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Family Connect Summit 2020 Q&A


Welcome to the Q&A for ADAPT Community Network’s 2020 Virtual Family Connect Summit! Below are the answers to the questions we received after our week-long virtual event. If you have additional questions that are not answered below, please do not hesitate to reach out to Project Connect by calling 877-827-2666 or emailing We’re also happy to announce that many of this year’s sessions are still available to watch on our YouTube playlist!

Session: Family Support Services What are they and How to Get Them?

Q: What is the difference between Community Habilitation /Home attendants/ Personal Care Assistant, and how can you get these types of services?
A: The best way to obtain these services for Community Habilitation is through the Waiver process, starting with the Front Door if you do not already have these services. If you are already Waiver enrolled, then speaking to your Care Manager about Community Habilitation services with ADAPT is the way to start the process. The Community Habilitation program will then send the Care Manager an application. Once the application is completed and sent back to us, we review it and meet with the person’s support team and family to assess and see what goal areas the person wants to work on.


To obtain a Personal Care Aide/Home Health Attendant, you would need a letter from your doctor stating the need for a Home Health Aide or Personal Care Aide. They would then complete an M11Q form, which states what areas of assistance you need in your home. Once that form is completed, you would work with your Care Manager or reach out directly to a different agency that offers these services.

The difference between the two services is that a Home Health Aide (HHA) or Personal Care Aide (PCA) will complete a task for you, i.e., bathing, grocery shopping, etc., because you or your loved one is unable to. A Community Habilitation Staff will help teach you to do a task with the goal that one day you can complete this task independently. They will also work off a plan that changes with the person’s development, i.e., travel training, learning how to use the library, social skills. An HHA/PCA will not work on teaching a person something. They are there to assist the person entirely.

Q: Can you provide more information about vehicle modifications? Is this still a funding option for OPWDD? How do you go about applying?
A: Vehicle modifications (V–Mods) are adaptations made to a vehicle that is intended to enhance the individual’s independence and inclusion in the community and substitute for human assistance, to the extent that expenditures would otherwise be made for human assistance. V–Mod expenditures must be related to an assessed Activity of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL), or health-related need. They must be tied to a goal reflected in an individual’s person-centered Plan of Care (POC). The scope of vehicle modifications may include the performance of necessary assessments to determine the type(s) of necessary modifications. V–Mods may only be made to one vehicle that is the primary means of transportation for the individual. This primary means of transportation may be owned by the individual or a family member or non–relative who provides primary, long– term support and/or transportation for the individual. Routine maintenance and repairs related to the vehicle itself are not covered. Your Care Manager can inquire about OPWDD V-Mod programs through OPWDD.

Q: Can you please provide more information on the proposed changes to Community Habilitation eligibility and CDPAP processes for people with developmental disabilities?
A: This is from the Response to Public Comments Received June 1, 2020 – July 1, 2020, on the OPWDD 1915(c) Comprehensive Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Draft October 1, 2020, Amendment Response: The Draft October 1, 2020 Amendment does not include the implementation of service limits or any changes to the service definition or funding (fee schedule) for Community Habilitation services. For more information, please click here.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)
This Medicaid program provides services to chronically ill or physically disabled individuals who have a medical need for support with activities of daily living (ADLs) or skilled nursing services. Services can include any of the services provided by a Personal Care Aide (home attendant), Home Health Aide, or nurse.

Recipients have flexibility and freedom in choosing their caregivers. The consumer or the person acting on the consumer’s behalf (such as the parent of a disabled or chronically ill child) assumes full responsibility for hiring, training, supervising, and – if need be – terminating the employment of persons providing the services.

How do I find the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP)?
Before a person can receive services, their doctor must send a completed Physician’s Order for Services to the local social services district, which then completes a social and nursing assessment. A nurse assessor then determines whether the recipient can appropriately participate in CDPAP and recommends the amount, frequency, and duration of services.

Requirements of CDPAP
Recipients must be able and willing to make informed choices regarding the management of the services they receive or have a legal guardian or designated relative or other adult able and willing to help make informed choices.

The consumer or designee must also be responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, supervising, and terminating caregivers. They must arrange for back-up coverage when necessary, arrange and coordinate other services, and keep payroll records.

Click here if you think you have an immediate need for Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services and would like more information on how to get your eligibility processed more quickly for these services.

Q: How do we access more direct contact information for families so they can reach people in the agency?
A: You can reach any of our staff or departments by calling ADAPT Community Network at 212-683-6700 and following our prompts. For more information about services and supports, please call our information and referral service, Project Connect, at 877-827-2666.

Session: Innovative activities and community involvement

Q: Can you tell me more about how to access some of the ADAPT activities? Are they available to individuals under Self Direction or only for those in your homes/schools/etc.?
A: At present, most of these activities are only accessible to people supported by ADAPT in any way. Some activities (such as the American Sign Language Class that is offered in partnership with Brooklyn Public Library) are open to the public. That being said, we do have participation within ADAPT across divisions. People who are supported in Residential, Recreation, Day Habilitation, and Community Habilitation programs have all attended activities, overnight trips, and some events like our recent Halloween Spooktacular Ball was also attended by Children in our Pre-School and School-Aged departments.

Q: What course curriculum is used for Day Programs, and how can we have people supported involved in sites other than the one they attend? Please provide a breakdown of the different specialties (health & wellness, basic education, clubs, etc.) and the Advisory Council.
A: We have a team of nearly 40 professional instructors who develop the course curriculum based on the interests, abilities, and needs of the people we support. People from different locations within ADAPT can attend activities at all locations. The cast of all of our Theatre productions includes people from around the agency, as an example. With our current mix of 0n-site, virtual, and community-based offerings, people can choose activities based on their preferences, not the physical location where they are based.

The different specialties are presented in slide two of the PowerPoint. The activities within the specialty areas change on a “Quarter System.” Specialists are now planning their January through March course and group offerings. Although some popular activities run throughout the entire year, we are always offering new activities based on the creativity of the specialists and the input we receive from people supported.

Q: How do you substitute for a Day Habilitation program during a time like COVID-19?
A: At this time, we are providing mostly virtual services, with very limited on-site and community-based options. Any site-based day programs located within areas designated as a “red” or “orange” zone are not open. We provide a wide array of virtual activities; each program has a full schedule of daily activities, and people can choose which ones they want to participate in. We can provide devices to those who do not have them so they can participate. Program staff will work with individuals and families to ensure they can benefit from these on-line programs.

We have a WOW (without walls) program in the Bronx on the Grand Concourse. This program is also utilizing virtual services currently with some limited community outings.

Q: How are people who have severe intellectual disabilities included in activities?
A: Activities are planned to give options for the entire ability range of the people we support. Education courses range from very basic number and letter identification through assisting people in obtaining their High School Equivalency, and then even beyond to support them in College Classes. Art classes are very popular with many people we support with both limited intellectual and physical capabilities. Our digital art program is an excellent example of this. The ability to save versions of a digital painting or drawing can reduce frustration for people who make mistakes when creating art. With the art specialists’ assistance, they can go back to the most recent version they are happy with instead of either starting over or re-paint an area.

In all specialty areas, we find ways to modify the activity to maximize participation for everyone.

Session: Guardianship, supported Decision Making and Advanced Directives

Q: How long does the process of obtaining guardianship take? That is, how soon should we start the process.
A: How long does the process of guardianship take? Article 17A Guardianships can vary from a few months to several years, depending on the completion of documents, submission, the court docket, and if it is contested or not.


Q: What is guardianship? Why would someone want to petition for guardianship? What rights does the guardian lose as a result?
A: Article 17A guardianship is for individuals with an intellectual disability or developmentally disabled who are incapable of managing their own needs. Guardianship should be considered when the individual with a disability is between the ages of 16-17 because upon 18. They are considered emancipated adults.

For guardianship, the individual doesn’t lose their constitutional rights but has their guardian make personal and/or property decisions for them depending on what is petitioned.

*If you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Project Connect by calling 877-827-2666 or emailing

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