CIDNY Celebrates 25 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act
CIDNY’s analysis of the USDA Disaster Food Stamp manual for States and Localities resulted in the addition of numerous references to accommodating persons with disabilities in compliance with the ADA.
CIDNY completed a study of NYC sidewalks, identifying that more than 68 percent of curb cuts on intersections below 14th Street had barriers for people with mobility and vision disabilities. As a result, CIDNY filed suit against NYC's Department of Transportation for failing to have a plan to make NYC compliant with the ADA.
Federal Court Judge Furman rules in CIDNY’s favor that NYC has violated the ADA by failing to include people with disabilities in emergency preparedness planning, citing the testimony of CIDNY and other consumer plaintiffs CIDNY recruited for its case.
As a result of CIDNY’s advocacy, NYS’s contract with managed long-term care plans and managed care plans for people with disabilities for Medicare and Medicaid addresses ADA compliance of health plans as a matter of contract.
As part of its implementation of the Affordable Care Act, CIDNY and its coalition partners advocated successfully that NYS establish a Navigators Program and a Managed Care Ombudsprogram for people in long-term care that address the health coverage needs of people with disabilities.
CIDNY was appointed to the NYS Department of Health State Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee and its Chronic Disease Work Group focused on improving the health of all New Yorkers. For the first time, these groups established goals related to improving health equity for people with disabilities.
The Federal Court Judge ruling against the Board of Elections in litigation brought to address the inaccessibility of NYC polling sites required the NYC Board of Elections to retain CIDNY on the eve of the November 2012 election to train polling site coordinators and ADA monitors to identify and resolve accessibility issues.
The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation sought CIDNY’s assistance with deinstitutionalizing individuals from its nursing facility. CIDNY trained their staff on community services and deinstitutionalization planning and provided peer counseling that led to deinstitutionalization of more than 200 individuals.
CIDNY sued the City of New York for failing
to include people with disabilities in its
plans. We identified consumers who became plaintiffs.
CIDNY was an expert witness in a successful federal civil rights case advocating for accessible taxis in New York City. The victory led to an agreement to make half of all taxis accessible by 2020.
CIDNY shot its first Public Service Announcement (PSA), which will encourage people with disabilities to use the Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs) to vote independently during the General Election.
CIDNY provided training for the New York Citizen Corps CERT Volunteers on issues affecting people with disabilities in the event of a disaster.
CIDNY advocated successfully for the creation of a State housing subsidy to enable people with disabilities to transition from nursing facilities to the community through the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Waiver.
New York City advocated for a requirement that yellow cabs be equipped with new technology to make them accessible to people with visual and hearing impairments.
The State Medicaid program removed red tape to improve access to durable medical equipment as a result of advocacy by CIDNY advocates and partner groups.
In 2006 CIDNY’s advocacy led the NYC DHS to designate an alternate intake process for people with disabilities who are unable to use the standard assessment shelter process and to prepare a policy on service animals and shelters.
CIDNY led the Fair Housing Coalition for People with Disabilities. The coalition conducted intensive negotiations with the Mayor’s Office seeking removal of the Mayor’s opposition to creation of the Disability Rent Increase Exemption or DRIE) which was subsequently signed into State and City law to help people with disabilities keep their affordable housing.
CIDNY consumers and staff conducted a polling site survey of 85 sites during the November elections (showing barriers at more than half of sites surveyed). Survey results also were distributed to NYC Board of Elections and elected officials of the New York City Council and the New York State Senate and Assembly. In 2005, NYS Senate and Assembly enacted two pieces of voting legislation to implement the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
As a result of CIDNY and its coalition partners’ advocacy efforts, twenty-seven taxi cabs were introduced into the fleet of yellow taxis in January 2005.
As a result of CIDNY’s ongoing participation in and advocacy at NYC VOAD meetings, the NYC Office of Emergency Management instituted a special liaison on emergency preparedness for people with special needs. Subsequently, an Advisory Committee on Emergency Preparedness for People for Special Needs was formed, with CIDNY invited to become a member of that committee.
CIDNY activated its Consumer Action Network to support accessible liveries, taxis and ferries and on the transfer of private inter-borough bus lines from the NYC Department of Transportation to the MTA.
CIDNY completed a survey of subway platform safety for people with visual impairments. This survey was used in a media campaign to draw public attention to lack of appropriate subway edge markings.
CIDNY initiated a project to create a Statewide Housing Registry for people with disabilities that will provide readily obtainable and current information on accessible, adaptable and fully-adapted housing units.
The New York City Division of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) selects CIDNY to lead its efforts to improve ADA compliance and enhance disability-awareness of youth employment providers funded under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). As a result, DYCD changed the language of its Summer Youth Employment Program RFP and contract to allow community-based organizations to exceed the price per participant for youth with disabilities, encouraging their placement.
CIDNY staff was invited by the New York City Human Resources Administration to advise it regarding barriers experienced by people with disabilities as it planned to reorganize its eligibility, enrollment, and recertification operations at its community offices.
CIDNY studied barriers to vocational rehabilitation for Asian-Americans with disabilities, resulting in changes to vocational rehabilitation system language policies and procedures.
CIDNY held its first fundraiser, a jazz benefit concert headlined by Oscar Brown Jr. with the Lloyd Mayers Trio. Honorary co-chairs include Lionel Hampton.
CIDNY joined the campaign for passage of the federal civil rights law, the Americans with Disabilities Act.
CIDNY joined in a lawsuit challenging New York State’s Medicaid utilization thresholds that put a cap on prescriptions.
CIDNY joined the successful fight for new building codes requiring accessibility and adaptability in all new public and private buildings and when existing structures undergo renovation.
CIDNY participated in the March and Rally honoring the International Year of the Homeless.
CIDNY negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with Local 1199 that set a pattern for benefits for home attendants in New York City.
CIDNY set up a program for visually impaired older adults in response to the growing need for advocacy, training, outreach and referrals for the elderly who are blind.
CIDNY representatives run in the New York City Marathon.
CIDNY is the first independent living center to institute a program to help consumers navigate the vocational rehabilitation system.
CIDNY spoke out at public hearings on the homeless crisis and the lack of homeless services for people with disabilities in New York City.
CIDNY helped organize the National Conference on Women and the Law and created a caucus focused on women with disabilities.
CIDNY joins with others in a transportation campaign that ends with an agreement by the MTA to install elevators in subway stations and create an integrated accessible mass transit system.
CIDNY lobbied successfully for a New York City budget commitment to curb-cut installation called the “Freedom Train.”
SSDI is cut and CIDNY joins other advocates pressuring Congress for a new law that enables those dropped from SSD to receive benefits while they appeal.
CIDNY is a leader of the successful campaign for legislation authorizing state funding for independent living centers and the establishment of new centers.
CIDNY participated in the first networking council for people with disabilities held by the largest municipal union, District Council 37.
CIDNY encouraged parents of children with disabilities to participate in a skill development focused support group, “Parents as Peers.”
CIDNY began publication of “Alternatives,” the only metropolitan New York newspaper for people with disabilities.
CIDNY fights for and then educates the public on new laws requiring wheelchair ramps at polling sites, making voting easier for people with disabilities. CIDNY urges consumers to monitor sites to ensure compliance.
CIDNY successfully advocated for a law broadening jurisdiction of the City Commission on Human Rights to accept cases of discrimination based on physical or mental disability and a law permitting wheelchair accessible vans to board or discharge and park in restricted areas.
CIDNY is the command center for a sit in at the MTA’s office protesting the inaccessibility of MTA trains and buses.
CIDNY’s board voted to establish the CIDNY Independent Living Service as a subsidiary devoted to providing home attendant services to self-directing people with disabilities.
CIDNY surveyed trends in requests for service and identifies the need for help accessing Medicaid, housing and transportation.
CIDNY’s outreach efforts concentrated on reaching low-income racially and ethnically diverse people with disabilities through talks at public hospitals.
CIDNY led a sensitivity workshop for social service agencies on the lower east side, dealing with disability rights and issues affecting people with disabilities.
CIDNY advised NYU students on development of a program on advocacy by people with disabilities and its impact on the delivery of medical services.
CIDNY developed a resource center for people with disabilities to provide information on services, benefits laws and programs.
CIDNY negotiated accessible parking at Kings Plaza shopping center.
CIDNY supported passage of Intro 18, creating a Department of Disabled and Handicapped, and advocates
that people with disabilities should
be on staff.
CIDNY presented testimony before the Temporary State Commission on Rental Housing advocating for changes in the state building codes and the need for rent increase exemptions for people with disabilities.
The Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York is created by the National Paraplegia Foundation, New York Metropolitan Chapter. Its original leaders imagined a center for severely physically disabled individuals in all boroughs with a home attendant referral program, equipment repair services, peer counseling, sexual counseling, transportation and travel services, vocational and career planning programs, social, cultural and recreational programs, housing, and a public policy center.