Virus impacts on those with disabilities

Local News

ALBANY, NY – New York State lawmakers held a virtual forum today on the effects the coronavirus has had on those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on some of the frustrations those in the community are facing.

((Shelley Mayer, NYS Senator)) Over the past weeks, all of us have heard from our constituents about the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the groups served by the OPWDD agency in New York, our providers, and our families and the individuals with developmental disabilities themselves.

Advocates say there wasn’t enough focus or resources given to their field compared to other healthcare providers like hospitals and nursing homes especially when it comes to PPE.

((Ron Colavito, Access: Supports for Living CEO)) We were left largely to fend for ourselves in securing PPE, and we did that at extraordinary costs and effort.

((Susan Constantino, CP Unlimited President & CEO)) We were able to through our provider associations get PPE through all channels as everyone did in this state through China, through wherever and spent a huge amount of money doing that.

Constantino believes the majority of agencies now have a three-month stockpile in the event of a second wave but there are still issues.

((Susan Constantino, CP Unlimited President & CEO)) We believe that the three-month supply will allow us to be again to replenish that and to not be caught short.

((Ron Colavito, Access: Supports for Living CEO)) We still are faced with higher costs than other healthcare providers. We do not get to leverage the ability of large healthcare hospital systems and otherwise so we’re often using the second, third or even fourth level providers at added cost and quite honestly probably not the same quality.

State Senator David Carlucci who hosted the event will be putting together a report on information learned during the forum.

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