Nysha Recent News

OPWDD Announces Three-location “Centers of Excellence” Project

June 20, 2016

By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Effort to Address Autism, Other Disabilities, Define More Effective Supports

New York State parents of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities will have a strong new resource at their disposal, if a new project goes as planned at the OPWDD.

In a public letter dated June 1, Commissioner Kerry A. Delaney of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), Hamaspik’s long-time primary public-sector partner, announced the Centers of Excellence.

The Centers of Excellence is a new partnership between the OPWDD and The Center for Discovery (TCFD), Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), and Upstate Cerebral Palsy (Upstate CP).  The three are well-regarded disability services non-profits.

“In order to better address the complex needs that many children present, we have worked with several of our partners to initiate a coordinated effort to develop new treatments and strategies,” wrote the Commissioner, “that will better support children with complex needs to live in the most integrated settings and identify best practices for intervention and new therapies.”

The “innovative” project will “address the needs of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities and define more effective supports for children and their families,” Delaney wrote.

According to the letter, the three separate Centers of Excellence “will benefit from the collective intelligence and insights of each member organization and, in turn, work with New York State agencies and other providers.”

Working together, the three project participants will develop an interactive care information database for eventual sharing with and use by federal, state, and local agencies. 

The project is being funded by the federal Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) through the OPWDD, in coordination with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).