What is PROMOTE?

Positive Relationships Offer More Opportunities To Everyone

Helping people with developmental disabilities live richer lives is our mission, and PROMOTE statewide training provides staff with the tools they need to accomplish that mission. We have learned much since New York State implemented the SCIP-R program. PROMOTE encompasses the best practices developed over the past decade, along with up-to-date teaching strategies and technologies designed to engage learners effectively. Promoting a higher quality of life for people with developmental disabilities is everyone’s job. This work can often be challenging and requires staff to think on their feet. With PROMOTE training as a foundation, staff will support each other, communicate effectively, and create a culture that is built on positive relationships. Positive relationships promote richer lives!

Positive Relationships, Richer Lives

Giving direct support professionals, clinical staff, and supervisors the tools to help people with developmental disabilities live richer, fuller lives, and reduce challenging behaviors.

Everyone goes through ups and down in a day. This is represented in PROMOTE by a “lifeline,” moving through the zones. PROMOTE focuses on building strengths and supports so the lifeline is more likely to stay in the green zone. PROMOTE also provides staff with the tools necessary to help people whose lifelines are in the yellow or red zones return to the green zone.

PROMOTE teaches us how to:

  • Promote a richer, fuller life for people with developmental disabilities
  • Create a positive culture where team members work together effectively
  • Support people who may be under stress or who are otherwise vulnerable
  • Safely respond should a behavioral crisis occur

PROMOTE is more than just a training course, it’s a way of supporting people with developmental disabilities. It focuses on developing positive relationships and equipping staff with effective support strategies, called primary tools, to help foster and strengthen those relationships.

PROMOTE is based on the premise that people with developmental disabilities will live richer, fuller lives when relationship-based supports are provided, thus reducing the likelihood of challenging or dangerous behaviors that can result in injury, as well as damage to self-confidence and relationships.

PROMOTE teaches direct support professionals, clinical staff, and supervisors the importance of forming connections with others, creating opportunities for relaxation and recreation, and building self-confidence.

PROMOTE teaches these values by first stressing their relevance to staff and then applying them to the people they support.

PROMOTE prepares staff to deal with behavioral events by training them in the use of primary tools that will help a person regain self control, and in the use of physical techniques, called secondary tools, that are the least restrictive methods necessary to ensure the safety of all involved.


PROMOTE represents our emotional and behavioral experiences through the use of a “zones” model with green, yellow, and red zones.

Green: The person is having a good day and is safe, confident, and connected to those around them. Yellow: The person is experiencing increased stress and is having trouble coping. Red: The person has lost emotional control and may be engaging in behavior that compromises the safety of themselves or others.

More about PROMOTE

All direct support professionals, clinical staff, and supervisors in OPWDD operated or supported residences and programs will be trained in PROMOTE at the level appropriate for the people they support.

PROMOTE builds on SCIP-R and is replacing it as the required training for staff in OPWDD operated and supported residences and programs. Staff certified in SCIP-R will need to be recertified in PROMOTE.

PROMOTE is presented in two sequential levels. Level 1 is three days long and Level 2 is two days. There will also be an abbreviated PROMOTE “bridge” training for staff who are already certified in SCIP-R. Agencies will determine what level of certification is needed for each staff member based on their specific job duties and the people they support.