Birch Applauds Lawmakers for Prioritizing People with Disabilities

Funding Increase will Support Vital Services for Thousands of New Yorkers 

Birch Family Services, a leading provider of educational, employment and community support services for people with autism and developmental disabilities issued the following statement today:

Birch Family Services applauds New York State lawmakers for prioritizing vital services for thousands of New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities as part of the 2022 state budget. Rejecting proposed cuts to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) budget, including care management organizations (CCOs), and guaranteeing a 1% funding increase moving forward will provide individuals with disabilities the critical support they need to reach their fullest potential.

This budget is also an important step in finally providing a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to the not-for-profit providers supporting individuals and families across New York. The decades-long COLA deferral has withheld an estimated $5 billion in funding leading to organizations experiencing financial challenges and staff shortages around New York State.  

 We are hopeful that this budget will enable us and other nonprofit providers to stabilize operations and acknowledge our staff on the frontlines as we continue to respond to the urgent needs of people with disabilities. We thank lawmakers for their commitment to New Yorkers with disabilities.