Many students with disabilities receive supports and services through the special education process. Students with developmental disabilities may be eligible for services through The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Eligible students can receive services from their school district and OPWDD.
In order to be eligible for OPWDD services the student must go through an eligibility process. To receive services the student must have significant challenges which limits their ability to function in the same way as other students their age. They must have a qualifying diagnosis and the necessary documentation. While the qualifying disability must have occurred before the age of 22, these services are designed to help people of all ages live their life, learn about new things, become employed and participate in recreational activities. To learn more about the requirements check out our Eligibility Program.
Over the past year there have been some changes in the OPWDD system often happening quickly. Often the information provided is long and complicated. Parent Network of WNY was awarded a three-year grant from the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation to fund a project called Guide and Connect keeping you in the loop about disability services. The goal of this project is to help families and the community stay informed about services for individuals with developmental disabilities and keep up to date with all the changes. Information will be provided in family friendly language in various formats. There will be written materials for each topic with a corresponding media version such as videos, podcasts and webinars.
Families and members of the community are encouraged to subscribe to Guide and Connect… keeping you in the loop to receive alerts when new topics have been released and are available on the website. Subscribers are able to choose how they would like to receive the announcements. For those who prefer a printed copy of the information they can select USPS mail. Email and text announcements with links to the page on the Guide and Connect website are also available. Subscribe to the Guide and Connect newsletter now!