Fighting to Make New Yorkers with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities a Priority

We need investments in care, not cuts, to save the system of vital services and support for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


New York Disability Advocates (NYDA) is a statewide coalition of more than 300 non-profit organizations providing vital services and support to more than 125,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Across the state, these organizations provide comprehensive and individualized services and programs that support people with developmental disabilities in all areas of their lives—from physical and behavioral health services, to cooking and feeding, to creating meaningful employment opportunities.

In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities of this essential system of care and had a devastating effect on individuals with I/DD, who are at increased risk of contracting and suffering serious complications from the coronavirus. Now, this system is on the verge of crumbling as a result of looming budget cuts, chronic underfunding, and the impacts of the pandemic. To sustain the system long-term and allow organizations to continue to provide lifelong support and care, the State must:



New Yorkers with I/DD need care, not cuts. All planned cuts to the I/DD system must be halted and funding restored to save and sustain our services that provide for our most vulnerable New Yorkers.


The decades-long COLA deferral has withheld an estimated $5 billion in funding for essential services and supports for New Yorkers with I/DD. A deferral of this year’s COLA would deprive the system of approximately $90 million in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis. This deferral must be rejected.


Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the foundation of care; however, the current staffing crisis risks threatening the health and safety of New Yorkers with I/DD. The State must include DSPs in any workforce development, education and training initiatives enacted in the budget to preserve the system of supports.


This investment is crucial to the viability of not-for-profit providers. Over 90% of provider organizations’ funds come from Medicaid. New York State determines the funding levels each year and, for the past decade, providers consistently have had to do more with less.

The impacts of budget cuts are severe.

Program Reductions

Facility Closures

Staffing Crisis


The I/DD service system is a critical component of New York’s health care system and has an outsized positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and the communities it serves.

Provide High-Quality Care

Foster independence, support families and prioritize inclusion

Create Jobs

Employ more than 120,000 New Yorkers, mostly women and minorities

Stimulate Economies

Frequently one of the largest area employers, driving increased economic activity in communities

Prevent Future Costs

Addressing external health impacts and providing cost-effective delivery of care

New York State has a legal and ethical obligation to provide essential services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tell state lawmakers to do the right thing and prioritize equitable access to care for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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Join the effort to make New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities a priority! Send a message to the State to save this system of care.

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