Services and Programs

What is Self-Direction?

Self-Direction gives individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (or the people who help them) increased say in how they want to live their lives. Self-Direction is about giving individuals and their families greater control over the services they receive, who provides them, how they receive them, and when. Some examples of supports and services include help to get and keep and job, travel training, money management, learning new skills, learning and enjoying activities in the community, safety at home and in the community, staying healthy, or improving your health. Through Self Direction, individuals have more control and flexibility to live as independently as they are able, on their terms, in their homes and communities.

How can Self-Direction work for you?

Individuals who Self-Direct choose to accept the authority to make decisions over some or all of their supports and services. To help them make these decisions, individuals choose a Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) and a Broker who are specifically trained in Self-Direction and related supports and services. If you do not have a MSC or broker, Meaningful NY can help you to choose one. When individuals choose to Self-Direct, they accept responsibility for taking a direct, leadership role in managing these supports and services. These responsibilities fall into two categories: Employer authority and budget authority. Some services offer both authorities while others may offer one or the other.

Which Service is right for me?

At Meaningful NY, we work hard to ensure that each person has opportunities to pursue the life they want. Many individuals and families have told us that they want something different to traditional, facility-based programs. They want more of a say, more control, and more flexibility in the design of their services and supports. Meaningful NY offers a range of services and supports and will help you to choose what works best for you.

Some of our offerings include:

Employer Authority

Employer Authority means that you make decisions about the supports and services you need and who you want to provide these services. You may decide to recruit your own staff, get your services from a community organization or hire an OPWDD provider agency to provide your services. Other choices you may make include deciding what qualifications your staff needs to have; what tasks they need to do to help you; what hours you need their help; and how to supervise your staff to let them know if the work they are doing meets your needs.Whatever you decide to do, Meaningful NY is here to guide and support you.


Budget Authority

Budget Authority means that you will manage a budget OPWDD approves to pay for the supports and services you need in a responsible manner. You and people who you choose to help you will make decisions about the services you need now and any changes you need to make to your services if your needs change. You may also have responsibility for authorizing payments for your supports and services, reviewing bills to make sure that you received the services you are paying for, and monitoring your monthly and yearly expenses to make sure that the cost of the services you receive stay within your approved budget amount.This may seem daunting at first, but remember, we at Meaningful NY are ready to help you.


What help will I get if I choose to Self-Direct?

Once you receive authorization from OPWDD to start working on a Self-Directed Plan, you will receive contact information to begin the process in selecting a Broker and a Fiscal Intermediary (FI). Meaningful NY is an approved FI and is authorized to provide a range of self direction services including fiscal intermediary servicesand brokerage services.

Meaningful NY is a Fiscal Intermediary that works with the individual to implement Human Resource (HR) activities including administrative and payroll support.  In addition, we will help you complete billing and payment of the services identified in the budget template.

At Meaningful NY, we ensure that Brokers receive the trainings they need to ensure that you have the support you need to design your Self-Directed Plan  manage the budget that best suits your needs and interests.

Your selected Broker will help you develop a customized Self Directed Plan within your budget parameters. Your Broker may also help you decide what qualifications your staff needs to have and to recruit your staff, and help you identify what tasks they need to do to help you, what hours you need their help, and how to supervise your staff. Your broker will also help youdevelop a Circle of Support, and help you maintain your Self Directed Plan, as agreed to in the Brokerage agreement/contract.

Live-in Caregiver is an unrelated care provider who resides in the same household as the self-directing individual and provides as needed supports to address the individual’s physical, social, or emotional needs in order for the individual to live safely and successfully in his or her own home.

Individual Directed Goods and Services (IDGS) are services, equipment or supplies which include improving and maintaining the individual’s opportunities for full membership in the community. Some examples of IDGS categories are: Camp, Community Classes and publicly available training/coaching, Health club/ organizational memberships and household- related items and services.

In 2014, MNY launched Cleaning With Meaning (CWM) as an affirmative initiative that trains and employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CWM’s mission is to provide excellent green cleaning services to the community while creating a meaningful and legitimate business model that supports individuals with disabilities in developing skills that will enable them to enter and be successful in the workforce. If you are interested in a career in the cleaning field and would like to receive training from CWM or pursue employment with us, you first need to be authorized to receive Supported Employment (SEMP).

To learn more about SEMP click here

The Cleaning With Meaning business model has a triple purpose:

(1) Rigorously train individuals as cleaning technicians;

(2)Secure employment for individuals through its CWM cleaning contracts; and

(3) Beyond CWM, place individuals in other cleaning businesses in New York City.

To Learn More about the CWM business initiative click here

Community Habilitation services can be delivered at any non-certified location.  They can be delivered in the community or in the individual’s home. We will help you choose a Self-Hired Staff or Community Habilitation Specialist who provides hands on training in the following supports:

  • Adaptive skill development (training in grooming, feeding, bathing, toileting, etc.)
  • Assistance with activities of daily living (hands-on),
  • Community inclusion
  • Relationship building
  • Training and support for independence in travel
  • Transportation
  • Adult educational supports
  • Development of social skills
  • Development of leisure skills
  • Self-advocacy and informed choice skills
  • Appropriate behavior development to help the individual access their community