“Developmental disability means a disability of a person which:
is attributable to mental retardation,
epilepsy, neurological impairment, familial dysautonomia or autism;
attributable to any other condition of a person found to be
closely related to mental retardation because such condition results in
similar impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive
behavior to that of mentally retarded persons or requires treatment and
services similar to those required for such person; or
is attributable to dyslexia resulting from
a disability described
in subparagraph (1) or (2) of this paragraph;
originates before such person attains age
continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely; and
constitutes a substantial handicap to such
person’s ability to
function normally in society.”
The ability for a person with a disability, along with freely chosen
family and friends, to plan their own lives, with necessary support,
rather than purchase a program
Authority…over your resources
The ability of a person with a disability to control a certain sum of
dollars in order to purchase supports.
Support…for building a life in your community
The arranging of resources and personnel-both formal and informal- that
will assist a person with a disability to live a life in the community
that is rich in social associations and contributions.
Responsibility…to give back to your community
The acceptance of a valued role in a person’s community through
competitive employment, organizational affiliations, spiritual
development and general caring for others, as well as accountability
for spending public dollars in ways that are life enhancing.
An MSC is a Medicaid State Plan Service provided by OPWDD who is
professionally trained and experienced and assists a person with a
developmental disability in exploring and securing the necessary
supports and services they need. Their role includes advocating,
planning, connecting to individualized supports and services and record
This is a Medicaid funded program through OPWDD for individuals who are
Medicaid and HCBS (Home and Community Based Services) waiver eligible.
Individuals must have an MSC. CSS offers an opportunity to design
services based on an individual’s desires and needs as identified in a
Person Centered Plan. The person and their support system manage the
use of funds.
A Circle is central to self-determination and the creating of a plan.
It is a voluntary group of people made up of people from one’s everyday
life whom you trust and can depend on. The Circle must include the
Medicaid Service Coordinator and a Start-up Broker. It can also include
family, friends, co-workers, agency people, and others you know in the
A SUB is a trained professional who assists people with developmental
disabilities in completing an application for CSS including helping
develop a Circle of Support, developing a Person Centered Plan,
identifying the supports and services one will need, and creating an
individualized budget to pay for the supports.
A Support Broker assists a person with developmental disabilities to
self-direct the services and supports he/she receives. The Support
Broker provides maintenance support for the duration of the CSS plan to
ensure its implementation and Medicaid compliance.
An Individualized Services Plan profiles a person and his/her desired
outcomes and safeguards needed to be put into place. It identifies
natural supports and community resources to help the person have a
successful life in the community.
Self-determination a good
match for you?
To enroll in Self-determination an individual will have to have a clear
idea about his or her major life goals. You should know how, where, and
with whom you want to live. What work, volunteer, or other activities
interest you. How you want to spend your free time. You with the
support of your Circle of Support need to be willing to take on more
self-direction, take more control over your life and take on more
If you are eligible for services (see above) and have identified your
dream or goal, contact your local DDSO Self-determination liaison. They
will help connect you to a Start up Broker who can help you build a
circle of support, develop a person centered plan, identify the
supports and services that you need, and create an individualized
budget to pay for your supports and services.
If you live in Westchester, Rockland , Orange or Sullivan counties your
liaison is Marie Yizar. Her number is 914-947-8961.
If you live in Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia or Greene counties
your liaison is Richard Schmidt. His number is 845-473-5050 x. 156
A directory of Start-up brokers is also available by calling OPWDD
12. Where can I go to have questions answered about disability services and support?
An Independent Living Center (ILC) is a consumer controlled, community based, non-residential, non-profit center which is available to all people with disabilities promoting self-help, equal access, peer role modeling, personal growth and empowerment.
For information and referral or other assistance contact your local ILC below:
Self Determination Project at
Westchester Institute for Human Development, last updated 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org | 1.877.810.2422
In partnership between the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning
Council, the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and WIHD