ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The head of the state agency responsible for the care of 126,000 disabled New Yorkers says they are seeking to fire nearly 200 employees with "substantiated allegations of abuse."
Courtney Burke, commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, says Wednesday the effort to change the culture for those providing care for people with intellectual disabilities, autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities also includes requiring direct care staff to have high school diplomas and to pass psychological and drug tests.
About 80 percent of OPWDD care is provided by about 700 state-funded nonprofits.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed creating a new agency to better protect about a million New Yorkers with disabilities and special needs under state-funded care through six state agencies, noting 10,000 abuse reports last year.
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