We must continue to advocate

ACA/NY CEO Nick Cappoletti Addresses the Bronx DD Council

CEO Nick Cappoletti was the keynote speaker for the 35th Annual Family Support Conference hosted by the Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council on May 18.

With over 300 in attendance, Nick shared his thoughts as a father of a son with IDD, the importance of Family Support Services, and where we are going as a system.

“Family Support Services and the entire OPWDD system were born from parent advocacy,” Nick said as part of his keynote. “We have made tremendous progress over the past four decades, moving away from institutional care to community-based support and services. NYS has made a huge financial investment in IDD services. But the need for change continues. We must continue to advocate for the needs of the IDD population.”

Many ACA/NY staff attended the conference. ACA/NY Regional Director Holli Rubiano moderated a panel on how Care Managers can assist with accessing Family Support Services. ACA/NY Regional Director Mainawatie Singh served on the panel discussion. As a moderator, Holli spoke about how challenging it can be to navigate the OPWDD system and how Care Managers can alleviate some of the challenges of a caregiver. Holli is on the Bronx DD Executive Board and chairs the Care Management Committee for the council.

The Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council is an association of parents, advocates, members, and professionals concerned with the needs of people with developmental disabilities who reside in the Bronx. Through the Council’s Executive Board, Standing Committees, and Special Events, it provides a forum for the discussion of issues, provides information and support to families, and advocates for the social and economic issues that affect the quality of life of the people it serves.

The Council also acts in an advisory capacity to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, identifying unmet needs and reviewing service proposals. It provides representation to the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies and works in cooperation with New York City’s other four Borough Councils in advocacy and planning.