Programs that help physically and developmentally disabled people could face cuts

Posted at: 03/04/2013 5:38 PM
Updated at: 03/04/2013 11:09 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

If Governor Cuomo has his way, programs that help those with developmental disabilities could see drastic cuts, leaving hundreds in our area without care. Officials say that these cuts are due to the governor's budget and could happen as soon as next month.

If passed programs like CP Rochester will get hit with a six percent reduction, meaning it will lose $700,000 to $750,000 each year. The program serves about $2,500 with disabilities.

CP Rochester is a partner with Al Sigl Center. They provide services to people of all ages and do everything providing housing to speech and physical therapy. If these cuts go through, those who receive services and those who provide them, say this would be devastating.

Tiffany Austin said, “I walk and get therapy. I go to therapy two times a week.”

Tiffany Austin is just one of the hundreds and hundred of people who get services here at CP Rochester. But that could soon change, Governor Cuomo has proposed a state wide funding cut to private developmental disability service providers.
Brian Klafehn, the president of CP Rochester, says that would mean losing about a $700,000 in funding.

Brian Klafehn, CP Rochester President, said, “That, obviously, is a huge cut and will affect literally hundreds of people that we support and there is no way we can sustain that kind of cut effectively.”

Klafehn says CP Rochester will have layoff people and reduce services across the board including residential programs, in-home services and clinical care.

Klafehn said, “Those services allow those people to live independently within their communities, either with their families, or on their own. Often times these are people who need a much high level of service and wouldn't be able to live with out the services that CP Rochester, or other developmental service providers give to them throughout the year.”
Austin said, “It is very important to keep our mobility and stuff.”
News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri said, “So with these cuts, and the hundreds of people affected, what will happen to them?

Klafehn said, “That's a very good question, we are not sure to be perfectly honest. There will likely be many people who wont be able to get the kinds, and level, of service they are getting now or people who wont be able to access the services at all in the community.”

Austin said, “I like coming here cause it keeps my mind focused.”

The cuts only impact private and voluntary providers, or non for profits. But any state run provider would not face the funding cuts. The state assembly is expected to vote next Monday and the people with CP Rochester say they encourage everyone to contact their state law makers and tell them how important these programs are.