Transition to Adulthood

Transition to Adulthood 2017-07-27T17:13:29+00:00

The Community Support Network Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living

The Community Support Network will help you connect with all the best supports and services to meet the particular needs of individuals and families.
Important resources are detailed below, including:

Transition Resources

Transition Resources are available for families, individuals, and professionals. Individual Technical Assistance (TA) training is available to individuals, families and school personnel to improve transition outcomes.

Supports and Services ToolBox

Module 1: Introduction to Adult Services

Young people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities who are leaving school and transitioning to the world of work and independence are faced with an array of eligibility requirements, assessments and service options that can be confusing. This module will prepare a young person and their family to navigate the social security and disability systems and to understand the steps they need to take to be ready for adult life.

To view on You Tube:

To view on Vimeo:

Module 2: Introduction to Self-directed Services

Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are increasingly accessing “Self Directed” services from the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This is a big change in how supports and services are provided, and the change can at first seem complicated and hard to understand. This brief introduction, the first in a series on Self Direction, describes the basics of Self Directed services.

To view on YouTube:

To view on Vimeo:

Module 3: Introduction to Housing

Housing for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is going through profound change. The group home system that largely replaced institutional settings is no longer sustainable, and new approaches have to be developed and implemented. This module will introduce the fundamentals of how housing is created, and the emerging options that will provide security and permanency and a fulfilling life.

To view on YouTube:

To view on Vimeo:

Health Transition: “Taking Charge of My Health: Partners in Health Transition”

Westchester Institute for Human Development University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities is pleased to announce the website “Taking Charge of My Health: Partners in Health Transition” is now available here. This website provides information and resources on health self-management designed to guide teens and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), family members and caregivers to achieve successful health transition.  The website draws on transition experiences of teens and young adults with I/DD, family members and caregivers, and it is based on self-determination framework.  Website development was supported through a grant from the Special Hope Foundation.

Housing Transition: Housing Resource Guide

WIHD’s “Housing Learning Community” brings together people with I/DD, families, provider agencies and housing professionals from all walks of life to help in negotiating the path to long term sustainable housing and support services. In May of 2014 WIHD hosted a conference that brought together national and local experts and members of the Leaning Community to help increase our understanding of current and possible options.

WIHD’s “Housing Resource Guide” is a comprehensive description of the eligibilities, entitlements and resources available to people with I/DD and their families who want to create their own housing options independently of congregate care systems.

Housing Task Force Report

In 2015 WIHD collaborated with the NY State Association for Community Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) to find ways to create more housing options for adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The WIHD/NYSACRA team brought together housing professionals and other experts to create a Task Force. The team also met with a broad array of stakeholders from around the State, including developers of affordable and supportive housing and members if the I/DD community. In December 2015, they published a detailed report of their findings, and recommendations for how the State can improve the range of options and opportunities for housing. The report can be found here.

Education Transition Preparation: Student “Draft IEP” Interactive Tool

This interactive tool helps students prepare information that is relevant to IEP development. It will assist them to develop their own “draft IEP” to be shared with the rest of the IEP team and serve as a helpful resource to facilitate their participation in the discussion. Please find the Student “Draft IEP” Interactive Tool by clicking here.

“Hear our Voices” Self advocacy group

Who we are
“Hear Our Voices” Group is a group of people with disabilities who speak up for ourselves and for each other on issues that affect us. Our members know how to get services in our community and they are able to help others to speak up for themselves.

We hold monthly meetings at WIHD with discussion led by staff from WIHD or professionals from our community. We are connected to Hudson Valley Self Advocacy (SANYS) and we attend their conferences, and fun activities.

What we do

  • Learn how to deal with issues that are important in our lives.
  • Keep our meetings positive by having everyone join in as well as they can.
  • Encourage people to speak up for themselves, and respect their opinions.
  • Reach out to other individuals with disabilities to join our self-advocacy group.
  • Help members to participate in local, state and national policy activities
  • Help members to share their ideas and experiences in training health and human service professionals.

For the 2016 Meeting Schedule, please click here.

Service Coordination

Westchester Institute for Human Development offers Medicaid Service Coordination through the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), not only to the individuals who avail themselves of the services offered within our Institute but to people in the community who are looking for support, advocacy and guidance from coordinators who strongly believe in Person Centered Planning. We model our program around the concepts of choice, promoting individualized services and supports from the development of the Individualized Service Program through its implementation, maintenance and continued evolution. Our focus is to assist each person individually and help them to reach their goals in all aspects of their lives.

Following the same philosophy as our MSC work, with Person Centered Planning at the core, WIHD offers Start-Up and Support brokerage, giving consumers and their advocates the most freedom to make choices that are right for them. Grounded in the principles of Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy the Start-Up/support broker will assist the individual and their Circle of Support to develop a comprehensive Consolidated Support Services plan and budget, establish and maintain cooperative relationships, and foster open communication with all support personnel, connect with their community, and recruit and hire staff that will support their goals and desires.

Contact Liliana Sevilla at 914-493-6849 or email

Benefit Navigation

People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities are eligible for financial benefits from a range of sources. Some of these sources support a need related to a specific disability. Others, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), provide economic support.

It is important to access these benefits in the most efficient manner in order to remain as independent as possible. WIHD has a Benefit Navigation team of qualified Work Incentive Practitioners who can work with you to get benefits that you are entitled to depending on your disability and individual needs. The team will help you to keep your benefits even if you become employed or receive help from your family.

Find out how financial benefits can help you become more independent.
Contact Kathleen May at

Guardianship Guidance

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities become emancipated, responsible for signing authorizations, releases and other documents, at the age of 18 just like everyone else. If a parent or caregiver does not apply to the courts for Guardianship on behalf of their adult loved one, they will no longer be permitted by law to make decisions regarding personal (including medical) or financial affairs of their adult child. WIHD offers a consulting service through its Guardianship Program, part of the Community Support Network, to help applicants navigate the Guardianship application process. Our Guardianship Guides are available to assist with the documents the court requires.

If you need help, please contact Marilyn Vitale at