Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Privacy Policy



Thank you for visiting the OPWDD website. This website is designed to make it easier and more efficient for individuals and businesses to interact with the OPWDD. The OPWDD recognizes that it is critical for individuals and businesses to be confident that their privacy is protected when they visit the OPWDD website. 

Consistent with the provisions of the Internet Security and Privacy Act, the Freedom of Information Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law, this Policy describes the OPWDD's privacy practices regarding information collected from users of this website. This policy describes what information is collected and how that information is used. Because this privacy policy only applies to this Website, you should examine the privacy policy of any website, including other state agency websites that you access using this website. 

For purposes of this policy personal information means any information concerning a natural person which, because of name, number, symbol, mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify that natural person. The OPWDD does not collect any personal information about you unless you provide that information voluntarily by sending an e-mail, responding to a survey, or completing an on-line transaction. 

Information Collected Automatically When You Visit this Website

If you do nothing during your visit other than to browse or download information we will only collect and store the following information about your visit:

  • The name of the domain from which you access the internet (for example AOL.Com if you connect from any America Online Account.) We do not collect or store your e-mail address, except as noted below.
  • The date and time any web page on the OPWDD web site was accessed by you directly.
  • If you accessed the OPWDD web site from another site we will collect the Internet address of that site.
  • Your current Internet Protocol address (also referred to as your IP Address). This is not your e-mail address which as set forth above we do not collect if you are only browsing or downloading information.

None of the foregoing information is deemed to constitute personal information

The information that is collected automatically is used to improve this website's content and to help the OPWDD understand how users are interacting with the website. This information is collected for statistical analysis, to determine what information is of most and least interest to our users, and to improve the utility of the material available on the website. The information is not collected for commercial marketing purposes and the OPWDD is not authorized to sell or otherwise disclose the information collected from the website for commercial marketing purposes. 


Cookies are simple text files stored on your web browser to provide a means of distinguishing among users of this website. The use of cookies is a standard practice among Internet websites. To better serve you, we occasionally use "session cookies" to enhance or customize your visit to this website. Session cookies created automatically on the device you use to access this website do not contain personal information and do not compromise your privacy or security. We may use the cookie feature to store a randomly generated identifying tag on the device you use to access this website. A session cookie is erased during operation of your browser or when your browser is closed. 

Some websites will store a "persistent cookie" on your computer's hard drive. This persistent cookie will allow the website to recognize you when you visit again and tailor the information presented to you based on your needs and interests. The OPWDD does not use persistent cookies for this website. 

The software and hardware you use to access the website allows you to refuse new cookies or delete existing cookies. Refusing or deleting these cookies may limit your ability to take advantage of some features of this website.

Information Collected When You E-mail this Website or Complete a Transaction

During your visit to this website you may send an e-mail to the OPWDD. Your e-mail address and the contents of your message will be collected. The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats included in the message. Your e-mail address and the information included in your message will be used to respond, to you, to address issues you identify, to improve this website, or to forward your message to another State agency for appropriate action. We suggest that you do not send by e-mail any personally identifying information either about yourself or any person or persons whose identity is subject to the confidentiality provisions of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law. Your e-mail address is not collected for commercial purposes and the OPWDD is not authorized to sell or otherwise disclose your e-mail address for commercial purposes. 

During your visit to this web site you may complete a transaction such as a survey, registration, or order form. The information, including personal information, volunteered by you in completing the transaction is used by the OPWDD to operate OPWDD programs, which include the provision of goods, services, and information. The information collected by the OPWDD may be disclosed by the OPWDD for those purposes that may be reasonably ascertained from the nature and terms of the transaction in which the information was submitted. 

The OPWDD does not knowingly collect personal information from children or create profiles of children through this website. Users are cautioned, however, that the collection of personal information submitted in an e-mail will be treated as though it was submitted by an adult, and may, unless exempted from access by federal or State law, be subject to public access. OPWDD strongly encourages parents and teachers to be involved in children's Internet activities and to provide guidance whenever children are asked to provide personal information on-line. 

Information and Choice

As noted above, the OPWDD does not collect any personal information about you unless you provide that information voluntarily. You may choose not to send an e-mail, respond to a survey, or complete an on-line form. While your choice not to participate in these activities may limit your ability to receive specific services or products through this website, it will not normally have an impact on your ability to take advantage of other features of the website, including browsing or downloading information. 

Disclosure of Information Collected Through This Website

The collection of information through this website and the disclosure of that information are subject to the provisions of the Internet Security and Privacy Act. The OPWDD will only collect personal information through this website or disclose personal information collected through this website if the user has consented to the collection or disclosure of such personal information. The voluntary disclosure of personal information to the OPWDD by the user, whether solicited or unsolicited, constitutes consent to the collection and disclosure of the information by the OPWDD for the purposes for which the user disclosed the information to the OPWDD, as was reasonably ascertainable from the nature and terms of the disclosure. 

However, the OPWDD may collect, or disclose personal information without consent if the collection or disclosure is, (1) necessary to perform the statutory duties of the OPWDD, or necessary for the OPWDD to operate a program authorized by law, or authorized by state or federal statute or regulation; (2) made pursuant, to a court order, or by law; (3) for the purpose of validating the identity of the user, or (4) of information to be used solely for statistical purposes that is in a form that cannot be used to identify any particular person., 

Further, the disclosure of information, including personal information, collected through this website is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law. 

The OPWDD may disclose personal information to federal or state law enforcement authorities to enforce its rights against unauthorized access or attempted unauthorized access to the OPWDD's information technology assets. 

Retention of Information Collected Through this Website

The information collected through this website is retained by the OPWDD in accordance with the records retention and disposition requirements of the New York State Arts & Cultural Affairs Law.  In general, the Internet services logs of the OPWDD, comprising electronic files or automated logs created to monitor access and use of OPWDD services provided through this website, are retained for two weeks and then destroyed. Information, including personal information, that you submit in an e-mail or when you complete a survey, registration form, or order form is retained in accordance with the records retention and disposition schedule established for the records of the program unit to which you submitted the information. Information concerning these records retention and disposition schedules may be obtained through the Internet privacy policy contact listed in this policy. 

Access to and Correction of Personal Information Collected Through this Website

Any user may submit a request to the OPWDD privacy compliance officer to determine whether personal informationpertaining to that user has been collected through this website. Any such request shall be made in writing and must be accompanied by reasonable proof of identity of the user. Reasonable proof of identity may include verification of a signature, inclusion of an identifier generally known only to the user, or similar appropriate identification. The address of the privacy compliance officer is: 

John Shave
Counsel's Office
44 Holland Avenue-3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12229

The privacy compliance officer shall, within five (5) business days of the receipt of a proper request, provide access to the personal information , deny access in writing, explaining the reasons therefore; or acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing, stating the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied, which date shall not be more than thirty (30) days from the date of the acknowledgment. 

In the event that the OPWDD has collected personal information pertaining to a user through this website and that information is to be provided to the user pursuant to the user's request, the privacy compliance officer shall inform the user of his or her right to request that the personal information be amended or corrected under the procedures set forth in section 95 of the Public Officers Law. 

Confidentiality and Integrity of Personal Information Collected Through this Website

The OPWDD is strongly committed to protecting personal information collected through this website against unauthorized access, use or disclosure. Consequently, the OPWDD limits employee access to personal informationcollected through this website to only those employees who need access to the information in the performance of their official duties. Employees who have access to this information follow appropriate procedures in connection with any disclosures of personal information

In addition, the OPWDD has implemented procedures to safeguard the integrity of its information technology assets, including, but not limited to, authentication, monitoring, auditing, and encryption. These security procedures have been integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day operations of this website as part of our continuing commitment to the security of electronic content as well as the electronic transmission of information. 

For website security purposes and to maintain the availability of the website for all users, OPWDD employs software to monitor traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or otherwise damage this website. 


The information provided in this privacy policy should not be construed as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided through this website. 

Contact Information

For questions regarding this Internet privacy policy, please contact:

Counsel's Office
44 Holland Avenue-3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12229
(518) 474-7700