People at home, work and in the community

Mission, Vision & Values

The Mission...

We help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives.


The Vision Statement

People with developmental disabilities enjoy meaningful relationships with friends, family and others in their lives, experience personal health and growth and live in the home of their choice and fully participate in their communities.



Values describe how we as employees of OPWDD interact with the individuals we serve, families, staff, the community and each other:

  • Compassion - The capacity to appreciate what others think and feel.
  • Dignity - The recognition of the worth of each person and the treatment of individual rights and preferences with respect, honor and fairness.
  • Diversity - The celebration, respect and embracing of the differences among us because these differences strengthen and define us.
  • Excellence - The continual emphasis on innovation, increasing knowledge, and delivering the highest quality supports and services.
  • Honesty - The foundation on which trust is built and truth is communicated.


Guiding Principles that frame how OPWDD conducts its business:

  • Put the person first - People with developmental disabilities are at the heart of everything we do, and this person-first ethic is embodied in the way we express ourselves, and in the way we conduct our business.
  • Maximize opportunities - OPWDD’s vision of productive and fulfilling lives for people with developmental disabilities is achieved by creating opportunities and supporting people in ways that allow for as many as possible to access the supports and services they want and need.
  • Promote and reward excellence - Quality and excellence are highly valued aspects of our services.  Competency is a baseline. We find ways to encourage quality, and create ways to recognize and incentivize excellence to improve outcomes throughout our system.
  • Provide equity of access - Access to supports and services is fair and equitable; a range of options is available in local communities to ensure this access, regardless of where in NYS one resides.
  • Nurture partnerships and collaborations – Meaningful participation by people with developmental disabilities strengthens us. OPWDD staff and stakeholders create mechanisms to foster this participation. The diverse needs of people with developmental disabilities are best met in collaboration with the many local and statewide entities who are partners in planning for and meeting these needs, such as people who have developmental disabilities, families, not for profit providers, communities, local government and social, health and educational systems.
  • Require accountability and responsibility – There is a shared accountability and responsibility among and by all stakeholders, including individuals with disabilities, their families, and the public and private sector. OPWDD and all its staff and providers are held to a high degree of accountability in how they carry out their responsibilities. We strive to earn and keep the individual trust of people with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as the public trust. Creating a system of supports that honors the individual’s right to be responsible for their own life and accountable for their own decisions is of paramount importance.