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News, Notes and Events

Visit this page often to stay apprised of current news and events. Use our submission form to suggest news or events for inclusion on the Multiple Systems Navigator.



Inclusion Tips for the General Education Teacher

Most teachers in general education – elementary and content-area secondary programs – are only given one survey course in special education and very little practical instruction in how to address the needs of all their students.

As a result, many feel overwhelmed with trying to reach all of the children in their courses. Ensuring all students can learn is the ultimate in equitable education. This article is the first in a series about how to attempt to reach and teach the diverse learners in a general education classroom.

This article discusses ways to make the content-area, general education classroom socially and emotionally welcoming to students with learning differences



National Technical Assistance Center on Transition Update!

NTACT updated and developed over 30 practice descriptions and corresponding lesson plan starters earlier in the summer. The Matrix of effective practices to teach academic, employment, and life skills to secondary students with disabilities has been updated to reflect these updates and additions. The Lesson Plan Library– a complete list of all research-based lesson plan starters for each of the effective practices – has also been updated. In order to access these resources, you will be required to create a login at

Learn about upcoming NTACT events at:



A New Savings Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities

Learn how new ABLE Accounts allow families to save up to $15,000 per year for their child without affecting their eligibility for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) or Medicaid. Guest speakers from the ABLE National Resource Center and the State of Minnesota ABLE Plan will discuss eligibility requirements, qualified expenses, annual and lifetime savings limits, and the relationship of ABLE Accounts to special needs trusts.

Location: Webinar
Date: October 23, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM



Family Peer Advocate Training

Registration for the PEP two-day in-person training for Family Peer Advocates is open!

The Parent Empowerment Program (PEP) Training is a combination of online modules, a two-day, in-person training, and 12 coaching calls. Completion of the PEP training is a requirement for the Family Peer Advocate Professional Credential.

Rochester, October 9-10, 2018

Poughkeepsie, November 8-9, 2018

Long Island, December 5-6, 2018

Registration forms available here.

For more information about the PEP training and Family Peer Advocate Credential, contact Families Together in New York State at

Location: Multiple Locations
Date: October 9, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM



11th Annual Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island Symposium

Putting the Pieces Together: Strategies for Suicide Prevention

Join the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Long Island for their annual symposium featuring Dr. Christine Moutier, Dr. Cynthia Kaplan, and Dr. Blaise Aguirre.

Presentation topics include:

  • Suicide Prevention and Social Media
  • The Connection Between Childhood Sexual Abuse and Suicide
  • Addressing Grief of Suicide Loss Survivors
  • The Lethality of Loneliness

Suggested attendees include emergency responders, medical professionals, mental health professionals, school personnel, students, clergy, suicide survivors, and anyone interested in suicide prevention. 5 Continuing Education Hours are available for LMSW/LCSW/LMHC/LMFT/LCAT.

For workshop details and registration, click here.

For the event flyer, click here.

Location: Melville Marriott Hotel, 1350 Old Walk Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747
Date: December 11, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM



2nd Annual Family Engagement Conference

Learn from expert national and state leaders, thinkers and innovators in the Family Engagement community.

Family Engagement is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways and in which families are committed to actively supporting their children's learning and development.‚Äč

This 2018 conference supports those who want to develop and strengthen family-school-community partnerships. Participants will hear about best practices and high-impact engagement that they can use in their day to day work. Through discussion and work sessions, attendees will learn and share important information about family and community engagement. This conference offers a unique opportunity to build strong collaborations and take valuable information back to their schools and agencies.

Register here.

Location: The Grapevine Banquets at 333 Dick Road, Depew, NY 14043
Date: November 29, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM



YOUTH POWER! New York Institute for Self-Advocacy

Families Together in New York State and YOUTH POWER! will be hosting several regional self-advocacy trainings in the Long Island, Western NY, Central NY, and Upper Hudson regions throughout the month of October! These trainings are designed for youth (14+) with developmental/intellectual disabilities, but all are welcome to attend.

Graduates of the New York Institute for Self-Advocacy (NYISA) will be presenting on topics such as disability history, strategic sharing, personal leadership planning, and more! Attendees will learn these invaluable self-advocacy skills from fellow youth and peers! The dates, times, and locations for each training are as follows.

Western NY
October 26th at the Hillside Children's Center (1 Mustard Street, Rochester NY, 14609, Room 143) from 5:00-8:00 P.M.

Long Island
October 11th at Brookhaven Town Hall (1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738) from 5:30-8:30 P.M.

Central NY and Upper Hudson Valley
October 16th at the Crandall Public Library (251 Glen St, Glens Falls, NY 12801) from 5:30-8:30 P.M.

If you have any questions or are interested in attending, contact Zack Kilmer, NYISA Coordinator, at 518-708-3808 or to register today!

Location: Multiple locations
Date: October 11, 2018
Time: Multiple times



Social Opportunities Initiative

NYS DDPC Announces New Funding Opportunity

DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant up to $750,000 ($250,000 per year, for three years) to develop, pilot, and evaluate a mini-grant program model which supports community based social opportunities for people with intellectual, developmental (ID/DD) and other disabilities living in rural and urban communities with high rates of poverty and disparate access to social opportunities and other community resources.

Individuals with ID/DD and other disabilities face significant barriers participating in social opportunities within their communities. This lack of social engagement results in less robust social networks and increased social isolation. Consequently, individuals with ID/DD experience a lack of social skills training opportunities (e.g., communications, etiquette, and social behaviors) and a limited number of opportunities to build upon and practice those same skills. Existing programs that attempt to address these barriers primarily target students transitioning from high school. However, research indicates that individuals across the lifespan have a need for these opportunities.

Individuals with ID/DD living in un- and underserved communities face increased barriers when seeking social opportunities. Many of these communities have trouble not only retaining essential services, but also supporting social and recreational services for individuals with developmental and other disabilities due to lack of funding, scant existing community resources, transportation, among other difficulties. 

The DDPC is pursuing community-based initiatives that target un- and underserved rural and urban communities throughout New York State that are sustainable and can be replicated in other communities that meet or exceed the NY State Poverty Rate. DDPC will select one grantee to develop, administer, and evaluate a mini-grant program focused on high-poverty, rural counties in year 1, and expanding to include high-poverty urban counties in years 2-3. These mini-grant initiatives should prioritize:

  • Reducing social isolation and developing social opportunities;
  • Supporting development of social skills, soft skills and prevocational skills; and
  • Exploring innovative transportation solutions to support community participation.


Deadlines for Letter-of-Intent Submission & Proposal Submission:  

• RFP Posting Date:                         Wednesday, September 5, 2018

• Letter of Intent Due Date:            Friday, September 28, 2018

• Proposal Due Date:                       Friday, October 19, 2018


Contact Person: Kimberly Berg, 518-486-7505, 



Rural CCO Peer-Led Outreach and Community Mapping Initiative

NYS DDPC Announces New Funding Opportunity

DDPC announces the availability of one (1) grant up to $300,000 ($100,000 per year, for three years) to conduct peer-led outreach, community mapping, and coalition building within OPWDD Region 2 that will inform the development of Administrative Directive Memorandum, policies, practices, and tools to improve service delivery and access to information for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) living in rural communities.

As of January 1, 2019, OPWDD Region 2 (Region 2) is the largest OPWDD region in terms of area, contains the largest number of rural counties (14 Counties), and the largest number of counties (12 Counties) that are at or above the State Poverty Rate of 15.7%.  The combination of these geographic and economic barriers present significant service obstacles to serving individuals with ID/DD from rural and under-served communities during the transition to managed care and CCOs, in addition to the various barriers individuals face to fully participate in their communities.

Previous initiatives and projects from the NYS DDPC and other DD Councils have focused on improving service delivery outcomes through community mapping and information-sharing. While these initiatives have increased access to service information and opportunities for public input, they do not include the opportunity for individuals with ID/DD to advocate on their own behalf, nor the ability to participate in developing policies and procedures that would assist in accessing and receiving services in their community. As newly formed CCOs are developing a framework for service delivery, individuals with ID/DD from rural, high-poverty communities in Region 2, have the opportunity to work with OPWDD, CCOs, community service providers, and other relevant stakeholders to inform solutions and policies that will improve service delivery and information access.

This initiative aims to address the above service and information delivery issues through establishment of rural advocacy coalitions throughout OPWDD Region 2. These coalitions will provide a uniform mechanism for feedback and recommendations that will result in systems transformation and ultimately improve services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Deadlines for Letter-of-Intent Submission & Proposal Submission:  

• RFP Posting Date:                         Wednesday, September 5, 2018

• Letter of Intent Due Date:            Friday, September 28, 2018

• Proposal Due Date:                       Friday, October 19, 2018


Contact Person:      Kimberly Berg, 518-486-7505,



Court Personnel Training

NYS DDPC Announces New Funding Opportunity

The DDPC announces funding to select one grantee in the amount of up to $300,000 ($100,000 per year for 3 years) to create, pilot, and evaluate customizable training for Judges, attorneys, court officers, court clerks, and other non-judicial staff and legal system professionals about intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and factors leading to involvement in the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems to increase staff knowledge to more effectively respond to the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) are more vulnerable in the criminal justice system than individuals without disabilities due to a lack of understanding around due process and other fundamental legal rights afforded to victims, witnesses, suspects, defendants, and incarcerated individuals (AAIDD, 2018, Criminal Justice System). According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2012, about 2 out every 10 prisoners and 4 out of every 10 jail inmates reported having a cognitive disability (BJS, 2012, Criminal Justice 3).

Additionally, research on available training for judges, non-judicial staff and legal system professionals (prosecutors, defense attorneys) has identified that disability training for this audience is typically limited in focus and does not adequately address the topic of developmental disabilities or how justice system professionals can most effectively address the needs of individuals with ID/DD involved in the justice system.

Through this Court Personnel Training initiative, the DDPC is seeking to increase available training, knowledge and awareness about the needs of those with ID/DD in the justice system, and to build overall systems capacity to work with and screen for individuals with ID/DD who become justice-involved.

Deadlines for Letter-of-Intent Submission & Proposal Submission:

  • RFP Posting Date:                    Wednesday, September 5, 2018
  • Letter of Intent Due Date:       Friday, September 28, 2018
  • Proposal Due Date:                  Friday, October 19, 2018


Contact Person:  Kimberly Berg, 518-486-7505,

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Developed by the Council on Children and Families and Funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council