New York State offers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to choose a combination of supports and services based on their needs and circumstances so that they can live the life they want. Self-Direction provides flexibility to people with disabilities and allows individuals to adapt or change goals, schedules, activities, and expectations based upon their needs.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities often require assistance and supports to live their daily lives. These supports can include a mentor who helps the individual with daily living activities, learning new skills, working in the community, or creating social connections.
Self-Direction begins with a person-centered plan that outlines the individual’s goals and objectives. It includes a specific support plan that describes direct staff supports, mileage, and other services that they may need. Self-Direction allows the individual to manage these supports and services with the help of Advocates. The individual has full budget and employer authority, and together Advocates assists the individual lead a fully inclusive life in their community.
Advocates will help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities plan for individualized services through a process called Person-Centered Planning. This is an individualized approach to planning that focuses on the individual’s strengths and capabilities while addressing their needs. Advocates will work with the individual and their family to manage their customized plan on an ongoing basis. It is a collaborative model whereby the individual, their family and their Circle of Support works as a team with Advocates to schedule, hire, train, and supervise their staff. Advocates will help identify resources, schedule shared/split staff, find community integration opportunities, network with peers, and help manage all of the paperwork.