Community Habilitation Services: An Overview

What are you responsible for at Greystone Programs?
As the Director of Community Services, I am responsible for the planning, development and oversight of the Taconic and Hudson Valley DDRO’s community-based programs and services in seven Hudson Valley counties. These programs include Community Habilitation, Respite, Club COOL after school program, SURPASS and In Home Behavior Therapy Program. In addition, I serve as the lead in-take coordinator for the agency, where I provide an honest conversation on how Greystone Programs can provide services. Also, I establish new and existing relationships with individuals, families, colleagues, schools and community groups advancing the philosophy and mission of Greystone.

What is Community Habilitation?
Community Habilitation is a Medicaid-funded program operated under the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to provide one-to-one training to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to develop or enhance the skills needed to live more independently in their homes and in the community.

How does a parent or legal guardian get someone involved in Community Habilitation?
To participate in Community Habilitation, parents and guardians should contact the “Front Door” at their local Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DDRO) to determine eligibility. For people already receiving supports, their care manager can assist them in obtaining Community Habilitation if appropriate.

Can you tell me more about the Respite and SURPASS Programs?
We have three respite programs in place. Currently, restrictions are in place for each program due to COVID-19. We have a traditional in-home respite program funded through the Medicaid Waiver, where staff works in a person’s home allowing parents and caregivers to have a break from the day-to-day care of their loved one. We have our after-school program and our Friday evening and Saturday programs that give caretakers a break while their child enjoys socializing in a center based program.

We host a social skills development group called SURPASS, which stands for Support and Understanding Regarding Play and Social Skills. This program takes place at the Annette Heslin Center in Wappingers Falls, NY. The current group supports young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

For more information about Community Habilitation services, please contact:
Caren O’Brien-Edwards
(845) 452-5772 Ext. 106

About Greystone Programs
Celebrating 41 years of excellence, Greystone Programs is dedicated to supporting children, adults and families living with autism and other developmental disabilities by enriching lives one person at a time. Established in 1979 by Marc W. Kelley, Greystone offered the first privately run residence in New York State for people living with autism. Today, Greystone offers exceptional services and life-enriching opportunities for more than 600 children, adults and families living with autism and developmental disabilities in five Hudson Valley counties. To learn more, visit or follow the organization on social media.


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