New York Makes Work Pay – Developing a path to employment for New Yorkers with disabilities

Impact: Asset Accumulation and Financial Literacy

February 2011 - Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) Brief

Gary Shaheen, M.P.A.– Senior Vice President
Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University

  OMH New York State Office of Mental Health Burton Blatt Institute Syracuse University Cornell University ILR School K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute

New York Makes Work Pay is a Comprehensive Employment System Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (#1QACMS030318) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to the Office of Mental Health on behalf of New York State.  It is a joint effort of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University with the collaborative support of the Employment Committee of the New York State Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council (MISCC) to develop pathways and remove obstacles to employment for New Yorkers with disabilities.

IMPACT: Asset Accumulation and Financial Literacy*

* note that all outcomes indicated are based upon an actual implementation timetable of 13 months over the 2009–2010 contract years given contractual delays

Building upon 10 Customized Employment regional learning communities implemented by BBI and its experts during 2009 and continued in 2010, Customized Employment principles and practices are being introduced and replicated as tools to increase employment access and outcomes for people with disabilities, especially those with complex needs. Customized Employment pilot projects initially developed in 2009 in Hempstead and Utica, NY were replicated in other NYS locations, augmented by deployment of mentors trained in Customized Employment techniques are demonstrating validity of the approach. Specific outcomes directly attributable to MIG training and technical assistance includes:

IMPACT: Asset Accumulation and Financial Literacy

BBI led the implementation of a unique statewide community based partnership design to improve access by people with diverse disabilities to financial literacy and asset accumulation resources. The intent from the onset has been to avoid duplication with existing community initiatives already addressing poverty and asset accumulation and improve their capacity and the capacity of disability services providers to make use of and enhance current capacity through a Communities of Practices model (COP). COPs are engaged through United Way of New York State and local United Ways lead the initiative with one or more designated disability partners. The overall intent of the project is to increase outreach to the disability community to achieve a 10% increase in Earned Income Tax Credit utilization.
The impact and outcomes of this initiative are presented below:

YEAR 1 Asset Communities

Albany – United Way of the Greater Capitol Region / Wildwood Programs, Inc.

Buffalo – United Way of Buffalo / Western NY Independent Living, Inc.

Ithaca – United Way of Tompkins County / Challenge

Rochester – United Way of Rochester / Empire Justice Center

Utica – United Way of the Valley & Greater Utica Area / RCIL

Wellsville – United Way of Allegany County / Allegany ARC

YEAR 2 Asset Communities

Long Island – United Way of Long Island / Health & Welfare Council of Long Island

Syracuse – United Way of Central New York / P.E.A.C.E Inc.

Westchester – United Way of Westchester & Putnam Counties

Contact Information

Gary Shaheen, Senior Vice President
Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University
900 S. Crouse Avenue
Crouse–Hinds Hall, Suite 300
Syracuse, New York 13244
geshahee@law.syr.edu
Tel. 315.443.9818

Partnering Organizations

New York State Office of Mental Health
John Allen, Special Assistant to the Commissioner
44 Holland Avenue, 8th Floor
Albany, New York 12229
corajba@omh.state.ny.us
Tel. 518.473.6579

Employment and Disability Institute (Cornell University)
Thomas P. Golden, Associate Director, Employment and Disability
ILR School–201 Dolgen Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853
tpg3@cornell.edu
Tel. 607.255.2731