All Abilities Program Director

Dana Hopkins, LCSW-R

(845) 486-3434


Coordinator of Intellectual & Developmental Disability Services

Olivia Clark, LMSW

(845) 486-2825


CSPOA and Children & Youth Services Coordinator

Mental Health Services

Deborah Disanza, LCSW-R

(845) 486-2768


All Abilities Administrative Assistant

Xiomara Santiago

(845) 486-3568


EI Official and Director of Preschool Special Education Programs

Coordinator of Children with Special Needs Services

Ages birth through 5 years old

Janine Fitzmaurice, LCSW

(845) 486-3518

Children & Youth Special Needs Health Care

Public Health Nurse

Lorie Drum, RN, BSN

(845) 486-3542


If this is a medical emergency and you need immediate assistance

please contact 911

For Mental Health and/or Substance Use Crisis Support, Information & Referrals please contact

Dutchess County 988 Call Center




For Walk In Crisis Services and Support visit the Dutchess County Stabilization Center

230 North Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

NY State Central Register for Child Abuse  or or (Home | Child Protective Services | Office of Children and Family Services (


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Dutchess County Government can not guarantee that all events listed in the ‘Community Calendar’ and the”ThinkDIFFERENTLY” Events sponsored by Dutchess County Government calendars will be fully accessible.
Specific information regarding the ‘The Community’ calendar events can be obtained directly from that event’s organizer. Information on “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” events sponsored by Dutchess County Government’ can be obtained through our Contact Us form.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

4th Annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Fitness and Field Day

Get ready for some adaptive, inclusive, sensory-friendly fun!!

This year is the 4th Annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Fitness and Field Day held by Dutchess County. Located on the lower level fields of Bowdoin Park, numerous local agencies/organizations come together to share in a day of fun. From arts and crafts, yard games, local sports programs, travel training, a scavenger hunt, live animals, to resources and information.

Come join us for this FREE event!!


Click here for PDF Version!

See more details.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 & Thursday, March 14, 2024

Think Ahead Information Session for Prospective Students and Families

Click the link in the yellow banner at the top of the page or below for more details!

Think Ahead | Dutchess Community College


PDF Version of Flyer

See more details.

Save the Date!

Please join us for a special sensory-sensitive performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Bardavon Opera House on Friday, December 8th, 2023, at 6 p.m.! Seating is limited. A poster will be coming out shortly on how you can register.

See more details.

First Responder Autism Trainings

First Responder Autism Training – Friday, October 13th

It is important that first responders, law enforcement, resource officers, criminal justice professionals, security personnel and other public-facing positions be educated in recognizing Autism and best practices in interacting with this special needs demographic to ensure the best outcomes for all involved.


How to Respond to First Responders **Virtual Training** – Tuesday, October 10th

It is equally important that our ASD community knows how to respond to First Responders when reaching out for help. This session, given by veterans of fire and law enforcement, who also have children on the spectrum, will discuss how specific incidents are handled and what our ASD individuals can do to help bridge the gap with safety and communication techniques.  This will be a VIRTUAL TRAINING given via Microsoft Teams.

First Responder Autism Training training PDF

How to Respond to First Responders PDF


See more details.

Dutchess County Fair | ThinkDIFFERENTLY Sensory-Friendly Events: August 22-27

ThinkDIFFERENTLY events will take place throughout Fair week including the “GrowDIFFERENTLY” exhibit, which will feature supplemental Recycled Garden Art submitted by individuals of all ages with special needs.  Part of the ThinkDIFFERENTLY tent will be designated as a quiet space for those who need a respite.   A full schedule of ThinkDIFFERENTLY offerings at the Fair can be found below!


Click here for PDF version

See more details.

177th Dutchess County Fair and ThinkDIFFERENTLY Presents GrowDIFFERENTLY

The 177th Dutchess County Fair and ThinkDIFFERENTLY welcome a new class to the Recycled Garden Art Show in the Horticulture Building all week (from August 22 through August 27th, 2023)!



Individuals of all ages & abilities are encouraged to show their creativity in the Recycled Garden Art Show utilizing at least 1 live plant (house plant/flower/succulent/herb, etc.) in one of the 7 classes of the Recycled Garden Art Show, and then enter into the GrowDIFFERENTLY. category.


For more information (including a FAQ section) and to register into GrowDIFFERENTLY.,  visit:  


Registration deadline is Tuesday, August 1, 2023, by 12:00pm.  Registrations after 12:00pm on this date, unfortunately, cannot be accepted.


Happy gardening and creating!

(Google can be your best friend to find really cute and creative ideas!!)

Dana, Mara, and the Dutchess County Fair Crew!!


Click here for PDF version!

See more details.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

3rd Annual ThinkDIFFERENTLY Fitness and Field Day

We’re very excited to announce our 3rd Annual Fitness and Field Day!  Come join us for a day filled with fun!!

RSVP by Monday, June 19th


Questions?  Contact Mara at:

(845) 486-3568


See more details.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Autism Awareness Training for First Responders

This in-person training is appropriate for EMTs, firefighters, law enforcement, security officers, social workers, psychologists, and medical providers.

– 5 CMEs are made possible through The Autism Society of Nassau/Suffolk Counties of New York. We greatly thank their President Sue Reek for offering Dutchess County First Responders with this training opportunity.

– 5 Social Work CEUs are made possible by Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health for NYS LMSW, LCSW and LCSWR

– 5 Psychology CEUs are made possible by Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health for licensed NYS Psychologists

Register at



Questions? Concerns?  – Contact:

Mara Santiago

Administrative Assistant to the All Abilities Program Director

Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health

(845) 486-3568

See more details.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Dutchess County Mental Hygiene Board’s Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Hybrid Public Forum

Register at

For questions, please call (845) 486-3568 or email

See more details.

Thursday, March 16, 2023 – Sensory Sensitive Live Storytelling

Dutchess County’s ThinkDIFFERENTLY hosts in conjunction with Bardavon Presents and Arts Mid-Hudson, Cuentos: a FREE sensory sensitive performance by David Gonzalez.

Cuentos paints a vivid picture of the people and rich cultures of the Spanish-speaking world with colorful tales from the Caribbean, South America, and the Bronx! From the silly antics of the Puerto Rican anti-hero “Juan Bobo” to the mysterious dealings and powers of the Orishas in a suite of Afro-Cuban stories, these tales are filled with memorable characters, fantastic plots and positive messages for children. Spanish language words are sprinkled throughout the stories and songs of “Cuentos: Tales from the Latino World” in such a way that young audiences can repeat and retain their sound and meaning. Solid entertainment and a great introduction to the marvelous world of Latino literature and culture.

When: Thursday March 16, 2023 at 6pm

Where: Bardavon 1869 Opera House, 35 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601

Please join us for a lights up & sound down, sensory sensitive event.

Doors open at 5pm

We ask you enjoy any food or beverages in the lobby.

No food and beverages are allowed in the theatre.

RSVP required by March 9th at


Questions? Concerns?  – Contact:

Mara Santiago

Administrative Assistant to the All Abilities Program Director

Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health

(845) 486-3568

See more details.