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Dear Friends:

On this first day of winter, I hope you are surrounded by the warmth of good company, and full of hope for the future.

2017 has been an eventful year. We hosted four full or half-day conferences on Self-Direction; our annual Education Conference highlighted Restorative Practices, why they matter, and ways to implement them in classrooms and schools. More than 160 educators, administrators, and parents were in the room, and it was clear there is a real hunger for effective alternatives to traditional discipline and suspension practices. One educator shared this with us: “Our team had some transformational learning that will absolutely inform where we will move next as a building.”

On a statewide level, for people who receive supports through Medicaid, the planned move to managed care is a significant shift. Our leadership is paying close attention to the changes and staying connected to decision-makers at the state level. Our priority remains you: supporting you or your loved ones to lead fulfilling lives. As information becomes available to us, we will share it with you.

On a national level, the legislation to change the tax code may have substantial negative impacts on safety-net programs like Medicaid, particularly since spending cuts will likely be imposed to offset the deficit. In NYS, it is projected that Medicaid spending may be cut by $40 billion over 10 years. Again, we will keep you posted on proposed changes that may impact people who have disabilities and their families.

No matter the political climate, every day our staff connect people with job opportunities, support student success, and assist adults living and engaging in their community. It is our privilege to do this work, to be here for you when you need us.

As we wrap up the year, our Annual Appeal is underway. If you haven’t made a contribution yet, I ask that you consider a gift – of any size. You can ensure our communities offer every child and adult the opportunities and supports they need to succeed.  

Colin Garwood

Happy holidays,

 colin transparent



 Colin Garwood, President/CEO