Government Assistance Programs


Acces-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation) is part of the NY State Education Department. Acces-VR is a NYS agency that administers as well as provides vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities.

Vocational rehabilitation is a professional field and a publicly-funded program that will assist individuals with disabilities to obtain employment.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

In New York State, we have the Part 200 Regulations, which further defines how students receive special education and related services in school. Under IDEA, a student with a disability is mandated to have a TRANSITION PLAN which defines their post secondary goals and the skills they will require for successful transition.


Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of Americans, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Medicaid is administered by states, according to federal requirements. The program is funded jointly by states and the federal government.


The first step to connecting with services is to contact OPWDD, (Office for People with Developmental Disabilities) through its regional Developmental Disabilities Regional Office, Hudson Valley DDRO (HVDDRO), who then determines whether a person has a developmental disability and is eligible for OPWDD funded services. OPWDD has created “The Front Door” program that facilitates the wants and needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and assists with connecting them with services. Everyone comes here first when mapping out a service plan.

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their own home or community rather than institutions or other isolated settings. or call the OPWWD Info Line at 1-866-946-9733.

Social Security

The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.

Westchester County Department of Health

There is a referral process to be evaluated for eligibility for your child. To be evaluated for eligibility to receive early intervention services, contact Westchester County Department of Health, 914.813.5061. Westchester County Department of Health, You will be assigned to an initial service coordinator, who visits the home and explains the process.

If your child is found to be eligible for services, you will work with professional staff to develop a personalized service plan, which must be approved by the Westchester County Department of Health. The completed evaluations are shared with the family. The Arc Westchester’s Children’s School for Early Development is approved by New York State to provide both early intervention and pre-school services, under contract with Westchester County.

Art by: Robert Vittorini
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