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Another Successful Front Door Symposium

Hamaspik of Kings County Hosts Another Successful Front Door Symposium

Community Members Introduced to World of Disability Services and Supports

Nov. 1, '14
By Mendy Hecht, Hamaspik Gazette

Hamaspik of Kings County hosted yet another Front Door symposium this past Thursday, October 23, opening its doors to the community—and opening to them the doors of disability services and supports.
The Front Door is the intake system for the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the state agency partnering with Hamaspik to provide a variety of benefits to individuals with special needs.
Through their caregivers, people with special needs can apply at the OPWDD—through partner community non-profits like Hamaspik—to receive Day Habilitation (Day Hab), Community Habilitation (Comm Hab) and/or a number of other programs through Hamaspik.
And to get them, all one needs to do is walk through the Front Door.
The Front Door introductory symposium is essentially a short seminar of sorts at which a clear, concise and comprehensive overview of the OPWDD and the services it provides is presented to the crowd.  Attendance is required for anyone newly applying for OPWDD services.
At a later date closely following attendance of the symposium, applicants and their caregivers sit through a personal phone call with an OPWDD official, who uses a specialized form to harvest all pertinent information.  All information gathered is later used to determine which services and supports the applicant qualifies for, and how much of each he or she will receive.
At its most recent Front Door orientation symposium, attended by community members who’d contacted Hamaspik of Kings in recent weeks for services, Front Door Team Leader Brenda Stallings of the Brooklyn Developmental Disabilities Services Office (DDSO), the regional office of the OPWDD, once again led a thorough presentation.
The participants in attendance were mostly fathers and mothers of individuals with special needs who reside in the Williamsburg neighborhood that is home to the Hamaspik center at 295 Division Ave.
The centrally-located office complex makes it convenient for the community to access Hamaspik—just like the Front Door program itself.