Special Education Remote Learning Information/Contacts/Resources/Links

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

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

NOVEMBER 13, 2023

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/.


Bronx Independent Living Services, et al. v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority 

After 7 long years of a lawsuit which the DOJ joined, the MTA will settle the Middletown Road case! This Bronx subway station is elevated and is on the 6 line. Right now it is totally inaccessible to anyone who cannot climb stairs. There is a fair hearing to finalize the case on January 25, 2024 in Judge Ramos’ courtroom. (See details in PDFs: BILLS MTA SHORT NOTICE and BILLS MTA LONG NOTICE)

The MTA has agreed to make one way accessible within 7 years of the lawsuit being finalized. 

Mark your calendars! Represent!

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.

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!

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


INCLUDEnyc Live series:

Accessibility Update: Getting around with the MTA 

The MTA’s Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo and Cheryelle Cruickshank, Executive Director of INCLUDEnyc, discuss the progress, new initiatives, and challenges of forging a truly accessible mass transit system

November 29th – noon – 12:45pm  November 29 SIGN UP

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.

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.

Social Security Announces 3.2 Percent Benefit Increase for 2024

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income will increase 3.2 percent in 2024, retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January. Increased payments to approximately 7.5 million people receiving SSI will begin on December 29, 2023.  Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages.  Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $168,600 from $160,200. To read more, please visit www.ssa.gov/cola.

ACLU’s major victory for the thousands of nonbinary New Yorkers who will be able to apply for public benefits without being forced to lie about their identity or risk being misgendered.

In the case against the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), OTDA will eliminate a major barrier to accessing benefits for nonbinary people by making the “X” gender marker available to New Yorkers who apply for public benefits.

Feds Aim To Ease Shortage Of Special Educators

With schools facing persistent shortages of special education staff, the U.S. Department of Education said it is awarding over $35 million to bolster the workforce of special education teachers and administrators, related services providers, those at early intervention programs and university faculty preparing these specialists. Read more!

SNAP Eligibility for Undocumented Individuals and Minors

In response to questions received on last week’s 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

U.S. Access Board Releases Training Videos on Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines

Five new videos on the Board’s YouTube Channel. These videos supplement the Board’s free technical assistance on the guidelines via email at [email protected] and accessibility training by request at [email protected] 

City & State: The Key to Affordable Clean Energy in NY? Pass The NY Heat Act-This past legislative session, New York State took notable steps to fight the climate crisis and end our reliance on fossil fuels in buildings, including the passage of the first-in-nation All-Electric Buildings Act. However, while the Senate passed the New York Home Energy Affordable Transition (NY HEAT) Act, this pivotal energy affordability bill did not make it past the finish line. Full story>> PassingthecleanAct

NYC Department of Social Services: City Services for Asylum Seekers Arriving in NYC-As of July 16, 2023, over 90,100 asylum seekers have gone through the system and been offered a place to rest at night since last spring. Over 54,800 asylum seekers are currently in the City’s care. The City has opened 188 emergency shelters, including 13 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.

HHS Takes Action to Provide 12 Months of Mandatory Continuous Coverage for Children in Medicaid and CHIP

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to state health officials reinforcing that states must provide 12 months of continuous coverage for children under the age of 19 on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beginning January 1, 2024. Read more

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.

U.S. Access Board Staff to Provide Presentations and Trainings at National Conferences to Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Learn more.

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

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

Read more: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 yearsGothamist, 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




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.

Why self-care is essential to parenting
Child Mind Institute

Mental health in Mandarin Chinese: a starter kit for dialogue
Los Angeles Times

FREE small-group literacy tutoring for 3rd graders (2022-23 Saturday Tutoring): Everyone Reading is now accepting applications. Tutoring session will be held Saturday mornings via Zoom. The program is free, but attendance is required. For more information visit: After School Tutoring – Everyone Reading

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)

Application for South Bronx Literacy Academy:

South Bronx Literacy Academy (SBLA) is a new 2-8 public school specifically designed to support struggling readers and children with language-based learning disabilities, dyslexia, and the co-occurring conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, and depression that often go alongside. SBLA – SCHOOL |Enroll (literacyacademycollective.org)


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline- the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (Justice) jointly released a Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline. The Departments recognize and appreciate school administrators, teachers, and educational staff across the nation who work to administer student discipline fairly, and to provide a safe, positive, and nondiscriminatory educational environment for all students, teachers, and other educators-Full report here>> U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline (govdelivery.com)

From U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Commemorating the Olmstead Anniversary with Revitalized Enforcement Initiative- Twenty-four years ago, Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson helped change the world for people with disabilities.  Lois and Elaine, two women with psychiatric and intellectual disabilities, challenged their unjustified segregation in a Georgia psychiatric hospital in a lawsuit that reached the United States Supreme Court. In the 1999 landmark disability rights decision, Olmstead v. L.C., the Court ruled that unjustified segregation of people with disabilities violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and that people with disabilities have a right to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

OCR is also launching a reinvigorated Olmstead Initiative to bolster our enforcement, compliance, policy, technical assistance, and outreach efforts to support community living. Full report>> Commemorating the Olmstead Anniversary with Revitalized | HHS.gov


Sign On To Save Key Education Programs

For the last few years, the DOE has been using temporary federal COVID-19 relief funds for important programs, such as 3-K, preschool special education, Summer Rising, school social workers, nurses & psychologists, coordinators working in homeless shelters, bilingual staff, and more. But the federal funds will run out in 2024, and there is not yet a plan for what comes next. Join us in calling on elected leaders to continue these programs >> here.  

Open Houses. Brooklyn Special Education Open Houses

All 47 Brooklyn North High Schools will be holding Special Education Open Houses this fall for parents and prospective students who want to learn more about the schools’ special education supports and services. Register for an upcoming open house >> here. 

Math disabilities hamper student success, yet schools rarely screen for them.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now tracking the number of people with cerebral palsy
Disability Scoop

Officials say Narcan is now stocked in NYC public high schools, but some principals say they haven’t received it yet
CBS New York

What American schools do wrong (Opinion)
New York Times

To get STEM education to every student, train all new teachers in computing (Opinion)
The 74 Million

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

NYC schools with enrollment shortfalls face cuts; more budget losses loom
“Schools will once again face midyear cuts if their final enrollment tallies on Oct. 31 fall short of projections. And that’s not the only budget pain on the way: the Education Department, like all city agencies, is expected to cut its budget by 5% as of November, and has already instituted a hiring freeze that’s delaying filling some critical positions, according to advocates and staffers. Our top story today looks at the bleak budget picture for city schools.”

Newark doesn’t have enough seats for early learning. Could philanthropists close the gap?
Newark child care center is funded by philanthropists: “We want to demonstrate what the children of Newark deserve.”

New York tightens special education rules, aiming to reduce fraud
New York Times

How music can be mental health care
New York Times

School Cellphone Bans Are Trending. Do They Work?
New York Times

Home schooling’s rise from fringe to fastest-growing form of education
Washington Post

New SAT Data Highlights the Deep Inequality at the Heart of American Education
New York Times

The $1.8-Billion Lawsuit Over a Teacher Test
The New Yorker

Comptroller Calls for School Funding Changes to Accommodate Asylum Seeker Enrollments
City Limits

New York tightens special education rules, aiming to reduce fraud
New York Times

Screened admissions policies only worsen segregation in NYC Schools (Opinion)
City Limits

N.Y. state lawmakers seek to reduce number of school lockdown drills
Spectrum News 1

Milk carton shortage hits school lunchrooms in California, New York and other states, USDA says
AP via ABC7

NYC students with disabilities file federal civil rights complaint over transportation woes
NY Daily News

Students, staff evacuate NYC school after carbon monoxide incident

New York City’s VITAL Program Puts Libraries at the Center of School Communities
School Library Journal

NYPD to launch a school hotline for safety and mental health concerns. Advocates are wary.
“The police should not deal with students’ mental health or behavioral issues at all, including bullying,” one advocate said.

Adding learning time is hard. Here’s how this school district made it happen.
With a raise for teachers and support from families, a suburban Chicago district added 30 minutes of reading and math instruction to the end of each school day this year. It’s the kind of policy many experts say could help address pandemic-driven learning loss. But it’s harder to pull off than it sounds.

Education of migrant children threatened by NYC 60-day shelter limit
New York Daily News (Paywall)

Better understanding the risks of AI for New York City agencies
City & State

Less than half of students getting disability services receive any reproductive health instruction
Mother Jones

New York State Education Department recognizes 53 employers of individuals with disabilities

The ADHD drug shortage is causing real pain
New York Times

Plain language summary of recent amendments to NYS OPWDD HCBS Waiver

How do I pay for college?
New York Times

What do disabled people expect from disability inclusion and representation?


What is a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and how does it relate to special education
Ed Week

New technology for competitive Deaf and hard of hearing football team

Free food in NYC including food pantries and soup kitchens
Food Help NYC

National Center for College Students with Disabilities

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Guide for people with disabilities on employment in the Civil Service
U.S. Office of Personnel Management

GED test center for people with disabilities opens in NYC

NYN Media 

Ways to cope with ADHD medication shortages – Understood

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):


Students must apply by December 1, 2023.


Students must apply by December 8, 2023.


Do you know high schoolers who need more support in school to prepare for life after graduation? Every high school student with an IEP has a legal right to transition services to help them leave HS ready for their postsecondary goals, whether that be college, a career, vocational training, or independent living. Learn more and register >> here.

Middle And High School Open Houses

Families applying to middle or high school this year can start attending open houses — in-person or virtually — Browse events on the MySchools Event Calendar

TIP SHEETS:  Applying to HS (EnglishSpanish) and Applying to MS (EnglishSpanish)


Watch the recording >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lcJacv86yY


There are currently two open seats on the NYS Department of Health’s Early Intervention Coordinating Council (EICC). The EICC is an advisory council, made up of parents, providers, municipal representatives, and state agency representatives. Learn more about the council and apply HERE


Every high school student with an IEP has a legal right to transition services to help them leave HS ready for their postsecondary goals, whether that be college, a career, vocational training, or independent living. Register!



Registration is now open for Sinergia’s virtual, bilingual after-school program for children age 3-13, presented in collaboration with the Children’s Museum of the Arts. There are three different sessions offered between February and June 2024. Space is limited, and priority will be given to Bronx residents. Register!

Get The NYC School Bus App 

All NYC public school bus companies are now included in the NYC School Bus App, to track their child’s bus rides to and from school (includes students at public, non-public, and charter schools) App: Bus App

Education Helpline

Families can call Education Helplineorsend us a messageonline if they are experiencing any issues with busing, placement, enrollment, or special education supports. (866) 427-6033

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 Schools 

The 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 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.


November 18, 10:30–11:30 am: Arts and Crafts with KEEN
Youth with disabilities and volunteers come together for one-to-one projects. Projects can range from coloring by number, friendship bracelets, pom poms or feathers and sticker masterpieces… whatever materials are available to bring your imagination to life. Let’s get creative and have some fun!
Please register with the KEEN event form listed on the event page at bklynlibrary.org/inclusive-service or call 718.253.4948.
For more information call 917.751.4890 or email [email protected]

November 30, 4–5 pm: Supporting Grieving Children
Virtual Program on Zoom
Supporting a grieving child is one of the most difficult things we do as parents and as the adults in their lives. We all need help getting through the painful process. Join us and an experienced panel to discuss how youth experience grief and how we can talk to them about death and hear them express feelings about it. Learn about books that can help with those conversations and find resources in your community to support grieving children. Spanish interpretation will be provided.
Philanthropic support for the citywide Childhood Bereavement Initiative provided by the New York Life Foundation.
For more information, call 917.751.4890 or email: [email protected].



  • 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].


  • 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/




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)

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.


NYC DOE Child Abuse Designated Liaison Training


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


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)


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






  • 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.


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.  



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. 


  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 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


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


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!


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. 


  • 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




  • 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.


Newly Arrived Immigrants



Brooklyn Public Library Remote Schooling

Other Support



  • 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/.




The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing


The Cost of Being Disabled in New York City Housing

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+)

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




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/


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



  • 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.



  • 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].




Students Experiencing Homelessness

Evaluation Process 



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 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.







  • 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



  • 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.



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 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: 11/13/2023


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