Janine Fitzmaurice

Coordinator of Children with Special Needs Services

Ages birth through 5 years old

(845) 486-3518


Dana Hopkins

Coordinator of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Services

Ages 5 years through adulthood

(845) 486-2766


Deborah Disanza

Coordinator of Children’s Services and Children’s POA Coordinator

(845) 486-2768


Toni-Marie Ciarfella. Ph.D.

Deputy Commissioner for Special Needs

(845) 486-3434


If this is an emergency and you need immediate assistance please contact 911

Crisis Counseling, Support, Information & Referrals

Dutchess County HELPLINE 

Toll free: (877) 485-9700

Stabilization Center

(845) 485-9700

NY State Central Register for Child Abuse 


Contact Information Contact Information
Need Help?

New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)

Eligibility for OPWDD services starts in NYS with a call to their Front Door – 844-880-2151 or 845-473-5050 in Dutchess County.

Elise Velez, LCSW

NYS OPWDD – Treatment Team Leader for Front Door for Dutchess County

Eligibility for OPWDD services is based on meeting at least one of five qualifying diagnoses plus below-average scores on an appropriate adaptive scale for the age and abilities of your child.  Once eligible for services, there are other steps ineligibility for the variety of services NYS OPWDD can offer to support someone and their families. OPWDD funds many programs and can help you identify services you are eligible for and connect you to providers. The first step is to contact the local Front Door and begin the process.

Once eligible an additional resource that NYS OPWDD offers is the Crisis Services for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (CSIDD) program, Crisis, Prevention and Response regional team. Additionally, you may be eligible for Care Coordination. NYS OPWDD has a Developmental Disabilities Identification Card program to people who have a medically diagnosed developmental disability. These new I/DD ID cards are meant to be presented to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel to aid in the communication process.  If you prefer to use a printable form and mail in your request for an IDD/ID card, download and fill out our  IDD/ID Card Request Form or download the form here.  The IDD/ID cards are for NYS residents ONLY.

If you or someone you know did or currently does qualify for NYS OPWDD services, and they do not receive any services for a one-year period, this may be determined to be a ‘break-in OPWDD services”. This break in service may mean that if a service is needed after that one-year time period that eligibility may need to be re-established through the OPWDD Front Door. It is important to maintain eligibility once made eligible, as the re-determination period can be time-consuming. If you are concerned about this and need further information please contact OPWDD Taconic District Regional Office

There are programs  here to help you with the eligibility process, as this can seem daunting and challenging for all of us. These programs are called Family Support Services and Dana Hopkins from Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community is also available to be sure you are on the correct path for applying for OPWDD eligibility.  Dana is the County’s Coordinator for  Intellectual & Developmental Disability Services and can be reached at: 230 North Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601;P: (845) 486-2765;  email: DHopkins@dutchessny.gov

If you have a complaint regarding OPWDD certified services please contact their INFORMATION LINE 1-(866)-946-9733

OPWDD’s Information Line is designed to help people get answers to questions about supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities in New York State. It is also used to take complaints of alleged misconduct, fraud, waste and abuse in our service system.

Information on Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Disability (DD)

  • Characterized by significant limitations in intellectual abilities (Intelligence Quotient) and in adaptive behavior (social and practical skills).
  • The disability with an onset prior to the age of 18.

Intellectual Disability (ID) also includes other disabilities.

  • These are apparent/diagnosed prior to the age of 22 years.
  • They are also chronic and expected to extend across the life span of the individual
  • They include cognitive (ID) that involve the thought process and physical or both.

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

  • Are an umbrella that includes both the ID and the DD diagnosis.
  • You can have one or more disabilities
  • The key element to understand that not everyone with a Developmental Disability (DD) has an Intellectual Disability (ID).
  • Both can live full and rewarding lives – it is all about abilities.

Eligibility for NYS – Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Services

  • The person must have a disability that:
    • is attributable to an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurological impairment, family dysautonomia or autism;
      • and
    • originates before age 22;
      • and
    • is expected to continue indefinitely;
      • and
    • constitutes a substantial handicap to such person’s ability to function normally in society.


230 North Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Phone: (845) 486-2765