Community Habilitation services provides one-on-one training to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them to live more independent lives.

Community Habilitation is a Medicaid-funded program administered by the Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) that provides one-on-one training to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in order to help them develop or improve the skills they need to live more independently in their homes or in the community.

Community Habilitation is designed to complement the individual’s Life Plan and includes activities that have been established to assist the individual in achieving his or her goals. A schedule between the person with intellectual/developmental impairments and the Residential Habilitation Specialist is established, and it is then executed through home visits and community activities as agreed upon by both parties. Despite the fact that a person can be allowed for the service regardless of where he or she resides, the service can only be performed at a certified facility.

Supports for Community Habilitation can include the following:

People may require the intervention of speech-language therapy for many reasons. Some of these include:

  • Development of adaptive skills – those skills and behaviors needed to perform everyday tasks. These can include self-care, such as feeding and dressing.
  • Involvement in the community, and the formation of relationships, both long term friendships as well as shorter daily meetings- can be successfully achieved
  • Develop acceptable behavior to assist the individual in gaining access to their community through the development of social skills,
  • Travel training – training and support for independence in travel and transportation, including bus, train, and other mass transport options
  • Money management, so that an individual can learn to have more options in their lives
  • Leisure activities, including games, sports, and both individual as well as group activities

To be eligible to engage in Community Habilitation, a person must first contact the Regional Front Door intake team, who will check his or her eligibility and recommend that the program be provided. People who are currently receiving support may be able to acquire Community Habilitation with the assistance of their care manager, if this is suitable.

Individuals who reside in an OPWDD-certified Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA), Community Residence (CR), or Family Care Home are now eligible for Community Habilitation programs, as opposed to solely those who live outside of OPWDD-certified environments (FCH). Individuals residing in OPWDD-certified settings will be able to use Community Habilitation services in place of part or all of their day services as a result of this increase of eligibility.

Community Integration

It is the same desire for people with developmental impairments as it is for you to be a part of your community. There are several methods to collaborate with OPWDD in order to make a difference in someone’s life and assist them in becoming a contributing member of their community.

You may decide to support a person with a developmental impairment in seeking employment or by employing them to work in your company as a volunteer. You could want to consider becoming a Family Care Provider, in which case you would take someone into your house and care for them as if they were a part of your family. You may wish to assist persons with developmental disabilities in obtaining the knowledge they require to make the transition from school to being contributing members of their communities.

There is a chance for you to make a difference whether you are an individual who wants to help or you work for a business, school, organization, or spiritual group that cares about community inclusion and wants to get engaged.

Communities can become involved in several different ways, including through a school, faith-based community leaders, and employers.


When it comes to providing persons with developmental disabilities and their families with the knowledge they need to make the transition from school to adult life, school districts play a vital role.
Schools serve as a link between students and their futures.

When it comes to assisting students with disabilities and their families in making plans for their life beyond high school, transition planning is the approach that schools utilize.

The earlier a student may begin the process, the better, and schools must tell children and their families about the process and assist them in navigating through it.

Here are some facts that all schools should be aware of:

Prior to the kid being 15 years old, schools can assist students and their families in establishing a school transition plan with OPWDD personnel, with the student’s goals specified on his or her Individual Educational Program (IEP).

Students who are interested in OPWDD adult services should begin working with OPWDD at least three years prior to completing their educational program, according to the organization.

Faith-Based Organizations

Through the opening of their doors and the provision of accessible services, faith-based organizations may guarantee that persons with developmental disabilities feel accepted in their communities.

People with developmental disabilities aspire to be active members in their communities and to make important contributions to their respective fields. They want the same opportunity to develop spiritually, to participate in communal life, and to build connections.

For people with developmental disabilities, the Office of People with Disabilities (OPWDD) Faith-Based Initiative Program explores new avenues and expands upon opportunities that respect their religious beliefs, support their right to belong to a faith community, and assist them to become valued members in the house of faith they have chosen.


Everyone has the right to work, and New York’s companies are entitled to a workforce that is dependable, competent, and efficient. EmployAbility is just one of the initiatives New York State is pursuing to make it simpler for companies to grow their workforce in order to be more integrated, inclusive, and lucrative in their operations.

Hiring a qualified individual with a handicap has benefits that extend beyond simply filling a vacant position — it is also good business practice! Here are just a few examples of how they may have an influence on your company:

The first and most important reason is the return on investment (ROI)

Businesses that hire persons with disabilities convert societal concerns into possibilities for growth and profitability. Taking advantage of these possibilities will result in cheaper expenses as well as improved sales and profit margins. Employing persons with disabilities has a positive return on investment.

Your company’s success is dependent on its ability to innovate. Employees with disabilities offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the workplace, which helps to improve the quality of products and services. When persons with disabilities become part of your team, they may bring their knowledge and experiences to bear, assisting you in growing your business and guiding your firm into the future.

Learn more about Supported Employment Services (SEMP) and how they can help your business to grow.