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OPWDD Supports and Services


Services under the OPWDD umbrella support individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. AIM has programs for individuals who choose to self-direct, as well as for individuals who choose traditional services.

Brokerage

AIM employs experienced brokers who work with individuals and their circles of support to complete both phases of their self-directed plan.

Start-up Broker (Phase one): Using a person-centered planning process, AIM brokers work with individuals and their circles of support to develop a self-directed plan. Using the person-centered planning process, the broker will meet regularly with the individual and his/her circle of support to design a plan that has identified the valued outcomes the individual seeks to achieve, the learning process they wish to use to acquire these skills, and the people who will help teach the desired skills. As part of this process, brokers also work with the individual’s circle of support to develop a budget that will fund the plan. Brokers record all information in an OPWDD-mandated format and work with the family and the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO) to ensure the plan is submitted and approved.

Support Broker (Phase two): Once a self-directed plan is approved, families work with a support broker to maintain the plan. Brokers can help recruit, interview and train new staff. They work closely with the participant and a Medicaid care manager to ensure the plan continues to meet the participant’s needs. The broker also monitors the established budget and ensures necessary paperwork is completed in a timely manner.

Contact Maxwell Birkett at (607) 962-8225, ext. 218 or mbirkett@aimcil.com

Fiscal Intermediary (Self-Directed Services)

This service ensures that costs related to the self-directed plan – staff wages, activity fees, gym memberships etc. – are paid in accordance with plan guidelines and authorized budgets. The FI is the employer of record, and the participant and his/her circle of support are the supervisors. This co-management style allows the participant and his/her circle of support to maintain the day-to-day control while the FI ensures federal and state labor laws are followed. The FI ensures that hiring paperwork is completed. The FI also maintains personnel files, processes payroll and writes checks for other authorized expenses. 

In order to participate in these programs, an individual must be OPWDD-eligible, be enrolled in the Medicaid waiver and have authorization from the DDRO.

For more information, contact Anne Crozier at acrozier@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, ext. 147.

Timesheets, reimbursements and mileage should be emailed to OPWDDFI@aimcil.com.

Community Habilitation

The OPWDD Community Habilitation program at AIM Independent Living Center is designed to help individuals build rewarding and meaningful connections within the community. The goal of the Community Habilitation program is to give consumers the tools to become as independent as possible in all aspects of life.  These services are meant to be flexible, person-centered and provided in the home or community where an individual wishes to learn more skills, such as social skills, community integration, cooking, shopping, money management, hygiene, transportation and interest exploration.

For more information, contact Brandy Reynolds at breynolds@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, ext. 237.

Family Supports and Services

The Family Support Services Program assists families who are caring for a relative with a developmental disability at home by aiding the caregivers and thereby enhancing family stability.

The goals of the program are:

  • To maintain family unity

  • To prevent premature or inappropriate out-of-home placement

  • To enhance parenting skills

  • To maximize the potential of the family member with a developmental disability

  • To provide a quality life

AIM administrates two specific programs under the Family Support Services umbrella.

Service Access: The Front Door Service helps families and individuals seeking OPWDD eligibility. For parents and caregivers, it offers training and support that provide insight into services and supports for someone with a developmental disability.

Navigation assistance can include services and supports such as Medicaid care coordination, transition, understanding the special education system (including 504 plans and individual education plans), housing and supported employment opportunities.

Once OPWDD eligibility is obtained, the FSS Coordinator can assist individuals with referral to services and supports in the community and OPWDD system.

Contact Wendy Watkins at wwatkins@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, ext. 223. 

Youth Social Skills Programs: AIM offers programs to help children and young adults with developmental disabilities develop social skills through educational and recreational activities. These programs are funded by OPWDD Family Support Services. They include: 

Social Skill Clubs

Social Skills Clubs are offered quarterly in both Corning and Elmira. They consist of four weekly sessions, and are offered in two age groups, 9-13 and 14-21.

Teen dance parties

AIM hosts four dance parties per year for teens age 14 and older with developmental disabilities. The dances have various themes, and typically include a DJ, food and games. 

Summer day camps

These week-long summer day camps include many community outings and fun activities. They are offered in Chemung, Steuben and Schuyler counties for ages 14-21, and for ages 9-13 in Chemung County only.  

Learn & Grow Playgroup

Gatherings for children ages 2-8 who have developmental disabilities, held on once a month on Saturdays at the Elmira AIM office fall through spring.

Growing Stronger

Gatherings for youths ages 9-13 who have developmental disabilities, held once a month on Saturdays at the Elmira AIM office fall through spring.

Sibshops and Tween Sibshops

Gatherings for the brothers and sisters of children with developmental disabilities. There are two age groups, 5-9 and 10+. Both are held once a month on Saturdays at the Elmira AIM office, fall through spring.

Contact OPWDD Youth Specialist Amanda Gitchell at agitchell@aimcil.com or (607) 962-8225, ext. 210.