser, Adams’ children’s services commissioner, was quoted as lauding at the time. Read more!

School staffers in shelters are a lifeline to NYC’s homeless families. Now their jobs are at risk.

The staffers play a critical role on the front lines of two colliding crises: the exploding number of students living in homeless shelters, and elevated rates of chronic absenteeism in the wake of the pandemic.

They are among a long list of critical workers and programs whose funding is tied to expiring federal aid – a list that includes 450 school social workers, free preschool for 3-year-olds, and community schools that partner with community organizations to provide extra services to families. As budget deadlines approach, families and advocates are urging the city to preserve these shelter-based school workers. Read the full story.

NYC families receive middle school offers, as city considers changing admissions process
For months, the city has floated a potential change to the process at parent leader meetings.

Justice Department: Schools Used Discipline To Address Disability-Related Behaviors
The Pasco County school district has agreed to change the way its schools treat students with disabilities as part of a settlement related to a U.S. Department of Justice civil rights investigation.

The Justice Department announced the settlement with the school district last month after a lengthy investigation concluded that Pasco schools engaged in disability discrimination. Read more

How NYS’ budget could impact living opportunities for people with disabilities
WBFO 

How flawed IQ tests prevent kids from getting help in school
Hechinger Report

Under mental health strains, students weigh quitting college
Ed Surge

The deep conflict between our work and parenting
New York Times

How the new National Teacher of the Year became ‘the advocate for my students’ families’

After a colleague at her school left her job, Missy Testerman worried about who would advocate for immigrant families. So she switched gears in her educational career to fill the gap. She spoke to Chalkbeat about what she wants policymakers to know about schools and how she wants teacher preparation to change.

SAFEGUARDING SUCCESS: THE NEED TO SUSTAIN FUNDING FOR SHELTER-BASED COMMUNITY COORDINATORS (SBCCs). Our latest brief highlights the impact of the 100 SBCCs, who help families in shelter find appropriate education programs, secure busing, navigate the special education process, and much more. The SBCCs have played a critical role in helping newcomer immigrant students navigate an unfamiliar system, but funding for all SBCCs is set to run out in June. Learn more and take action >>

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Secures Over $12 Million in Funding for Bronx, Queens

We’re so excited to share that we’re bringing over $12 million in federal funding for community projects in The Bronx and Queens! The federal funding will help establish a violence prevention-focused community center in Astoria, create a youth center for Co-op City residents, improve street safety on Astoria Boulevard and Westchester Square, and more. Find the full list of projects here.

Biden wants $8 billion for academic recovery. Congress could easily shrug off the idea.

The president’s budget proposal, which would also increase funding for civil rights probes and student financial aid, faces a hostile and deadlocked Congress, which typically ignores or scorns White House spending blueprints.

At this South Bronx magnet program, kids get schooled in cannabis New York Daily News

What students with physical disabilities should look for in a college
U.S. News and World Report

The fully accessible guide to paying for college for students with disabilities
Yahoo! Finance

Guide to trade school for people with disabilities
PrimeWeld

What a mayoral control extension deal means for NYC schools

Gov. Kathy Hochul pushed for extending mayoral control as budget negotiations continued this week in Albany. It’s a win for Mayor Eric Adams, though it comes with some concessions.\

Eric Adams commits $500 million to partially avert fiscal cliff for NYC schools

The money will prop up a range of education programs, including preschool for 3-year-olds and social worker jobs funded through soon-to-expire federal pandemic aid.

Mayor Eric Adams is cobbling together more than $500 million in city and state funding to plug a hole in the Education Department’s budget left by the federal COVID relief funding that’s expiring this year, he was expected announced on Friday. The money will prop up a range of education programs that were set to be cut because of the disappearing federal dollars, including hundreds of social workers, an expansion of free preschool for 3-year-olds, and new staffers working in homeless shelters. By far, this marks the city’s largest commitment to date to replace the dwindling pandemic aid.

Read the story.

State Education Department Releases Report on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools

Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced today that the New York State Education Department submitted its report on mayoral control of New York City schools to the Governor and Legislature. The report, which includes detailed analyses, findings, and recommendations from the public, examines the New York City public school system before and after the 2002 enactment of mayoral control. Additionally, the report summarizes direct feedback from the public—including students, parents, teachers, administrators, and education experts—on their experiences, assessments, and review of mayoral control. The final report is a robust, nearly 300-page document that reflects the thorough nature and seriousness of this legislatively required project. Read more 

Concern over NYC student access to sports leads to civil rights complaint

The city Education Department says it’s prioritizing students in the neediest schools and has added hundreds of new teams. But the situation has led one school’s dean to file a federal civil rights complaint.

 High school students would be required to fill out the FAFSA under a proposed NY law

As lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul work toward a budget deal, some want to include a “universal FAFSA” law requiring high school students to complete college financial aid forms.

PODCAST: A high schooler working at Bloomberg — plus ‘shotgunning’ college applications

One is participating in an intensive apprenticeship program at Bloomberg and the other dashed off 23 college applications.

3K and pre-K budget cuts driving NYC kids out of public schools, advocates say
CBS New York

Ms. Rachel, YouTube star known as ‘Beyoncé for toddlers,’ calls out NYC mayor for preschool cuts
Fox 5

Fight over relocating Upper West Side school to make space for migrant kids heats up (Paywall)
New York Daily News

New York Road Runners invests over $3 million in city middle schools
Spectrum News/NY1

New York City’s Young People Need Spaces of Their Own (Opinion)
City Limits

GED  

To support New Yorkers with disabilities who didn’t finish high school, ICD launched the first GED test center in NYC designed specifically to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Equipped with assistive technologies, specialized staff, and the accessible facilities needed to accommodate diverse needs, what really sets ICD’s fully accessible GED test center apart is our no-cost wrap-around services.    

Despite Adams’ promise, some NYC families don’t land a 3-K seat: Mayor Eric Adams has vowed that every family who wants a seat in New York City’s free preschool program for 3-year-olds will receive one, despite recent cuts to city funding for the early childhood system.

But as the city distributed 3-K offers on Thursday, some families say they didn’t receive a seat at any of the programs to which they applied. Full story>> NYC preschool offers: Some families left without a 3-K seat – Chalkbeat

To meet class size mandate, NYC officials look to virtual learning: In a plan released this week outlining ways that schools could meet the law’s goals, the Education Department suggested that some students could “receive regular remote instruction, potentially reducing the overall impacts on space in schools.” Full story>> To meet class size mandate, NYC officials look to virtual learning – Chalkbeat

NYC launches school food donation program:New York City’s Education Department recently launched a program allowing schools to donate unused packaged food to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters — an effort nearly two years in the making.

Amid teacher shortage, NY officials consider alternative certification requirements
In a third of the state’s school districts, 5% or more of staff members are teaching without proper certification, officials said.

 A $30,000 question: Who will get a free preschool seat in New York City?
New York Times

Gov. Hochul launches expansion of youth mental health clinics in schools across state
ABC7NY

NYC mulls directive for principals to hire teachers over other positions in effort to lower class sizes
The plan will need to be approved by the teachers and principals unions, and officials aim to communicate plans to principals by this spring.

Why some New York schools will be closed on Monday, April 8
WNBF News Radio 

Almost half of migrant families who received 60-day eviction notices moved out of NYC shelters

Schools with migrant students forced to move because of the 60-day rule have been grappling with the logistical and emotional fallout of the disruptions

The CDC has relaxed COVID guidelines. Will schools and day cares follow suit?
NBC New York 

She wants therapy. Her mom isn’t so sure. The question of if and when young people can consent to their own mental health treatment is getting increasing attention from policymakers.

NYC releases a report with a series of recommendations for special education
Chalkbeat

BUS STAFFING CHANGES COMING THIS MONTH. NYCBUS will be changing drivers and attendants this month. Drivers change Monday, February 12, and attendants will change Monday, February 26. Learn more >>

We are facing a mental health crisis among migrant students

“Unfortunately, it feels like we are failing [recent arrivals] the minute they walk through our school doors,” writes Ashley Busone Rodriguez, a third grade teacher in New York City.

The list is out: See what curriculum is dominating NYC’s reading mandate
All elementary schools in 22 of the city’s 32 local districts will be required to use Into Reading, a curriculum from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that has won mixed reviews from educators.

Empty display cases, hungry kids, disrupted production: NYC’s cafeteria cuts send shockwaves
The effects of the cuts are spreading beyond school cafeterias. Manufacturers were shocked by New York City’s decision to yank major menu items midyear.

REIMAGINING SPECIAL EDUCATION report: https://cdn-blob-prd.azureedge.net/prd-pws/docs/default-source/default-document-library/reimagining-special-education-advisory-council-report.pdf

Specialized Autism Programs in NYC Public Schools: https://cdn-blob-prd.azureedge.net/prd-pws/docs/default-source/default-document-library/reimagining-special-education-advisory-council-report.pdf

For many immigrant families, the new FAFSA isn’t easier

The rollout of the new federal application for student aid has been something of a disaster. The form came out months later than usual, the website worked sporadically at first, and now federal officials say colleges won’t get students’ information until mid-March. 

That’s a significant delay that will have colleges scrambling to assemble aid packages. And on top of that, there is still no way for parents without Social Security numbers to enter their financial information on the FAFSA —  Read more here 

10,000 NYC students are shut out of programs for children with autism. Adding 160 seats is a start.

Officials acknowledged their efforts represent a drop in the bucket, but said it’s part of a bigger effort to educate kids with disabilities closer to home.

Wheelchair users like my son deserve accessible NYC schools
Chalkbeat

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply equally to older and newer buildings
United Spinal Association

New report on NYC parent perceptions on literacy instruction in their schools
Chalkbeat

Migrant families and schools brace for wave of shelter evictions

Thousands of migrant families with school-aged children will begin having their time in city shelters run out starting Tuesday this week as the first 60-day eviction notices, which the city began passing out in October, start to expire.

Among those whose time runs out Tuesday is Joana, 38, a Venezuelan mother who asked that her last name not be used. She said in recent days she’s been having hard conversations with her 8-year-old daughter about what’s in store. Read the full story.

NYC far behind other US, global cities in transit accessibility: report

New York City’s subway system is far less accessible for people with disabilities than other American and global cities, according to a new report from Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Just 29% of New York City Subway and Staten Island Railway stations are accessible via elevators, according to the report released by the Public Advocate on Wednesday. The MTA has significantly picked up the pace of accessibility work at subway stations in recent years, but New York remains a laggard compared to many of its peer cities in the United States and around the world. Read more at AMNY.com.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Re-Registration Period

Program that allows migrants whose home countries are considered unsafe by the Department of Homeland Security to live and work legally in the United States for a temporary period of time. Residents with TPS have to reregister periodically in order to extend their legal status. The Department of Homeland Security announced that it is extending the re-registration periods for the TPS designations of several countries, including Nepal, Nicaragua and Honduras.  

  • If you are from Nepal, you must re-register by December 23, 2023. Your TPS designation would be valid to live and work in the U.S. for 18 months through June 24, 2025. 
  • If you are from Nicaragua, you must re-register by January 5, 2024. Your TPS designation would be valid to live and work in the U.S. for 18 months through July 5, 2025.
  •  If you are from Honduras, you must re-register by January 5, 2024. Your TPS designation would be valid to live and work in the U.S. for 18 months through July 5, 2025.

For more information about when and where to file, click on the country specific to you on the left side of this page. Our office can assist with I-821 (TPS), I-765 (EAD), and I-131 (travel document) applications if you have not heard back from USCIS within normal process times. Click here to check if your application is outside of processing times. We can be contacted by phone at 718-662-5970. Translation services are available.

The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing

 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/31/business/disability-wheelchair-new-york-city-apartment-rent.html?smid=nytcore-android-share

Fall is time for both Medicare enrollees and ACA Health Insurance Marketplace consumers to review and select their 2024 coverage. 

Medicare open enrollment started October 15 and ends December 7 (coverage changes take effect January 1, 2024) 

Marketplace open enrollment is November 1 to January 15 (enroll by December 15 for coverage starting January 1, 2024)

Hundreds of beds for NYC detainees with serious physical, mental illnesses delayed by years Gothamist, Jessy Edwards

New York City to boost clubhouse services as better mental health treatment ABC News, Ivan Pereira

Harvard cozies up to #MentalHealth TikTok The New York Times, Ellen Barry

Behavioral Health Services – Medicare:

  • Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Services (PDF): BHI is a model of care that incorporates behavioral health care into other care, like primary care, to improve mental, behavioral, or psychiatric health for many patients. We cover 2 types of BHI services.
  • Psychotherapy for Crisis: These services are appropriate for patients in high distress with life-threatening, complex problems that require immediate attention. These services can help reduce a patient’s mental health crisis (including substance use disorder).
  • Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Screening & Treatment: We pay for OUD screenings performed by physicians and non-physician practitioners. If you diagnose your patient with OUD, we also pay for certain treatment services.

Eric Adams says social media is a public health threat to students

The mayor said social media companies needed to take responsibility for possible harms, but offered few details or new policies.

A math problem with no easy solution: Regents scores plummeted during pandemic

Performance on the Regents tests fell in almost every subject, but the decline was steepest for city students in higher-level math courses.

No more cookies, chicken tenders, dumplings: NYC to chop school menus over budget cuts

Other items that will be taken out of circulation in February include bean and cheese burritos, and roasted chicken thigh and leg

NYC needs fully accessible schools. Families like mine depend on it.

Children with disabilities will continue to join our community and need to go to school. They deserve to have friends in the neighborhood, rather than being bused to other counties.

How well is your school teaching your child to read? Some parents feel in the dark, report finds.

Caregivers reported that their schools brushed off concerns about their child’s reading challenges and they were unsure how to get the help they needed.

Eric Adams reverses course: Axes planned cuts to community schools

The move will restore millions in funding to the city’s Education Department, though it represents a fraction of the nearly $550 million cut last year.

Eric Adams boosted pay for special ed pre-K teachers. Now they face deep cuts.

In his first year on the job, Mayor Eric Adams vowed to fix a glaring inequity in the city’s prekindergarten system. His predecessor’s universal free pre-K program, widely celebrated as a national model, did not provide a seat to every child with a disability, despite a legal requirement to do so.

The mayor promised every child with a disability would have a placement by spring 2023. But the city did not keep that promise and the Education Department now projects a gap of up to 1,400 or more seats this spring.

Making matters worse, the federal relief money Adams used to stabilize the special education pre-K providers is drying up. That means more children with disabilities may soon be forced to sit at home without a school placement. Read the full story.

DOT Launches Public Awareness Campaign to Ensure Air Travelers with Disabilities Know Their Rights 

#AccessibleAirTravel celebrates 37th anniversary of the Air Carrier Access Act and builds on multiple actions the Biden-Harris administration is taking to improve air travel for Americans with disabilities The campaign #AccessibleAirTravel was launched to raise awareness about the right of air travelers with disabilities to safe, dignified, and accessible air travel. An estimated 5.5 million Americans use a wheelchair, and many encounter barriers when it comes to air travel. Read more here.

Pre-k And 3-k Applications Opened This Week.

Families of children born in 2020 or 2021 can now apply to Pre-K and 3-K for All programs for September 2024. Learn more about the program options in AFC’s Early Childhood Education Program Guide >> 

Doe Offering Saturday Academy Programs Beginning January 13.

Saturday Academy sites offer appointment-based Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Speech-Language Therapy (SP) for students in pre-K through 12th grade who have not received services mandated by their IEP during the 2023-2024 school year. Saturday Academy sites are open from 8:30-2:30pm, and caregivers must remain on site for the student’s appointment(s). Eligible families should receive an email and a letter with a list of sites and a survey to indicate interest in participating.

6 new magnet high schools coming to Manhattan and Bronx:

Manhattan and the Bronx will get three magnet schools each under a new federal grant aiming to bolster their diversity and academics.

Applications now open for NYC’s free preschool programs. What families need to know:

The programs offer free educational programming to the city’s 3- and 4-year-olds, but have endured enrollment declines and fiscal concerns.

NYC school suspensions spiked 13% last year, returning to pre-pandemic levels:

Suspension levels remain relatively low compared with the past dozen years, though some advocates worry they may rise under Mayor Eric Adams.

New Data on Student Homelessness 

This month, AFC released data showing that 119,320 NYC students — roughly one in nine — experienced homelessness during the 2022–23 school year. While the recent increase in the number of immigrant families has brought greater public attention to the issue, student homelessness is not a new phenomenon: 2022–23 marked the eighth consecutive year in which more than 100,000 public school students were identified as homeless.

Exploring racial and ethnic disparities in learning disability diagnosis among students
Amsterdam News

Analysis: Flipping the script on teaching neurodivergent students – the implications for all students
The 74

Autistic people grieve too
Psychology Today

NYS Bill to target Adverse Childhood Ex­pe­ri­ences Heads to Hochul’s desk

This summer, a bill addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), a range of traumatic events that can hinder a child’s development and can have a severe negative impact on their adult life, passed the state Senate and Assembly. The bill is now being delivered to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Communities of color and low-income families are disproportionately affected by ACEs If it becomes law, this legislation would establish a task force to find solutions for adverse childhood experiences. The bill has yet to be sent to the governor’s desk, but if signed, it would take effect immediately.

Disability Justice and Equity in Housing

We lay out why the connection between disability and affordable housing is so strong, and why it’s so important for housers to understand. Read More or Listen

Time to accelerate making streets safer for the visually impaired

At the time, 3.4 % of NYC’s 13,200 signaled intersections were equipped with Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), which provide signals in the form of audible tones or vibrations that indicate it’s safe to cross the street. As of this past August, the DOT had installed APS at 481 intersections, roughly only three dozen more locations added since 2020. A year later, Judge Engelmayer directed that at least 10,000 city intersections have APS installed by 2031 – 9,000 over the next decade – with all remaining intersections enabled by 2036. Full story here>> Op-Ed | Time to accelerate making streets safer for the visually impaired | amNewYork (amny.com)

Fight for disabled kids – Parents demand civil rights probe of city’s poor bus service

Seventeen families of students with disabilities are demanding a federal civil rights probe into the city’s public schools alleged routine denial of legally mandated school bus service. This failure force students to miss class time and after-school programs, and suffer unnecessarily long commutes. The families are calling on quickly reimburse families who pay out-of-pocket for transportation via rideshare, to appoint an independent monitor to oversee the Education Department’s transportation policies and practices, and for consistent communication with families when their bus is running late. Read more Read more!

Updated Language on NYSED’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Forms and Guidance

  • Model Student Information Summary Form and Mandatory IEP Form
  • General Directions to Use the State’s Mandatory IEP Form
  • Questions and Answers on the IEP, the State’s IEP Form, and Related Requirements
  • Guide to Quality IEP Development and Implementation
      • School districts should review these documents to ensure the current versions are being used and referenced.
  • Questions may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at (518) 473-2878 or to [email protected].

Justice Department Warns Sheltered Workshops May Violate ADA

In a 13-page document released this week, the U.S. Department of Justice is outlining how the ADA’s so-called “integration mandate” applies to many daytime activities for people with disabilities.

Much as the law requires that housing and other supports be provided in community-based settings when appropriate, the agency is clarifying that this same expectation applies to other services.

The Justice Department notes that many people with disabilities spend the majority of their time receiving services in segregated settings like sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. People currently served in such settings and those at risk of ending up in segregated services should be provided accurate information about integrated options, according to the guidance. Read more

NYC Family Advocacy Information Resource – 

A RESOURCE NETWORK FOR FAMILIES

https://www.nycfamilyadvocacyinformationresource.org/nyc-fair-mission-statement

Mergers, migrants, curriculum mandates: NYC schools chief David Banks on his first 2 years

When David Banks took the reins of New York City’s public schools, he offered a blunt diagnosis. The system is “fundamentally flawed,” he said, and in need of complete transformation.

Nearly two years later, the chancellor’s vision for improving the system is coming into sharper focus. Rather than pursuing aggressive changes in many areas of the system, he has prioritized one problem above all others: Nearly half of students aren’t proficient readers. Read the full story.

We changed how our NYC school districts teach reading. It’s working.

A few years ago, too many of our students were not reading at grade level, and despite extra help, too few were ever catching up.

Feds urge schools to protect Jewish, Muslim students following rise in campus incidents

Federal education officials say they’ve received at least nine discrimination complaints involving antisemitism or Islamophobia at colleges or K-12 schools since Hamas attacked Israel a month ago.

IT’S ALMOST TIME TO APPLY FOR KINDERGARTEN! 

Families who live in New York City and have a child who was born in 2019 can apply starting December 5 through January 19, 2024. Learn more about it in AFC’s Kindergarten Admissions Guide (also available in Spanish) which covers the application process and everything you need to know about moving from preschool to kindergarten for students with disabilities

BULLYING IN NYC SCHOOLS: HOW TO IDENTIFY IT AND WHAT TO DO. 

All NYC students should feel safe and supported in their learning environments. Join us to learn more about the different types of bullying and harassment, how to identify if behavior is bullying, and what schools must do to protect students. Learn more and register >> here.

MORE THAN 119,000 NYC STUDENTS EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS LAST SCHOOL YEAR. 

This week, AFC released new data showing that more than 119K students—about one in every nine—experienced homelessness during the 2022-23 school year. This is the eighth year in a row that more than 100,000 students were identified as homeless. Learn more >> here.

PARENTS, POLICE OFFICERS, OUR COMMUNITY, AND AUTISM. 

This weekend’s workshop at the Queens UFT offices will focus on how police should work with young people with autism, and what parents need to know. Child care will be provided by teachers and paraprofessionals, and a full breakfast and lunch will be provided for all guests. Learn more and register >> here.

MANHATTAN HIGH SCHOOL FAIR. 

Meet representatives from Manhattan schools that accept students from all over the city. The fair will take place at the High School for Fashion Industries on Wednesday, November 15 from 5:30 to 8pm. Learn more >> here.

Diagnosed autistic while incarcerated (Readers should note this article contains sensitive content.)
Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism

Many people with disabilities want to work, but it’s complicated
Forbes

COVID and TikTok changed how NYC grads see college and careers. Counselors are adapting.

Student interest in college decreased sharply and suddenly in the pandemic’s wake. And due in part to social media, more students have been exposed to ways to make money without a college education. All that means college and career counselors are doing their jobs differently.

NYC families push for more special education open houses as HS admissions cycle starts

That advocacy effort, which began last year, is already starting to bear fruit. One superintendent has required all 47 campuses under her supervision to offer them.

Plaintiff in ‘right to read’ case says Detroit students need to be heard

At age 16, Jamarria Hall joined a lawsuit that accused Michigan state officials of failing to provide Detroit students a basic reading education. He remains involved in the fight.

1 in 9 NYC students was homeless last year, a record high

Homeless students face significant educational roadblocks, from the transportation challenges of traveling from distant shelters to the trauma that comes with losing permanent housing.

NYC plans $800 million for school accessibility — below what advocates demanded

Lack of access to school buildings has long been a barrier for students with physical disabilities. In past years, some children had few — or even zero —nearby school options.

Teachers Union launches legal fight to release Global Studies report

The Newark Teachers Union is suing the district to release the CREED strategies report on the racial and cultural dynamics at Newark’s School of Global Studies

BULLYING IN NYC SCHOOLS: HOW TO IDENTIFY IT AND WHAT TO DO. All NYC students should feel safe and supported in their learning environments. Join us to learn more about the different types of bullying and harassment, how to identify if behavior is bullying, and what schools must do to protect students. Learn more and register >>

MORE THAN 119,000 NYC STUDENTS EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS LAST SCHOOL YEAR. This week, AFC released new data showing that more than 119K students—about one in every nine—experienced homelessness during the 2022-23 school year. This is the eighth year in a row that more than 100,000 students were identified as homeless. Learn more >>

QUESTIONS TO ASK AT PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES. Not sure what to ask at the first parent-teacher conferences of the year? Our tip sheet has a list of helpful questions to help guide conversations on your child’s classroom participation, reading, learning style, and more. Get the tip sheet here >>

PARENTS, POLICE OFFICERS, OUR COMMUNITY, AND AUTISM. This weekend’s workshop at the Queens UFT offices will focus on how police should work with young people with autism, and what parents need to know. Child care will be provided by teachers and paraprofessionals, and a full breakfast and lunch will be provided for all guests. Learn more and register here >>

New York City is advancing policies that could upend schooling for thousands of migrant students. 

In an attempt to free up shelter space, Mayor Eric Adams announced families with children will have to leave shelters after 60 days and reapply, a change legal advocates worry will move children far from where they’re enrolled in school. Newly arrived families, meanwhile, will soon be placed in a tent shelter that’s five miles from the nearest schools, instead of in hotel rooms. Read more.

How one Chicago principal is creating a welcoming environment for migrant students

Maureen Delgado has worked at Clinton Elementary in Chicago’s diverse West Ridge neighborhood since 1999. Now the principal, she’s being featured on public transit. Read more

Michigan lawmakers take another shot at passing dyslexia reforms

A bipartisan package of bills failed last year. “We have to do something about it now,” said Rep. Kathy Schmaltz, who introduced one of the new bills. Read more.

Amid low attendance rates, some NYC educators call for remote learning during COVID quarantines
Read more from Gothamist

NYC wants to reduce unnecessary child welfare investigations. Can better mandated reporter training help?

The revised training is an effort to get educators to think twice before defaulting to a child welfare report, and give them a set of alternatives to try first. Read more.

Calling middle and high school families: NYC wants your take on reading curriculums

Officials have been tight-lipped about what they hope to learn from the focus groups, which will take place later this month. Read more.

The Biden admin awarded $12 million for school desegregation. Now the hard work begins.

Schools in a dozen states are taking part in a new federal program aimed at creating more diverse schools. Some will tackle tricky areas like selective school admissions. Read more.

More than 90,000 NYC students haven’t spent recent pandemic food benefits

P-EBT funds have been doled out in recent years to help cover meal costs for families whose students usually receive free meals at school. Read more.

Powerful NYC principals’ union to get 16.7% pay increase in new 5-year pact: Adams
New York Post

NYC parent leader and BP appointee allegedly stole $15K from PTA
New York Post

Contentious three-way race for open NYC Council seat in Brooklyn puts spotlight on education, public safety
New York Daily News

NYC parents at war over ‘antisemitism’ concern at their children’s schools
New York Post

‘Callous’ NYC DOE won’t let Jewish staffer stuck in Israel work remotely: ‘Just sickens me’
New York Post

Millions of kids are newly eligible for free school meals — but many will likely miss out 

Last month the Biden administration announced a new rule would make thousands of school districts serving millions of students newly eligible to serve free school meals to all kids. But it’s likely only a small fraction of those districts will take advantage of the change because it will cost them extra to provide free meals to all — and many will struggle to afford that without additional aid from Congress.

NYC promised more diversity in school contracts. It hasn’t gone smoothly.

The implementation of that promise has proved far more complicated. Last week, the Education Department began rolling back the requirements for some pending contracts, Chalkbeat has learned.

180 degree turn: NYC district goes from banning ChatGPT to exploring AI’s potential

Education Week

SUNY, CUNY, some private schools to waive application fees during period in October

NY1/Spectrum

Commentary: Want better school outcomes? Prioritize play in the classroom. (Opinion)
Times Union

Chalkbeat: Applying to NYC screened high schools? Here’s how priority groups work this year.

The updated guidance comes just days before applications open on Oct. 3, and as the criteria used to determine priority groups has been the subject of some controversy.

Chalkbeat: NYC families: Applying to high school this year? Here’s what to know.

What is the deadline for high school applications in NYC? What do experts recommend to get started? Here’s a guide to help you apply to high schools this year.

The Office of Special Education Programs Awards More Than $35 Million for 138 Personnel Preparation and Professional Development-Related Grants

The OSEP Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Program awards increase the number of well-prepared, diverse and effective personnel serving children with disabilities, including early intervention practitioners; teachers; related services providers; administrators leading early intervention programs, schools, or local and state agencies; and university faculty who are preparing future generations of personnel to serve children with disabilities. Read the Department’s press release.

House Panel Advances Bill Clarifying Parents’ Rights At IEP Meetings

The Think Differently about Education Act was approved unanimously by the Education and the Workforce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives late last week, requiring schools to notify parents before their child’s first IEP meeting each academic year of their right to include experts and other third parties in such meetings, such as lawyers, therapists or other subject-matter experts or even a family member with knowledge of the child. The IDEA already gives parents the right to involve third parties in IEP meetings, but most families are unaware. Read full article

Chalkbeat: When my daughter was being treated for cancer, her teacher worked from the hospital

Miss Anne Marie, a teacher with NYC’s Hospital Schools, taught elementary school from the pediatric cancer ward. She understood that learning is essential to a child’s humanity. Read full story.

The City: Federal Judge Orders NYC to Fix Special Education Service and Payment Delays- The Department of Education must take 40 specific actions to resolve decades-old delays in providing or paying for special education services to students. Full story>> Federal Judge Orders NYC to Fix Special Education Service and Payment Delays – THE CITY

Chalkbeat: Eric Adams vowed all NYC students would get dyslexia screening. So far 1,500 have. EOD officials are planning to use dyslexia screeners more widely this school year, expanding to all elementary schools serving grades K-5 and 50 middle and high schools. But multiple literacy experts raised questions about whether the assessments reveal much beyond what an initial set of tests given to students already show. Concers were raised about teachers having the tools they need to figure out why a student is struggling and how to intervene. Read full story.

Demystifying School Budgets:

The New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO) today released a new video series it developed to enable students, parents, and advocates to navigate New York City public school budgets. The videos break down the school budget timeline as it relates to the overall City budget process, show users how to find relevant budget. Full report>> Demystifying School Budgets (nyc.ny.us)

City of New York: Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks lay out Comprehensive Special Education Improvements to Take Effect for NYC Public Schools

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks today announced that the DOE has reached an agreement in a 20-year old court case to provide equitable, comprehensive, and timely support to students with disabilities and their families who have chosen to exercise their due process rights. 

Today’s agreement stems from the 2003 class action lawsuit LV et.al vs. NYC DOE class action lawsuit and displays the Adams administration’s commitment to collaborating on initiatives that will honor the experiences of students with disabilities and their families. The original case was filed by parents of children with disabilities who voiced concerns that the DOE was not implementing impartial hearing orders issued in their favor in a timely manner. Full Story>> Mayor Adams, Chancellor Banks lay out Comprehensive Special Education Improvements to Take Effect fo | City of New York (nyc.gov)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Delivering Services in School-Based Settings: A Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming

Today, in follow up to the release of the School-Based Services (SBS) Comprehensive Guide to Medicaid Services and Administrative Claiming in May 2023, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the SBS Technical Assistance (TA) Center. This center will continue to be developed in conjunction with the Department of Education (ED). It will:

  • Support State Medicaid agencies, local education agencies (LEAs), and school-based entities seeking to expand their capacity for providing Medicaid SBS
  • Reduce administrative burden
  • Support such entities in obtaining payment for the rendering of Medicaid SBS
  • Ensure ongoing coordination and collaboration between ED and the Department of Health and Human Services regarding Medicaid SBS
  • Provide guidance with regard to utilization of various funding sources- Visit the TA Center to learn more.

FROM INCLUDENYC:

NEWS & RESOURCES

Education

Colleges have a responsibility to support students with intellectual disabilities
University Business

Science-supported studying strategies for students with disabilities
Mainstream Online

Recognizing and accommodating invisible disabilities
ESchool News 

Disability and Culture

Student on mission to change views of disability in fashion and media
MSN

Author Maria Sweeney opens up about candid new book on living with a disability
Publishers Weekly

Chair yoga: Gentle exercise for body and mind
Well Mind

Independent Living

Opinion: Disabled adults shouldn’t have to pay this price to marry
The New York Times

Anthropologie’s adaptive clothes line were created with input from women with diverse disability experiences
Marie Claire

Services and Systems   

How to navigate caring for an adult with intellectual disabilities
Vox

Uber launching service to help caregivers
Disability Scoop

When does a school closing become discriminatory
Education Week

Work 

Building truly accessible workplaces
Forbes

Improving diversity through remote jobs for adults with disabilities
Psychology Today

Accessibility: How leadership can create a culture of inclusion for employees with disabilities
Fast Company

Science and Technology 

How Thomas Edison and other disabled scientists impacted our daily lives
Disability Horizons

To optimize guide dog robots, first, consult with people who are blind or visually impaired
TechXplore

From YAI:  

FREE Evaluations

YAI provides free Psychological, Psychosocial, and Autism Evaluations for people seeking to apply for OPWDD services. Evaluations are available for Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island residents who are uninsured or underinsured, pending other required program funding criteria being met. Evaluations may be a combination of telehealth and in-person appointments. Apply now Getting Started (yai.org) Have questions? Contact YAI LINK at 212.273.6182 or email [email protected]

From AFC (Blackboard Bulletin):

.AFC RESOURCE. FIGHTING FOR IMMIGRANT STUDENTS’ RIGHTS IN NYC SCHOOLS. Tomorrow marks the 42nd anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that made it unconstitutional to exclude undocumented children from public school. Plyler continues to be vitally relevant today, even in our own city: no student should be – or legally can be – turned away because of their immigration status. Learn more in AFC’s Guide to the Legal Rights of Immigrant Families in NYC Schools >>

NEXT WEEK IS JUNETEENTH. There will be no shortage of Juneteenth events around the City to honor Black liberation, resilience, and joy, including the 15th Annual Juneteenth NY Celebration. If you’re looking for children’s activities, stop by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for a full day of interactive art projects, like a community mural project, storytelling, and more. Learn more >>

MAKE-UP SUMMER SERVICES FOR ELIGIBLE STUDENTS. Families of students with IEPs recommending 12-month related services and students who did not receive their mandated related services this school year are eligible for make-up services over the summer. If you did not receive a letter but think your child is eligible, complete the form. If you have any questions, call (347) 377-2679 and leave a detailed message or email [email protected].

.WEBINAR. NYCPS INFORMATION SESSION ABOUT ELEMENTARY ADMISSIONS. NYC families with children born in 2019, 2020, and 2021 are invited to a virtual info session to learn more about the elementary admissions process, waitlists, next steps, and more. The June 20th info session, from 2-3pm, will be held in English with interpretation available in American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Haitian Creole, and Russian. Join live at bit.ly/ESSummerEvents2024

.WEBINAR. ADAPT COMMUNITY NETWORK PRESENTS: ADVOCATING FOR FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITH EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES. The webinar will explore programs and services that can help bring some relief to families when a child or adolescent is dually diagnosed. Spanish and Mandarin interpretation will be provided. Registration is required. Learn more and register >>

 

Immunizations And Health Forms For The Start Of School
Any NYC Health & Hospital site can provide free immunizations and help families complete the required health form. Call 311 to find the closest H&H site, or browse a list of locations of clinics offering free immunizations.

Promotion Policy in New York City Public SchoolsThe Promotion Policy for New York City Department of Education Public Schools is informed by Chancellor’s Regulation A-501, which can be found on the DOE’s website, https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/policies-for-all

The criteria for promotion from each grade are as follows: Kindergarten and Grades 1 & 2 Students must show progress towards meeting the Common Core English Language Arts (ELA) and Math Standards-Click here-Promotion Policy in New York City Public Schools (advocatesforchildren.org)

Tip Sheet: 

FAQ for Families of Students with Behavioral, Emotional, or Mental Health Challenges at School. Click here for the information –> Advocates for Children of New York | New Tip Sheet: FAQ for Families of Students with Behavioral, Emotional, or Mental Health Challenges at School

 

BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY (BLP)

Brooklyn Public Library helps families of NYC students save money on their internet bill

Through the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, eligible households or individuals can receive $30/month off of their internet bill. Learn more about the program or reach out to Brooklyn Public Library’s team of digital navigators, who provide one-on-one support with the application, by calling (718) 230-2297 or emailing [email protected]

Weekly Events:

Tuesdays, 1–1:45 pm: Read and Play: In-person Flatlands Library
Tuesdays, 4:30–5:30 pm: After School Stories: In-person Flatlands Library
Wednesdays, 1–1:45 pm: Read and Play: In-person Greenpoint Library
Wednesdays, 4:30–5:30 pm: After School Stories: In-person Greenpoint Library
Saturday, October 21, 10:30–11:30 am: Arts and Crafts with KEEN

Click the link to find events for you and your family! Events Calendar | Brooklyn Public Library (bklynlibrary.org)

Brooklyn Public Library Remote Schooling

Caregivers and children can access Homeschool Resources for students K-12, including live tutoring in afternoons and evenings and personalized academic assistance, here: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/online-resources/topic/remote-learning. Access via 

Older students can practice for the SAT, AP, ACT or TASC (high school equivalency exam) or simply improve their reading or math skills with Learning Express Library: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/online-resources/learning-express-library.

Events:

NYS EDUCATION DEPARTMENT (DOE) 

SPECIAL EDUCATION NEW WEBSITE TO SUPPORT FAMILIES AND EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS

  • The New York State Education Department’s Office of Special Education – Educational Partnership is a professional development and technical assistance network designed to support and empower schools and families in improving equity, access, opportunities, and outcomes for students with disabilities.
  • The Educational Partnership has recently launched a new website (https://osepartnership.org/), intended to be used by the public, including parents and families of students with disabilities, young adults with disabilities and education professionals.  The website includes contact information for Regional Educational Partnership Centers and Family and Community Engagement Centers as well as links to register for upcoming professional development and training offerings.
  • Questions or requests for more information may be directed to the Office of Special Education at [email protected].

NYC DOE PATHWAYS TO GRADUATION

  • Learn more about District 79’s Adult Education at http://p2g.nyc/
  • The Department of Education program will be providing free classes at over 90 locations to help students earn their High School Equivalency Program http://p2g.nyc/contact/

OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES – OSEERS

CPANYS

Medicaid.gov

Resources on Supporting Adults with I/DD and Their Aging Caregivers CMS released a set of resources designed to support state Medicaid and partner agencies that play critical roles in designing and delivering supports and services that meet the current and future needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their aging parents and caregivers. For more information Resources on Supporting Adults with I/DD and Their Aging Caregivers (govdelivery.com)

New York City aims to improve access for people with disabilities to homeless shelters, affordable housing
Link to article here >> New York City aims to improve access for people with disabilities to homeless shelters, affordable housing | Smart Cities Dive

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7)
Did you know you have choices in your Medicare prescription drug and health coverage? Now is your chance to think about what matters most to you. Explore coverage options! Original Medicare OR Medicare Advantage.  

Call 1-800-MEDICARE during Open Enrollment.

Contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit shiphelp.org to get the phone number for your state.

JOINT GUIDANCE FROM ACS AND NYC DOE ON EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT 

NYC DOE Child Abuse Designated Liaison Training

REMOVING POLICE FROM NYC’S MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS RESPONSE

Saving Lives, Reducing Trauma: Removing Police from New York City’s Mental Health Crisis Response

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

DSS

June 17, 2024

DSS-HRA-DHS Updates

Community Partners Updates

Important updates as well as an ongoing synopsis of the information shared in prior communications are on our DSS Community Updates page. We encourage you to use and share this link to answer questions on the many topics we have covered.  

Anyone interested in being added to the list of invitees for our community call, community updates communications relevant resources and agency updates can sign up here. Details regarding the next quarterly call will be included in an upcoming communication. 

Relocation of the Home Care Services Program Office and Brooklyn South Medicaid Office

This notification is to advise you of the relocation of DSS-HRA’s Home Care Services Program Office and Brooklyn South Medicaid Office. Please see details of the change below:

Current Location (closes Friday, August 2, 2024): 1st Floor at 785 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238

New Location: (opens Monday, August 5, 2024): 4th Floor at 785 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 

Days and Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Effective August 5, 2024, the client entrance for the Home Care Services Program and Brooklyn South Medicaid Offices will be located at 495 Clermont Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238. Clients have received notification of the new entrance.

Program Services Background:

HRA’s Medical Assistance Program (MAP) administers the Medicaid program for disabled, aged and Blind residents of New York City. This includes accepting and processing applications and renewals, and performing undercare actions, such as adding a new household member or changing a home address. There is rarely a need to visit a community office as nearly all MAP business can be accomplished by mail, fax or phone.

HRA’s Home Care Services Program provides Medicaid-eligible aged, disabled, or sick individuals with housekeeping and home-attendant services including bathing, dressing, cleaning, shopping, laundry, meal preparation, and other light housework. 

Contact Us:

If you have any questions about this relocation Elected Officials should contact DSS at [email protected] or 718-557-1399, all other community and municipal partners should contact DSS Outreach at [email protected].

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) PO Box Consolidation for Mailed Submissions

We are streamlining our operations by consolidating all SNAP mailed submissions into a single PO Box. This change is designed to enhance efficiency. Please send all future mailed SNAP submissions to the following address:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

PO BOX 29008

Brooklyn, NY 11202

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work to improve our services. 

Cardholders should download the ebtEDGE mobile app or access the web portal, to:

  • Check transactions and deposits
  • Freeze/lock and unfreeze/unlock their card to prevent unauthorized transactions
  • Block internet and out-of-state transactions
  • Change their PIN (if needed)
  • Request a replacement card if lost, stolen or damaged

These security features can help to prevent scam-related electronic benefit theft, also known as “skimming”, “phishing”, or “card cloning”. Once clients set up their account, the above-mentioned features can be used to help keep their benefits safe.

To help promote the usage of the free and unfreeze feature of ebtEDGE DSS/HRA has created a social media toolkit which providers can use to help raise awareness along with our instructional video on “How to Submit a Claim for Electronically Stolen Benefits”.

All EBT cards and PIN numbers remained the same and the EBT Customer Service Helpline also remained the same. As usual, cardholders can call 1-888-328-6399 for help with their EBT cards. 

Cardholders will have to use a new website (www.ebtedge.com) or the ebtEDGE mobile app to monitor benefit issuances and transactions. They will have to set up a new account if they haven’t already. To download the app, visit the Apple or Google Play stores.

On the new ebtEDGE system, clients can access six months of transaction history via the website and mobile application. Transaction history dating back up to three years is available via the EBT Customer Service Helpline1-888-328-6399.

NYC households impacted by electronic benefit theft should continue to submit claims to the NYC Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration to request the replacement of SNAP and/or Cash Assistance benefits.

What should clients do if their SNAP or Cash Assistance benefits are stolen?

If a client’s SNAP or Cash benefits are stolen, they must complete the following steps to request replacement benefits:

1. Obtain EBT Transaction history: Part of the process of requesting replacement SNAP and/or Cash Assistance benefits requires clients to review and make note of their EBT transaction history so that they can report the following information for each fraudulent transaction: the date the transaction occurred, the name and address of the business where the transaction occurred, the benefit type (whether Cash Assistance or SNAP), and the amount of each fraudulent transaction. The transaction history will include mostly transactions that clients remember making and purchases that they’re familiar with, from stores that they frequent. However, there is also the possibility that they may see transactions that look strange—from stores they’ve never shopped at, maybe even in states that they’ve never visited. These kinds of transactions may indicate potentially fraudulent activity. Clients should consider fraudulent transactions to be ones that they did not make or consent to. DSS/HRA recommends that clients use any of the following 

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

For more information on the SSI program, including who is eligible and how to apply, visit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | SSA.

To read the final rule “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations,” visit Federal Register :: Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations.

ACCESS HRA Updates

The NYC Department of Social Services – Human Resources Administration (DSS/HRA) is pleased to announce several ACCESS HRA updates that went live on Saturday, April 13, 2024. Below are new and improved features that are now available in the ACCESS HRA Client Portal and are intended to further improve the user experience:

Updated HEAP Cooling Application: The HEAP Cooling season opens on April 15 and features an improved application providing more help text and options for clients to select their cooling unit provider preference The application includes mandatory form updates from the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

Gender of ‘X’ in CityFHEPS: Clients filling out an online CityFHEPS renewal on AHRA can now select a gender of ‘X’ in addition to Female, Male, Non-Binary, Another Gender, Prefer Not to Say, or Unknown

New OCSS Appointment Language: Appointment notification language for Child Support clients has been updated to reduce confusion surrounding interview and documentation deadlines

Visit the ACCESS HRA Client Portal at nyc.gov/accesshra.

Click here for the updated ACCESS HRA User Guide.

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

For more information on the SSI program, including who is eligible and how to apply, visit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | SSA.

To read the final rule “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations,” visit Federal Register :: Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations.

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

For more information on the SSI program, including who is eligible and how to apply, visit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | SSA.

To read the final rule “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations,” visit Federal Register :: Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations.

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

For more information on the SSI program, including who is eligible and how to apply, visit Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | SSA.

To read the final rule “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations,” visit Federal Register :: Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations.

Social Security Work Incentives

  • The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs offer work incentives.
  • As the work incentive rules are complex, every beneficiary should consult with a certified benefits counselor before entering the work force and whenever an increase in pay is expected.
  • If you have any general questions about the work incentives, contact the Beneficiary Call Center at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967.
  • For more information, visit https://yourtickettowork.ssa.gov/resources/work-incentives.html

Rent Freeze and Homeowner Tax Exemption Events for People with Disabilities/65+

  • Find Rent Freeze Updates Here: Rent Freeze Program Updates (nyc.gov)
  • New Yorkers with a disability or over the age of 65 may be eligible for the NYC Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) Program to help participants stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent.
    • To be eligible, individuals must:
      • Be 62 years old OR at least 18 years old and disabled
      • Be the primary tenant named on the lease/rent order or have been granted succession rights in a rent controlled, rent stabilized or a rent regulated hotel apartment.
      • Have a combined household income for all members of the household that is $50,000 or less; and
      • Spend more than one-third of your monthly household income on rent. To apply Freeze Your Rent (nyc.gov)

NYC SCHOOLS ACCOUNTS (NYCSA)

A NYCSA light account, which does not require an authorization code, will not allow full access to protected information but will allow parents to change their contact information. You can login at http://www.mystudent.nyc/

  • There are two types of NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA):1) NYCSA “full access”custodian; 2) NYCSA “limited access” non-custodian. To have NYCSA full, you must get a code from your students’ school. NYCSA full will provide all access to student information, including IEPs, transportation, the student’s guardian, school, and test scores, as well as to change basic contact information.

Non-Custodial Parents

 

About Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) from NYLPI

MTA Accessibility updates

New accessible station: 7 Av F/G in Park Slope!

MTA Accessibility updates New accessible station: 7 Av F/G in Park Slope!

The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing–  Read more

Hochul signs bill requiring disability representation on MTA Board – The bill signed into law requires one of the governor’s six appointees to the policymaking board of North America’s largest transit agency be a person whose disability requires them to use public transit. Nearly a million New York City residents are disabled in some form, and their experience on mass transit is vastly limited compared to non-disabled riders. Read more: https://www.amny.com/transit/hochul-bill-disability-representation-mta-board/

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT

ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS & PROGRAMS (DISTRICT 79)

BEHAVIOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH EVALUATION SERVICE (C-YES)

CRISIS INTERVENTION AND EMERGENCY CASE MANAGEMENT

  • The AHRC NYC Crisis Intervention and Emergency Case Management Program provides crisis intervention and emergency case management services to individuals with intellectual and/or behavioral disabilities and their caregivers to prevent medically unnecessary and extended hospitalizations and to improve the functional status and quality-of-life for all persons and families served.
    • This program is currently available to all residents of Brooklyn and Queens.

Call 646-398-2155 or email [email protected] to make a referral.

FEMA

Bridge Access Program Launches to Continue Free COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatment
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Bridge Access Program provides uninsured individuals with continued access to free COVID-19 care at local pharmacies and health centers. 

Communication Toolkit

COVID-19 Vaccines, Test Kits, Treatments Still Available
New York State continues to offer New Yorkers free COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment. The following resources are available: 

Vaccines and booster shots: Individuals in New York City can visit the NYC Vaccine Finder and select “COVID-19” or “Flu” to locate vaccination sites 

Individuals in Westchester, Nassau, or Suffolk County can visit Vaccines.gov and select “Find COVID- 19 Vaccines” or “Find Flu Vaccines”  

At-home test kits: Every household can order four COVID-⁠19 rapid tests. Visit this website and scroll down to “At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit Pickup” and select a borough to see locations.  

Express testing sites: make an appointment 

Long COVID: Please find resources and information here

FEMA Still Accepting Applications for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is still offering financial assistance to those who paid funeral expenses for a COVID-19 pandemic death between January 20, 2020, and May 11, 2023. To apply, please call 844-684-6333 between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Applications must be completed with a FEMA representative; individuals cannot apply online. Approved applications can get up to $9,000 in financial assistance per deceased individual. FEMA will accept applications for funeral assistance until Sept. 30, 2025. Share the program with your patients and clients via this outreach toolkit.  

NYC DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

IDNYC

A card for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status. IDNYC benefits all city residents, including the most vulnerable communities – unhoused, youth, formerly incarcerated, and others who may have difficulty obtaining government-issued photo ID. The IDNYC card is free for all New Yorkers. appointment through IDNYC’s Online Portal  

Help with rent for families with children

Families who have lost housing because of health or safety issues, or from certain court decisions, may also be eligible for Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS). FHEPS helps pay some or all of the rent. Families must be receiving Cash Assistance (CA) to be eligible.

Low-cost and free health insurance

Get help understanding your affordable health insurance options and enrolling in a plan. Options are available to all New Yorkers, even if you are not a citizen. Counselors can help you choose a health insurance plan.

Support for those at risk of homelessness

Homebase can help you stay in your home if you’re at risk of eviction or homelessness.

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Waiver Extension

  • The USDA has granted an extension of the statewide waiver of the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements through February 28, 2025. The waiver was previously set to expire on February 29, 2024. Clients will continue to not be subject to the ABAWD requirements through February 28, 2025.

Cash Assistance Six-Month Mailer Recertification Waiver

  • The State OTDA has approved the City’s request to waive the regulation requiring households in receipt of Cash Assistance to complete the six-month mail-in recertification if the household is identified as having no earned income in order to maintain eligibility for CA benefits.
  • These households will still be required to complete a recertification once every twelve (12) months and to report any changes to the household circumstances (composition, income, etc) within ten (10) days of the change.
  • Households receiving CA will be reminded of their 10-day reporting requirement by HRA in the first month they would normally receive their 6-month mailer. The notice also provides information on how they can submit changes to their circumstances to the agency. 

New SNAP Standards and Changes to New York State Nutrition Improvement Project (NYSNIP) Benefit Amounts – October 1, 2023

New SNAP standards went into effect on October 1, 2023 and some items used to figure the amount of SNAP benefits a household gets has changed. These changes are a result of federally-required changes to the following standards and deductions. The information below outlines the new standards:

  • The Standard Deduction for households of one to three persons is $198.
  • The Standard Deduction for households of four persons is $208.
  • The Standard Deduction for households of five persons is $244.
  • The Standard Deduction for households of six persons or more is $279.
  • The SNAP Maximum Excess Shelter Deduction is $672.
  • The SNAP Maximum Homeless Shelter Deduction is $179.66.
  • The Boarder/Lodger Exclusion is $291 for one person and $535 for two persons
  • The standard deduction amounts that are now used in the annual SNAP mass re-budgeting effective October 1, 2023, are also at the bottom of this communication.
  • The minimum allotment for one and two-person households remain $23.

The new Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) amounts for NYC, as of October 1, 2023 are:

Heating/Air Conditioning SUA:

  • Old SUA : $1,002
  • New SUA : $992

Basic Utility SUA:

  • Old SUA : $395
  • New SUA : $391
  • Phone SUA: $31

The new Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) thresholds effective October 1, 2023 are at the bottom of this communication.

  • These changes may affect the amount of SNAP benefits New Yorkers get. Depending on their individual circumstance, the amount of their monthly SNAP benefit may not change, or it may decrease or increase as a result of these changes.
  • For more information about updated federal poverty levels and October 2023 changes to SNAP, click here.

HRA Return to Mandatory (RTM) – October 2, 2023

On October 2, 2023, HRA began making mandatory appointments for Cash Assistance recipients who are required to participate in an Employment Services program.

Engagement with HRA Employment Services and Support Administration (ESSA) providers is mandatory for Cash Assistance recipients but was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employment Services offers Cash Assistance clients opportunities to learn new skills, improve their chances of connecting to careers, works closely with clients to identify opportunities that match their needs, skills, and career goals, with a goal of establishing long-term financial stability and security. Clients work with an appropriate Employment Services providers as described below. These providers will also assist clients who need them with connecting to childcare services.

  • CareerCompass assists clients with finding employment, training, or education programs, as well as internship and community service opportunities, to match their skills and reach their goals.
  • YouthPathways provides career, education, and training services for clients ages 18-24, including internships and community service opportunities tailored to their goals and needs.
  • CareerAdvance offers career, education, and training services in specific employment sectors, including people with limited English proficiency and older adults.
  • WeCARE provides a continuum of services to help cash assistance clients and applicants with medical and/or mental health conditions that affect their employability to attain their maximum levels of self-sufficiency.
  • Substance Use Centralized Assessment Program (SUCAP) provides assessment and referral treatment based on client needs for clients with a substance use disorder.

Office of Reasonable Accommodations (ORA) provides a clinical review of requests for Reasonable Accommodations that support clients with physical, mental, or medical disabilities in accessing HRA programs and services. ORA clinicians review clinical documentation and make recommendations on Reasonable Accommodation requests that support clients in accessing HRA programs and services.

SNAP Eligibility for Undocumented Individuals and Minors

In response to questions received during our 9/19 community call regarding SNAP eligibility for undocumented minors, we are providing the below information for clarity on SNAP eligibility. Children as well as adults who fall under the following categories are eligible for SNAP immediately, as long as they also meet all other program requirements:

  •     Refugees
  •     Asylees
  •     Cuban/Haitian Entrants
  •     Victims of Human Trafficking
  •     Those who have been granted withholding of removal
  •     Ukrainian parolees paroled on or after 2/24/2022
  •     Afghan Evacuees with appropriate documentation indicating they were a part of Operation Allies Welcome

Additionally, children under 18 are eligible to receive SNAP (as long as they also meet all other program requirements) if they are:

  •     Lawful Permanent Residents, regardless of numbers of years in qualified status
  •     Paroled for one year or more, regardless of country of origin
  •     Qualified battered noncitizens or the children thereof

DSS encourages all those who feel they need benefits to apply for benefits. All are eligible to apply for benefits regardless of immigration status.

Office of Child Support Services Annual Conference

The New York City Human Resources Administration’s Office of Child Support Services, in partnership with the CUNY School of Professional Studies, invites you to join us on Thursday, October 26, for our 2023 Policy Conference.

 

DSS Services & Benefits One Pager (FLY-1128)

  

Employment Opportunities with the City of NY

  • Join the NYC Department of Social Services! Find out how rewarding it is to serve fellow New Yorkers with care and compassion.
  • Apply for the Senior Policy Advisor position at IDNYC.
  • ·     Search Job I.D. 583867 at nyc.gov/jobs or via this link: https://on.nyc.gov/423f2sM
  • To view jobs available with the City at any time, start at this page, or search for jobs here (to search by agency or area of interest) or here (to search by Job ID# or Agency). Please find a helpful flyer with more information about applying for HRA open positions which can be shared widely here.

 

City Services for Asylum Seekers Arriving in NYC

  • As of October 1, 2023, over 122,700 asylum seekers have gone through the system and been offered a place to rest at night since last spring. Over 63,000 asylum seekers are currently in the City’s care. The City has opened 211 emergency shelters, including 17 large scale humanitarian relief centers. This does not reflect the total number of asylum seekers in New York City, it does not include those who are staying with family, friends, and networks here after being connected.
  • Additional information on the City’s efforts to support asylum seekers can be found here.

 

Ride for Half Price – Fair Fares

  • Fair Fares NYC is a City program that offers eligible New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares or Access-A-Ride paratransit trips.
  • Fair Fares is open to all eligible New Yorkers aged 18-64 at or below the Federal Poverty Level without discounted transportation from the MTA or the City. The program’s NYC residency requirement does not include a minimum timeframe. Many of the Department of Homeland Security documents provided to asylees are accepted as proof of identity.
  • Encourage everyone to ride for half price with Fair Fares by sharing our Social Media Fair Fares toolkit and short video. Share and amplify!
  • Fair Fares enrollment is simple and can be completed online: Apply for Fair Fares on ACCESS HRA! View the “How to Enroll” videos in English and Spanish. 

Resources/Links

  ACCESS HRA Help Desk/Online Support: Resolves ACCESS HRA technical issues and answers benefit/site-related questions.

    ACCESS HRA Trainings: The Office of Community Outreach offers trainings and presentations to community-based organizations, elected officials and their staff, and other municipal agencies. These trainings are conducted multiple times per month and allow for flexible scheduling. Click here to view our current offerings and register for an upcoming session.

    DSS OneNumber (formerly Infoline): 718-557-1399

    Find a Partner Organization: Community-Based Organizations can help complete applications and screen applicants for eligibility to the various programs. Some locations also assist with submitting documents to DSS electronically. Contact the organization for more information.

    DSS Disability Access: If you have a disability, HRA can help by providing supports or accommodations to make getting the services clients need easier. This type of help is called a reasonable accommodation.

    Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Guide to Resources: The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) has crafted a guide to resources for immigrants, in over a dozen languages.

    Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): WIC gives milk, juice, formula, and other healthy foods to low-income mothers, pregnant women, and young children, regardless of immigration status. If you are a woman who is pregnant, has an infant or child younger than five, or is breastfeeding, you may be eligible for WIC. To learn more about WIC or apply, visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/wic, call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at (800) 522-5006 or click here to view a list of local WIC agencies.

    GetCoveredNYC and Health Literacy: Understanding the ins and outs of health insurance is critical to making informed decisions about your health. GetCoveredNYC Specialists educate New Yorkers on all things health insurance, including definitions. Learn more at on.nyc.gov/HealthInsuranceVocab.

    The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit and NYC Aging: Through a collaboration with the NYC Cabinet for Older New Yorkers‘ member agencies NYC Health + Hospitals, NYC Health, and Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, the Health Subcommittee created a printable, double-sided Pocket Guide of NYC Aging Services. The guide is intended help other professionals better serve older residents and can be downloaded from Cabinet’s website by clicking here.

    Action NYC: 1-800-354-0365

    Food Help NYC: Free food locations, including food pantries & soup kitchens. Call 311 to find the nearest locations.

    NYC Well: Free, confidential mental health support in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365. Call 888-NYC-WELL or text “WELL” to 65173.

    Mental Health For All: A comprehensive hub with helplines and services that offer a range of free, direct support to meet the needs of all New Yorkers.

    Buildings After Hours: Free in-person information session with DOB staff every Tuesday from 4 PM to 7 PM at your local borough office.

    COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Illnesses: Resources, including test kits, treatment, vaccines, and masks available to New Yorkers as New York City experiences high levels of COVID-19, flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and other respiratory viruses.

    Notify NYC: Enroll for free in New York City’s dedicated emergency public communications program.

    NYC 311: Non-emergency municipal services are available online, by texting 311-692, or by calling 3-1-1 from within the City or 212-NEW-YORK outside the five boroughs. TTY service is also available by dialing 212-504-4115

Medicare Savings Program Enrollment in New York City

  • The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) in New York expanded in 2023! The expansion raised monthly income eligibility limits from 135% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to 186% of the FPL, helping more people to pay for Medicare costs. 
  • As a reminder, the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) easements and waivers that have streamlined the MSP application process will end on June 30, 2023. The pre-COVID-19 MSP application process will resume on July 01, 2023.

Free and safe legal help for immigrants

Services are offered by trusted legal service providers at community-based organizations, hospitals, and schools. Learn More!

Health insurance for pregnant womenMedicaid for Pregnant Women | NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH)

This program offers complete pregnancy care and other health services to women and teens who live in New York State and meet income guidelines. LEARN MORE

Free at-home COVID-19 test kits

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

Every home in the U.S. can order four free sets of at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government. There are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number. Learn more

Cash: Ride for Half Price. Fair Fares NYC helps low-income New Yorkers save 50% on public transportation including subway fares, eligible bus fares, and Access-A-Ride paratransit trips. Ride for Half Price

Housing: Services and support for homeless youth. Runaway And Homeless Youth Drop-In Centers. At Drop-in Centers, homeless youth ages 14–24 can receive help and referrals for emergency shelter. Services are available regardless of immigration status. Services and support for homeless youth

Flood insurance: A federal flood insurance policy is the only way to make sure your apartment or home is covered. Traditional homeowners and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Food Insurance

Work: Get text messages with new job openings. TXT-2-WORK sends you text messages with new job openings. Many of these jobs pay above minimum wage. txt-2-work

Job training and placement for older adults. The Older Adult Employment Program helps adults 55 and older prepare for and find work while paying them. Training on how to use computers, look for work, write resumes, and more. Link to Trainings.

ACCESS HRA Updates 

ACCESS HRA is now offering the following new features:

  • Medicaid Renewals – most Medicaid only clients with authorizations ending June 30, 2023 or later will now be able to submit their renewal online by logging in to ACCESS HRA. This provides an online alternative to completing the MAP-206F or MAP-909E. 
  • Submit Medicaid renewal documents through the ACCESS HRA mobile app – after submitting their Medicaid renewal questions, clients will see a list of required documents to complete their renewal in the mobile app and client portal. These required documents can now be uploaded using the mobile app.
  • View Medicaid Notices electronically on the ACCESS HRA client portal and ACCESS HRA mobile app.
  • Clients can now apply for the HEAP Cooling Assistance benefit on ACCESS HRA.

The ACCESS HRA client portal can be found at www.nyc.gov/accesshra. For the ACCESS HRA User Guide, click here.

Food Pantries Near You

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) | NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) –

Free food is available at pantries and food kitchens near you. Everyone is eligible for emergency food assistance, regardless of immigration status or income.

Find help in NYC with Food, Money, Housing, Work and more

Supporting Students with Incarcerated Parents 

Legal Support| Services offered by trusted legal service providers at community-based organizations, hospitals, and schools. Free and safe legal help for immigrants could be found here: ActionNYC – ACCESS NYC

PRUCOL Safety Net Assistance Eligibility Changes

  • On May 12, 2023, OTDA announced new regulations impacting eligibility for Non-citizens Recognized as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) for Safety Net Assistance (SNA). The policy, which took effect upon publishing, expanded the pool of non-citizens who are considered PRUCOL for the purposes of Safety Net Cash Assistance (SNCA). As a reminder, PRUCOL is not an immigration status, but a public benefit category used for the purposes of Safety Net Assistance Eligibility. 

Cash Assistance Application Interviews On-Demand

  • HRA now offers on demand interviews for some Cash Assistance applicants and recipients. Clients who should be using the on-demand interview system are provided detailed instructions on how to do so. To optimize roll-out, only those clients and applicants who receive instructions with a phone number to call should be utilizing this option. Clients who have questions regarding an existing application or case should visit the ACCESS HRA website at nyc.gov/accesshra or call the DSS One Number (formerly HRA Infoline) at 718-557-1399.

Federal Court Grants Final Approval to Ground-Breaking Settlement That Will Ensure NYC Children with Diabetes Receive Appropriate Care in School

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES UPDATES (DSS)

DSS Services & Benefits One Pager (FLY-1128)

DSS released an informational one-pager which outlines all the benefits and services available through the Human Resources Administration and Department of Homeless Services in the following languages: ArabicEnglishFrenchHaitian CreoleKoreanPolishRussianSimplified ChineseSpanishTraditional Chinese, and Urdu. 

New SNAP Standards – October 1, 2023

The minimum allotment for one and two-person households will remain $23
Maximum Excess Shelter Deductions: $672
Homeless Shelter Deduction: $179.66
Boarder/Lodger Exclusion: $291 for 1 person; or $535 for 2 persons

Big Apple Connect Program Expansion

 More than 330,000 NYCHA residents in 150,000 households citywide now have access to free, fast, reliable, and safe broadband internet and cable through Big Apple Connect. Click here for more information and eligibility.

Community Service Society – Educational Debt Consumer Assistance Program (EDCAP)

“Hero’s Guide to Strategic Student Loan Repayment,” loaded with helpful resources: https://www.edcapny.org/repayment/

 EDCAP also offers free one-on-one appointments to fully assess their loan situation. To schedule, call 888-614-5004 or email [email protected].

Affordable Connectivity Program

New Yorkers can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to get $30 off their monthly internet bill. Any household with a child currently enrolled in NYC public schools qualifies! on.nyc.gov/ACPBackToSchool

ACCESS HRA Updates 

The NYC Department of Social Services – Human Resources Administration (DSS/HRA) is pleased to announce several ACCESS HRA updates that went live on Saturday, August 26, 2023. 

Below are new and improved features that are now available in the ACCESS HRA Client Portal and are intended to further improve the user experience:

  • Medicaid & MSP Applications: Eligible clients can now submit Medicaid and Medicare Savings Program applications. A screener identifies client eligibility to apply with ACCESS HRA. This screener will allow clients to self-identify if they should be applying for Medicaid through HRA or with the New York State of Health Marketplace. 
  • Medicaid Coverage Letter: Coverage letters can be requested and downloaded online on the Medicaid case details page. Coverage letters will include information on the head of household and all additional household members. 
  • Medicaid Notifications: Clients can receive new SMS and mobile push notifications about their case, as well as alerts for benefits they may qualify for. 
  • Fair Fares Notifications: Updated alert messaging for SNAP/CA clients that are eligible for Fair Fares when finding their HRA case. 
  • SNAP Late Recertification: ACCESS HRA will allow clients to submit a SNAP Recertification if they are 30-days past their recertification authorization date or have a Closed case. The Expedited Screening results will be available in the PDF Summary. 
  • CA/SNAP App/Recertification: School Enrollment Verification Consent added. 
  • 311 Assistance: New messaging shows how to get assistance from a provider organization. 

Visit the ACCESS HRA Client Portal at nyc.gov/accesshra 

Featured updates in the ACCESS HRA Provider Portal:

  • SNAP Late Recertification: ACCESS HRA will allow providers to view SNAP Recertification even if client is past their recertification authorization date or has a Closed case. 

The ACCESS HRA Provider Portal can be found here

Vouchers that help cover the cost of child care

Child care vouchers help cover the cost of child care for children 6 weeks to 13 years old. Learn more about child care vouchers here!

Practice and learn EnglishWe Speak NYC (WSNYC)

We Speak NYC helps English language learners age 16 and above to learn English and access City services for free. Find and in-person class near you, or look for an online class that fits your schedule. Learn more!

Help with rent for families with children

Families who have lost housing because of health or safety issues, or from certain court decisions may also be eligible for FHEPS. FHEPS helps pay some or all of the rent. Families must be receiving Cash Assistance (CA) to be eligible. Learn more!

Support for those at risk of homelessness

Homebase can help you stay in your home if you’re at risk of eviction or homelessness. Learn more!

Resources:

Trainings on ACCESS HRA and the Provider Portal are available for community partners! Sign up here. Organizations interested in becoming Provider Portal Partners should email [email protected] for an onboarding package. 

PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES

  • GetCoveredNYC
    • The Mayor, Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, and NYC Care recently teamed up to promote GetCoveredNYC, NYC Care, and the importance of accessing high-quality primary care. The Open Enrollment Period for health insurance continues to be extended and GetCoveredNYC is available to support New Yorkers through the process of signing up for the health coverage they deserve.  GetCoveredNYC Specialists speak more than 20 languages  
    • Contact GetCoveredNYC: nyc.gov/GetCoveredNYC Call 311 and say “Get Covered”  Or text CoveredNYC to 877877

FAMILIES TOGETHER NYS (FTNYS)

EARLY CHILDHOOD

EDUCATION COUNCILS

  • Education councils are part of New York City’s school governance structure. There is a Community Education Council (CEC) for every community school district. There are also four Citywide Councils:
    • Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS)
    • Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE)
    • Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL)
    • Citywide Council for D75 (CCD75)
  • Learn more about citywide councils here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/get-involved/families/education-councils.

ENROLLMENT

Newly Arrived Immigrants

FAMILY WELCOME CENTERS

HOMEWORK HELP

Brooklyn Public Library Remote Schooling

Other Support

 

HOTLINES

  • 988 is the updated suicide and crisis lifeline. The 988 Frequently Asked Questions document is a helpful guide for sharing information on 988, a valuable resource for those in emotional distress. For more information click on the attached PDF (The PDF is available on the web page in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Haitian Creole, Arabic, Korean, Bengali and Russian): 988-faq-english.pdf
    • Anyone can call, chat, or text 988 who are:
      • suicidal
      • experiencing a mental health or substance use related crisis
      • experiencing any kind of emotional distress
      • worried about someone in distress

    INCLUDEnyc Help Line

    • 212-677-4660 (English)
    • 212-677-4668 (Español)
    • Open Mon-Thurs, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    For more information, visit https://www.includenyc.org/resource-line/.

FROM INCLUDENYC NEWS BOARD

Resources

  • June 20: Parenting a child with a disability (in person, English)
  • June 20: EI to CPSE: Transition from Early Intervention to preschool special education services (virtual, English)

HOUSING

The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing

 https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/31/business/disability-wheelchair-new-york-city-apartment-rent.html?smid=nytcore-android-share

The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/31/business/disability-wheelchair-new-york-city-apartment-rent.html?smid=nytcore-android-share

NYC affordable housing guide for people with disabilities 
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities

  • From City and State NY: Special Report Affordable Housing- This publishing is pleased to present AFFORDABLE HOUSING running in the May 15th issue of the magazine and online! This is an opportunity to get in front of New York’s decision-makers on affordable housing and what happens next. For print and digital advertising opportunities please reach out to [email protected]. Ad Deadline: May 11th
  • NYC’s Adult Literacy Program (English language reading and writing services for adults & out-of-school youth 16+)
    NYC.gov

Section 8 Vouchers

  • HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email [email protected] or fax at 212-863-5299.
  • During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension.
  • All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled.
  • All hearings for appeal are canceled until further notice.
  • HPD will continue to pay subsidies until final determinations are made. All non-emergency Section 8 Housing Quality Standard inspections are suspended until further notice.

Accommodations for DHS Shelter Residents

 

NEW YORK IMMIGRATION COALITION – NYIC

IMMIGRANTS

NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA)

Free and safe legal help for immigrants

  • Action NYC offers free and safe immigration legal help regardless of immigration status. Services are offered by trusted legal service providers at community-based organizations, hospitals, and schools. Get free, comprehensive legal screenings to find out if you qualify for any immigration benefit. Get free legal help from an experienced legal representative for a range of cases, including Citizenship, Green card applications and renewals, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and more.
  • Your information will be completely confidential and held by the organization helping you with your case. Sensitive information will not be shared with others. Services are offered in your language. The Resource and Referral Guide has information on services for recently arrived immigrant children and their families and caretakers, including refugees. These include education, child and family welfare, health, legal, and other services.

You are eligible if you’re an immigrant living in New York City, regardless of your documented status.

Special Education Information in My Language: Translation and Interpretation Tip Sheet

  • AFC’s newest tip sheet, available in 10 languages, covers NYC’s right to receive special education information in their language and reviews the process on how to request written translations of IEPs, evaluations, 504 information and other special education documents. Find the tip sheet here: https://advocatesforchildren.org/get_help/guides_and_resources/immigrant

ImmSchools Know Your Students Rights Guide

Working Papers – Employment for Minors

Guide for Undocumented High School and College Students

  • Informed Immigrant has put together a guide for undocumented high school and college students, both with and without DACA. The guide collects resources and information to help undocumented students make informed decisions about their futures and acquire the tools they need to advocate for themselves at the high school and college levels. Find the guide here: https://www.informedimmigrant.com/guides/higher-education-undocumented-students/

MENTAL HEALTH

Advocates for Children

[Event] HOW TO ACCESS MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES THROUGH NYC SCHOOLS. The CITY, a nonprofit digital NYC news platform, will be hosting a conversation at the Brooklyn Public Library on mental health resources in New York City public schools, and how students can get appropriate support. Learn more and RSVP here

NYS Office of Mental Health

  • Chalkbeat News
    • After a traumatic event, how can teachers best help students? This article provides advice for parents and teachers on how to talk to students about gun violence, community trauma, grief, and mental health.
    • Read the article here >> Mental Health in Schools
  • Thrive Alliance Group
  • Thrive Continuum of Services: Thrive provides a continuum of mental health services to meet the needs of students, staff, and the entire school community. Click the link to view their services >> Thrive Alliance Group Services
  • Active Minds
    • Our students are facing unprecedented challenges to their mental health and wellbeing.  CDC reported that 42% of high school students felt sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row, causing them to stop doing usual activities. Sadly, these numbers increased significantly among LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth.
    • Active Minds provides students with the peer-to-peer, evidence-informed programs and tools they need to lead open, honest conversations around mental health among their peers. Our award-winning curriculum empowers young people to:
      • Reduce stigma around mental health challenges
      • Build peer support networks
      • Encourage seeking help

988 FAQ’s

Resources for School and Mental Health Partners

 

MULTILINGUAL LEARNERS

  • The Division of Multilingual Learners is developing guidance to support multilingual learners in any language, to maintain continuity of learning, including how co-teaching can work remotely. Find more information here:  https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/multilingual-learners.
  • Parents can request assistance to fill out the survey by calling 718-935-5100, Option 5.
  • DOE is also looking into accommodating “low incident languages.” Families in need of translation services should reach out to DOE.

 

PARENT UNIVERSITY

  • A collaboration between the Office of Family and Community Empowerment (FACE) and the Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT). Register for classes at https://parentu.schools.nyc/.
  • Send suggestions to DOE for additional resources to Michele at [email protected].

REPORTS AND RESOURCES

RESOURCES FROM COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE HOMELESS OR IN TEMPORARY HOUSING

Students Experiencing Homelessness

Evaluation Process 

 

SERVICES

Free Evaluations

  • YA1 provides free Psychological, Psychosocial and Autism evaluations for people seeking to apply for OPWDD services.

The Queens Intensive Parenting Training Program

  • The Queens Intensive Parenting Training Program works with Parents living with an IDD who reside in Queens. They provide in-home services and advocacy.
  • Please contact [email protected] 347-491-1185.

Home Sharing Program

  • The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens offers this service that matches hosts with an extra bedroom or private space in their houses or apartments with compatible guests looking for affordable housing in New York.
  • One of the participants must be 60 or above, the other can be 18 or above. Call 212-962-7559 or www.nyfsc.org

 

SEXUAL HEALTH

Sexual Health Innovation Network for Equitable Education with Youth with Intellectual Disabilities

  • Project SHINE: “The Sexual Health Innovation Network for Equitable Education with Youth with Intellectual Disabilities.” The goals of The SHINE Project are to address inequities in sexual health by ensuring accessible education and health services for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 16-24 and the people who support them. For more information, please click here.

 

SNAP

 

STUDENT RECORDS

 

TRAININGS 

  • From YAI Seeing Beyond Disability:
  • Strategies for Supporting Families to Address the Social-Sexual Needs of their Neurodiverse Children | This training qualifies for 4 social work CE hours and is held in-person at YAI’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. >> 6/6/23 9:30am – 2pm ET
  • YAI and its network of affiliate agencies offer children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) a comprehensive range of services.
  • Preparing Professionals To Become Social-Sexual Educators and Consent Assessors | This training qualifies for 12 social work CE hours and is held in-person at YAI’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. >> 4/26/23 9:30am-5pm ET 4/27/23 9:30am-5pm ET
  • Understanding How People With I/DD Age and How To Support Them | This training qualifies for 12 social work CE hours and is held in-person at YAI’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan >> 2/23/23 9:30am – 5pm ET 5/24/23 9:30am – 5pm ET
  • YAI Knowledge trainers bring their expertise to nonprofits, corporations, and community on everything from HIPAA requirements and fire safety to accommodating and expanding neurodiversity in the workplace. Click the link to find workshops that may interest you (dates and times may vary) >> VIEW ALL TRAININGS HERE

The Integration Transition Program

  • The program will focus on development of independent life skills including self-advocacy, independent living, communication skills, and struggles for developing positive relationships.
  • The program will take place virtually Wednesdays 4:00-5:45pm with some community activities on Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm.
  • Register at https://forms.office.com/r/dxYxJMdCGB

Online Social Skills Groups

 

TRANSITION PLANNING

  • From IncludeNYC| Adult Career and Continuing Education Services | NYS Education Department ACCES-VR
  • What is Transition Planning? The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) recognizes the importance of preparing students with disabilities for success after high school, and states that transition planning for students who receive special education services and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) must begin by age 16 or younger.
  • Students with IEPs who need to be connected with adult/postsecondary services or education and have otherwise completed school:
    • Can get transition supports (help applying to OPWDD, AccessVR, vocational programs, and other adult programs/services) through their borough TCAC or the District 75 Transition Office as appropriate to access this service. Contact [email protected] or, for students in D75 programs, [email protected]
  • Families in need of transition services and assistance can contact, The Transition and College Access Services (TCAC). There is one in each borough. Families can email their borough for support.
  • ACCES-VR is not having virtual sessions. Families should contact AccessVR directly for questions at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr.

 

TRANSPORTATION

MTA-OMNY for Reduced-Fare

Contactless fare payment program, OMNY, is coming this summer for our Reduced-Fare customers (seniors and those with eligible disabilities)! If you are already a Reduced-Fare customer. Learn more about this program https://new.mta.info/fares/omny-fare-capping

Fair Fares NYC

  • 274,994 New Yorkers have enrolled in Fair Fares NYC! This program helps low-income New Yorkers with transportation costs. Participants can receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Check for info on eligibility and how to apply here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/fairfares/index.page.

Students with Disabilities

  • The Office of Pupil Transportation is working case by case, including bus paraprofessionals and other staff. OPT is making bus alternatives available.
    • Metro cards: OPT has shipped FREE MetroCards to all schools for students and parents.
    • Reimbursement process: OPT is also offering to reimburse families who use other methods of transportation (car services, taxis, Ubers, etc.). Reimbursement process will be expedited and simpler.

 

YAI’s FREE RESOURCES

  • YAI provides free Psychological, Psychosocial, and Autism Evaluations for people seeking to apply for OPWDD services. More information found here: Getting Started (yai.org)
      • YAI offers free workshops every month explaining how to apply for eligibility and services through the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). These informational presentations are open to families, caregivers, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and professionals. Visit the upcoming trainings page to register and learn more.
      • Apply for groups starting in May!
        • YAI’s Independent Living Skills Program is currently enrolling new applicants for its spring virtual group. Groups will be held via Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 6:15 pm. Participants will learn and socialize around topics like decision-making, relationships, planning, and more.  
      • Brooklyn Groups for Children with Autism:
        • The Ballet-Yoga group in Brooklyn is for children ages 4-10 on the autism spectrum. The group helps members to work on social skills while improving balance, coordination, strength, and attention.
        • Applicants must have an autism diagnosis, OPWDD eligibility, and reside at home with family in Brooklyn to enroll in this service.
        • Details: Zoom sessions are held on Mondays from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
      • Social Skills Program:
        • Open to children ages 5-12 on the autism spectrum.* Groups cover topics including communication, feelings, and friendship. 
        • Details: Zoom sessions are held on Thursdays from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Taking the Fear Out of Dental Visits for Patients With Developmental Disabilities; Read more about it here >> Dental Visits for Patients with Developmental Disabilities

 LAST UPDATED: 06/18/2024


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