Friday, May 30, 2008

Governor of NY announces Autism Platform

Governor David A. Paterson Announces Autism Platform to include Inter-agency Task Force and Statewide Autism Research Consortium

May 28, 2008, 10:30 a.m., State Capitol Blue Room

Governor Paterson will announce the formation of an inter-agency Task Force on Autism that will ensure that New York State government is united as it takes the necessary steps to respond to the increasing incidence of autism and autism spectrum disorders and the challenges these disabilities bring to thousands of New York's families. The Task Force is a key component of a full platform of initiatives underway in New York State's Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). OMRDD and the State Education Department will co-chair the Task Force, ensuring that the state agencies involved in supporting individuals with autism and autism spectrum disorders work together to improve our understanding of these disabilities, our services and treatment options, our educational programs, and our ability to help families and individuals pursue their richest lives. The Task Force will also include New York State's Office of Mental Health, Office of Children and Family Services, Department of Health, Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and Council on Children and Family Services.

Another key component of OMRDD's Autism Platform is the formation of the New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Consortium. Governor Patterson tasked OMRDD with creating this multi-party research consortium that will unite New York's most prestigious institutions and most accomplished scientists, doctors, researchers, educators and service providers in a common mission: advancing our ability to understand and respond to ASD. The New York State Autism Spectrum Disorders Research Consortium will establish New York as a leader in both basic and applied research and training related to autism and ASD. It will position New York to pursue and execute large scale research studies in areas ranging from the causes of autism and early detection to studies of its occurrence throughout the state and development of "lab schools" that support focused study of individual responses to treatment in natural settings. Investing in this kind of large scale research and training infrastructure will maximize New York's ability to address the needs of those with autism and ASD. It will ensure that state-of-the-art understanding, prevention, detection and intervention is available across the state through each service system that supports individuals or families facing the challenges of autism.

OMRDD's Commissioner Diana Jones Ritter will also introduce OMRDD's larger Autism Platform, a multi-faceted, system-wide plan for addressing the needs of those with autism and ASD through research, improved services, improved collaboration and coordination among state service systems, and improved information for families, service providers and others. OMRDD's mission is to help people with developmental disabilities lead richer lives, to help them enjoy meaningful relationships, experience personal health and growth, live in homes of their choice, and fully participate in their communities. The Autism Platform, along with the Research Consortium and the inter-agency Task Force, will move New York forward to fulfill that mission for the growing number of people with autism or ASD.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

11/15 Mark Durand at Hunter College

Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Hunter College
Information, Inspiration, and Best Practice

Fall Conference for Families and Professionals

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mark Durand

Optimistic Parenting and Optimistic Teaching:
Hope and Help for Challenging Children

Watch for conference registration after September 15, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NYS OMR Forums: Attend or Send Comments

Input from these forums will drive the agency's direction of services for the coming five years. Attend and request to make comments or submit them in writing. Long Island forum is June 4, NYC is June 26 (two sessions, afternoon and evening)


State of New York
Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
Announces a series of Public Forums for the
Five Year Comprehensive Plan: 2008 – 2012

“We help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives.”

The New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) is pleased to announce that it will be holding a series of Public Forums on its new Five Year Comprehensive Plan for Services for the Period 2008 through 2012.

A schedule of the Public Forum dates and times is listed below.

Please register by calling the contact number listed below.

Video presentation of forums can be viewed online at following the events.

OMRDD intends to utilize the ideas, suggestions, and comments received through the public forums to develop a Draft Comprehensive Plan. OMRDD urges self-advocates, parents of people with developmental disabilities, other family members, non-profit providers, professionals, advocates, and other interested parties to participate. OMRDD is particularly interested in hearing about the following themes, but commentary is not limited solely to these themes.

1. OMRDD Vision Statement
People with developmental disabilities enjoy meaningful relationships with friends, family and others in their lives, experience personal health and growth, live in the home of their choice, and fully participate in their communities.

What issues most impact on OMRDD’s ability to deliver the Vision Statement outcomes for the people we serve?

How can OMRDD and its partners (self-advocates, families, providers and other agencies) improve services to deliver these outcomes for the people we serve?

2. Quality of Services and Customer Satisfaction
How can we better involve self-advocates and families as productive partners?

What are the key indicators of quality for the people we serve?

What are the national and local best and promising practices New York State should consider implementing or replicating?

3. Building Community
How can we promote full community participation and contribution?

How can we encourage communities to become more responsive and inclusive?

4. Equity and Access to Services
How can OMRDD as a system better support people to truly make informed choices about their supports and services?

How do we ensure all individuals, including those with autism spectrum disorders, the aging, people with medical frailties, children, and others, are provided fair and equitable access to person centered services?

How do we better facilitate access to supports and services across service systems for people with multiple disability needs?

5. Workforce Capacity into the Future
How do we sustain quality and stability in both direct support and clinical workforce areas in an era of changing workforce demographics?

How do we develop the next generation of leaders throughout the system to meet the challenges of tomorrow?

Speakers will be asked to register in advance of the forum, limit their comments to five (5) minutes, and bring three (3) copies of the testimony. Written testimony can also be submitted to
Cynthia Redshaw at OMRDD, 44 Holland Avenue , Albany , NY 12229 .

For general information about the Public Forums, please contact OMRDD’s Bureau of Planning:
Phone: (518) 474-4904 Fax: (518) 473-0054 E-mail:


2008 – 2012 Comprehensive Plan: Public Forum Schedule

(To register, obtain more information or directions to the hearing location, or to arrange for a special accommodation, please call the contact person for that forum at the number listed below.)

Long Island: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 – 4 pm to 7 pm
Encore Room at the Sheraton Long Island Hotel on Motor Parkway , Hauppauge , NY
(Contact: Dr. Richard Evangelista (631) 434-6111)

New York City: Thursday, June 26, 2008 – 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm and 6 pm to 8:30 pm
75 Morton St., Manhattan , NY
(Contact: Yvonne Anglero (212) 229-3081)