Press Release – 2.23.2024


For Immediate Release

News Release

Press Release – 2.23.2024

Contact: Ed Kelley

Email: edkelley108@aol.com

Phone: 917-982-8015

New York Deaf Community, Legislators and Community Leaders Urge New York State’s Department of Health to Avoid the Closure of an Estimated 270 CDPAP Agencies that Serve Medicaid Patients

New York – CDPAP New York United hosted a press conference at the Deaf and Wellness Recreation Center in Brooklyn on Friday, February 23 where the New York deaf community, legislators and community leaders continued their fight against the New York Department of Health’s planned action to close an estimated 270 CDPAP (Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program) agencies that provide home care services to more than 40,000 disabled and elderly Medicaid participants. The event was sponsored by United Hands, a nonprofit advocacy group for the deaf, and follows two similar events held last year in New York City.

The deaf cannot obtain LHSCA (Licensed Homecare Services Agency) aides because no PCA (Personal Care Assistant) course is taught in sign language in New York State, and as such, CDPAP is the ONLY service that can keep them in their homes. More than 175,000 Deaf/Hard of Hearing people are living in New York City, according to the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Small, local minority agencies are being targeted for closure, and agencies serving specific cultural and diverse populations are scheduled to be cut as well, amounting to an estimated 60 percent of CDPAP home care agencies in New York.

The speakers at the press conference included Senator Cordell Comrie, 14th Senate District; Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, 80th Assembly District; Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, 46th Assembly District; Marina Fanshteyn, Executive Director of Deaf Wellness and Recreation Center; Gary Farberov, Executive Director of United Hands; and

“As far as I know, this is the only center for deaf people in New York, so it’s my privilege to help this center in my district, in this 46th Assembly District,” said Brook-Krasny. “As I know and can see now, United Hands (is) providing services quite often on a one-on-one basis – you can see it now.” He continued and said, “So, it is very important to support this bill, to support CDPAP for every agency that’s providing right now CDPAP program to their clients.”

Brook-Krasny closed by saying that “it only makes sense for me – together with my colleagues and people involved in the process – to support the bill, to support the bill and tell the Governor that it’s not a time to have cuts in this particular area. We have to keep CDPAP program in every agency that CDPAP is serving clients with.”

Fanshteyn said that “there are many people who move from other countries to New York City, and ASL may not be their first language – they might use Spanish sign language as their first or Russian sign language.”

“There are a lot of different sign languages, and we do have that ability to match their specific needs. We can find a person who knows that specific language, and it’s really nice that the community is willing and able to help each other who share in the same culture. I really appreciate you all trying to keep the CDPAP running, because like Big Apple, it is a small agency and the community is underserved,” Fanshteyn added.

“Once again, our government wants to create a program where we are going to be the victims,” said Farberov. “Once again, we are the forgotten population. No one cares. I’m trying to make people understand what we need.”

“The services we require are absolutely unique, and no big company can provide these services because they don’t understand our community. We have no rights, we have no services, we are the forgotten team.”

Farberov concluded by saying that “this is just another example of how they don’t count us – by taking away CDPAP program, which is going to be detrimental to us all.”

Quotes of support can be found on the links below:

Assemblyman Nader Sayegh, 90th Assembly District

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, 28th Assembly District

Fred Polsky, CEO of Health Aide

Senator Leroy Comrie, 14th Senate district (Queens)

Senator Addabbo, 15th Senate District

Senator Cordell Cleare, Chair of Senate Aging Committee

Assemblyman David Weprin, 24th Assembly District

Simon Mord, President of Big Apple Home Care

Derek Adams, Potomac Law Partner

Contact: Ed Kelley

Email: edkelley108@aol.com

Phone: 917-982-8015

Stand Up for CDPAP

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In this critical moment, your voice carries immense weight. By raising awareness, mobilizing support, and advocating for the preservation of CDPAP services, you can make a tangible difference in ensuring the program's strength and sustainability for generations to come. Let us unite in solidarity to uphold the principles of dignity, choice, and accessibility inherent in the CDPAP program, securing a brighter future for you, your loved ones, and countless others in need of compassionate care.