Member Advocacy

Your voice is crucial in our efforts to defend the health, services, and wellbeing of the people we support.

Advocate Today

Southern Tier Connect’s members with intellectual and development disabilities and their families rely on Medicaid, a service system in dire need of updating. People are stuck on waiting lists, the direct care workforce is underpaid resulting in system-wide staff shortages, and too often, unpaid family caregivers fill in the gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic magnified these problems and exposed cracks in the OPWDD infrastructure that supports people with disabilities.

Recent changes in funding, advocacy, and legislative activity in Albany and Washington DC are heading in a positive direction. Learn more about these new opportunities for members and families below.


A Unified Effort

The seven CCOs/HHs have unified our efforts for advocacy by founding the Care Management Alliance of New York. Please sign up for CMANY alerts on their website to stay informed of future CCO advocacy issues.

Federal Advocacy

Social Security Act

Social Security and SSI play a vital role in helping people with disabilities to live independently in the community and meet their basic needs. Many people with disabilities rely on benefits for much of their income. Discussions about Social Security, however, often focus on retirement and seldom address potential effects on people with disabilities in the retirement, disability, and survivor’s programs.

Contact your local representative and ask them to support SSI Restoration Act H.R.3824 

Click here to take action now. 

HCBS Access Act

“The America Rescue Package made important investments in home and community-based care. But Congress must do more. It must do much more. We must make HCBS a mandatory benefit in Medicaid and expand Medicare to cover more at home, long-term care services.” HCBS are often essential services for people with disabilities on Medicaid to live well in their homes. Yet, there are long waiting lists for services and each state administers HCBS differently. Access was already suboptimal before the pandemic and was worsened dramatically this past year. (D. Dingell and B. Casey, et al)

Tell Congress to Pass the Better Care Better Jobs Act, a Historic Investment in Disability Services.

Click here to take action now. 


The American Jobs Act plan aims to allocate $400 billion toward expanding access to quality and affordable home care for elderly and disabled Americans. Specifically, through the creation of new, competitive home-care jobs with stronger wages and benefits, the plan seeks to dramatically expand caliber care to the hundreds of thousands of Americans left out by the previous system. On its face, thepPlan’s investment in home-care garners bipartisan support and from employers and employees alike. Click here for more information.

Click here to advocate now.


Right now, people who do not have access to affordable health insurance through their jobs can get financial help to buy coverage in the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

But current rules only consider the cost of the insurance for the employee with the job and don’t take into account the cost of insurance for spouses, partners, dependents, or other family members.

This means that families who need insurance but can’t afford the cost for the whole family on the employee’s plan aren’t guaranteed an affordable option.

This “glitch” means that 5 million people, including adults and children with disabilities, don’t have access to affordable health coverage.

The Biden Administration has proposed new rules that would fix the “family glitch,” which left millions of families—including the families of many people with disabilities—ineligible for financial help through the health care marketplace.

We need your help to turn this proposal into reality so that all people can get affordable access to the health care they need!

Everyone should have access to care – and your story can help!

  • Do you or a family member have a disability, and have you been unable to afford health coverage?
  • Have you been unable to afford care for your children because of an expensive employer-based plan?
  • Has your spouse or partner been left without coverage?

Add your story in the comment box to share your personal experience with your elected officials by clicking here.

ANCOR Amplifier

The ANCOR Amplifier is your one-stop shop for taking action to support providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Check back regularly for opportunities to support your association’s federal advocacy efforts!

Key Talking Points

When writing your letter, be sure to:

  • Use your full name
  • Say where you live
  • Make it known if you are a voter in their district
  • Explain what you want your legislator to do 
  • Explain why this issue is important to you, giving real-world, compelling examples of how these services are vital to you or your loved one


Advocacy Tools

Find and Contact Your Elected Officials

Additional Contacts

John W. Mannion | NYS Senate
Developmental Disabilities Committee Chair

Aileen Gunther | Assemblywoman
Assembly District 100
Chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health

Thomas J. Abinanti | Assemblyman
Assembly District 92
Chair of the Assembly Committee on Disabilities

header photo / cliff booth 2020

capital photo / david renken 2020