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Committee Report | September 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 7:20am

Report of



The Board of Regents

September 13, 2011

Your ACCES Committee held its scheduled meeting on September 13, 2011.  All members were present, with the exception of Chancellor Emeritus Bennett, Regent Chapey and Regent Norwood , who were excused.  Additional members of the Board attending where:  Chancellor Tisch, Regent Cashin, Regent Cottrell, Regents Dawson, Regent Jackson and Regent Phillips.


The Committee was informed about the action being taken by Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) in collaboration with the Independent Living Center (ILC) network to increase access to independent living opportunities for individuals with disabilities in New York State.  ILC staff assist people with disabilities and their families in navigating complex service systems through peer counseling; information and referral; independent living and life skills training; benefits planning and advisement; housing assistance and individual and systems advocacy.  Annually, over 8000 public and private businesses statewide receive assistance in meeting the needs of customers with disabilities.  Increasingly, independent living centers are diverting youth and adults with significant disabilities from nursing homes and other segregated settings and assisting with the transition to community living.  ACCES-VR estimates that through these efforts independent living centers save New York an average of over $100 million annually by facilitating access to less costly community-based options.  On the state and local level, ILCs have advanced accessible public transportation, enhanced accessible and affordable housing opportunities, the NYS Medicaid Buy-In Program, consumer-directed personal assistance services and Medicaid waiver programs, among others.  In addition, ILCs have cultivated and maintained strong partnerships with SED programs to ensure equal access for individuals with disabilities including Literacy Zones and Model Transition Programs.  ACCES-VR’s consumers are benefiting from the work accomplished by these partnerships with ILCs.  ACCES-VR is also proud of its strong working relationship with several important partners in systems change including the National Council of Independent Living and the New York Association on Independent Living, the Independent Living Network of New York, the New York State Council on Independent Living and the New York State Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council.  In total, decades of systems advocacy has resulted in a comprehensive set of legal protections and service options available to New Yorkers with disabilities.

This concludes our report.