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County Announces Forum to Discuss Services for Those With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Published: 2/23/2021

For More Information Contact:

A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH (845) 486-3432 

Poughkeepsie...The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) will hold a virtual public forum on Tuesday, March 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. to discuss services offered in Dutchess County for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The forum will be via Microsoft Teams and those who wish to attend must register in advance on the County’s website. All input received at the forum will help shape the County’s 2022 Local Services Plan for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Families and caregivers are especially encouraged to attend this public forum.

Dr. Anil Vaidian, Commissioner of the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) said, “We strongly encourage the public to participate in our forums as they offer an excellent opportunity to ask questions and relay concerns directly with the people who plan our services and can advocate for improvements. Like so many events nowadays, we must hold this event in a remote manner, but we are committed to holding this event because we truly want this feedback. It will help us tremendously  in understanding what services work well, learn more about the challenges people face, and address where there may be shortcomings.”

In addition to offering time for public comments, the forum will feature several speakers from a variety of agencies who will provide updates on services for 2021 as well as answer any questions members of the public may have. Presentations include;

  • Deputy Commissioner of Special Needs ToniMarie Ciarfella, Ph.D. will provide an overview of county’s ThinkDIFFERENTLY initiative and efforts to offer vaccination to individuals who are diagnosed with IDD,

  • A review of eligibility requirements and the application process to receive benefits from New York State’s Office of Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and how to selfdirect services, and

  • Dutchess County Public Transit representatives will discuss accessibility and updates to services as related to COVID19.

Dutchess County continues its commitment to “ThinkDIFFERENTLY” with a strong focus on providing needed services to individuals diagnosed with IDD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Including advocating for and ensuring vaccination for IDD individuals served by OPWDD as well as those who are not.

For those unable to attend, or who do not feel comfortable speaking in public, DBCH welcomes written comments to be read aloud by the forum moderator.  Individuals may submit comments online, fax comments to (845) 486-2829, or mail to:  Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Forum, 230 North Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY  12601.

This event is sponsored by the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Subcommittee of the Dutchess County Mental Hygiene Board.  For more information, please call (845) 486-2766.