Special Needs Adult


Adults with disabilities now live longer; it is WIHD's mission to ensure that they also live better.


Adults with disabilities deserve to have their needs supported by caring professionals that have experience with their unique needs. The Community Support Network will help you connect with all the best supports and services to meet the particular needs of individuals and families. Three important resources are detailed below: The Self-Determination Project, Emergency Preparedness and Service Coordination.



WIHD's "hosing 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, entitlement's and resources available to people with I/DD and their families who want to create their own housing options independentlyof congregate care systems.  Learn More

Emergency Preparedness


Westchester Institute for Human Development has developed resources to help individuals with developmental disabilities learn about different types of emergencies, what to do in an emergency and how to prepare for an emergency. These resources include informative and interactive videos, a training curriculum for individuals and groups, a Personal Emergency Plan, a Family Guide and a Trainer’s Manual. All resources are free and are available on this site. Learn more

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 Nicki Turano, LCSW, at nturano@wihd.org, (914) 493-3953.

Parent-to-Parent Program


Parent to Parent of NYS is a place where families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who serve them can meet and share information. The Hudson Valley Region Office of Parent to Parent of NYS, located at the Westchester Institute for Human Development, is a parent-staffed program that assists families of individuals with special needs within the Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Sullivan County areas. Parents/caregivers have the opportunity to connect one-to-one with a parent/caregiver of an individual with the same or similar disability or special health care need through our parent matching service. Our office provides free and confidential information, resources, referrals, and training to families and professionals. Training sessions are available for on topics including: Support Parents, Understanding Medicaid Service Coordination, Use of a Health Care Notebook, and more.

You can help other families. If you have experience as a parent or caregiver of an individual with special needs, consider joining our network as a support parent. For information, please contact us.


WIHD 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 Nturano@wihd.org.

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 nturano@wihd.org.

More WIHD Services for Adults


The CSN can also help you learn more about the following services available at WIHD, or use the links provided here to connect directly to the more information: Medical Services (Primary and Specialty Care), Dental Services, Speech and Hearing Services, Behavioral Services, Assistive Technology Services.

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