Skip to main content
Information, Education, News and More all right here when you need it...

Interim Guidance from OPWDD regarding Comm Hab

Hello all

We just received interim guidance from OPWDD in regards to Community Habilitation and wanted to share with you all as soon as possible.  As per NYS, Direct Support Professionals ( DSPs) are considered an essential employees. Com Hab Staff are considered DSPs and are essential employees. Being an essential employee means that they can continue to go to work if there were ever to be a shelter in place order.

OPWDD has indicated that Treatment teams (Circles of Support, Broker and Care Manager) should assess the needs of each individual and consider how the needs of the individual can be met while maintaining safe social distancing.

In response to COVID-19 precautions, planning for temporary modifications to service plans may include the need to consider alternative services and/or alternative service settings. In addition, consideration should be given to whether it is appropriate for the individual to receive Community Habilitation remotely by other mechanisms (e.g., phone call, video conference).

This must be implemented in accordance with the Revised Interim Guidance Regarding the Delivery of Services Through the Use of Telehealth Modalities in Facilities and Programs Certified or Operated by OPWDD, dated March 17, 2020.  Available at: Link

If the treatment team (Circles of Support, Broker and Care Manager) determines that the Community Habilitation services are essential and do not need to be restricted or modified, then staff should call ahead and ask the participants or family members, as applicable, the questions in the algorithm in Appendix A   



If the treatment team (Circles of Support, Broker and Care Manager) determines that the Community Habilitation services are essential and need to be modified to be provided remotely, then here is what we need from the Circle of Support:

Please email your Self Direction Coordinator (SDC) detailing the need for Com Hab services to be delivered remotely.

  • Please ensure you are explaining how the services will be delivered, i.e. phone call, FaceTime, other video conferencing technology etc.

Please note that the Com Hab staff will need to work on current valued outcomes as identified in the Staff Action Plan (SAP) and listed on the timesheet.

  • If changes are needed to the current SAP, your Broker will need to update as soon as possible to accurately reflect the needs of the participant. Once SAP is completed, then the timesheet can be updated.

In addition, we need the Life Plan to be updated to accurately reflect this new need as well.

  • Due to the urgency of this potential need, waiting on the Life Plan update will not hold up someone starting to use Com Hab remotely. However, please note that we do need it as soon as possible.

If you have any questions regarding this, please reach out to your SDC.

Thank you everyone! Be healthy and safe!



I agree with Privacy Policy