CDPAANYS To Award Doris Behan, Champion of New Law Allowing Parents to be Paid PAs, at 14th Annual Conference

Behan

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State (CDPAANYS) is very proud to honor Doris Behan, whose consistent and dedicated work resulted in the ability of parents to be paid caregivers for their adult children, with the Sally Johnston Award for Advocacy at the 14th Annual Conference. Register for the conference by July 31 to receive Early Bird discount rates!

Ms. Behan lives in Irondequoit and is the full-time caregiver to her now 33-year old daughter Sarah, who has CHARGE syndrome. She serves as a prime example of the importance of being involved and engaging in the system on which we all rely. Through her efforts, she proved the adage that one person can make a difference, and in the process, improved the quality of life for thousands of New York families.

Ms. Behan’s efforts began when she met with Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle in 2010. Over the course of five years, Ms. Behan worked with Assembly Member Morelle doing extensive research of federal and state statutes on family caregiving programs and building support for the measure. Ms. Behan contributed countless hours to this effort, learning a great deal about the legislative process in New York. In addition to her work as a teaching assistant at a special needs school and managing Sarah’s care at home, she met regularly with Assemblyman Morelle and his Director of Constituent Services, Jim Nasso. She also created and led a private support group for parents of adult children with disabilities, providing information and resources to hundreds of people statewide.

The result of their efforts was the development and passage of bill, signed into law on November 19, 2015 and effective April 1, 2016. The impact of this new law has been tremendous. Already, hundreds of parents who had previously struggled to balance caring for their adult children with disabilities and working outside the home have realized their dream of being able to take care of their children while also just being a parent.

The Sally Johnston Award for Advocacy is given annually to an individual whose advocacy has resulted in significant changes to CDPA and left a positive impact on the thousands of New Yorkers who use the service. The award is named in honor of CDPAANYS founding President, Sally Johnston, whose advocacy for independence and control over services led to Onondaga County becoming one of the original CDPA pilot counties, and then to the creation of CDPAANYS in 1998 to facilitate fiscal intermediaries from across the state working together to build the program and strengthen it for generations to come.

Presentation of The Sally Johnston Award will be on October 27, 2016 at CDPAANYS’ Awards Dinner as part of the Annual Conference. The Awards Dinner will begin at 6:00 P.M. in the Ferris Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.

If you would like to congratulate Doris Behan, consider doing so by placing a conference program ad or sponsoring the Awards Dinner. If you would like to register for the Awards Dinner only, you may do so for only $50.