Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Choosing Self-Direction

What is Self-Direction? 

Self-direction gives you flexibility to choose the mix of supports and services that are right for you so you can live the life you want. With self-direction, YOU choose your services, the staff and organizations that provide them, and a schedule that works best for YOU. 

Each person is unique. Self-direction empowers people to design supports based on their unique strengths and needs. It gives you more control over the funding used to buy your services. 



 Who can Self-Direct their services?  

Anyone who is eligible for OPWDD services and enrolled in the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver can choose to self-direct their services.

Self-direction may be right for you if you can make your own decisions (or have help to) and if you want more flexible supports and services. 

How does Self-Direction work? 

You can choose if you want an agency to help you self-direct (agency-supported self-direction) or if you’d like to manage your own budget and staff with help from a Fiscal Intermediary and Support Broker (Self-Direction with Budget and Employer Authority).

Self-Direction gives you the chance to make decisions about supports and services that help you to:

  • Enjoy meaningful relationships with family and friends,
  • Experience health and growth,
  • Live in the home and community you choose, and
  • Work, volunteer or do activities you enjoy. 

Enhancing community integration and social capital is at the core of self-direction. 

If you're new to Self-Direction...  

For people who are new to Self-Direction, this family-friendly How-To Guide and Glossary will guide you through step-by-step. 

To learn more about Self-Direction, talk with your Care Manager or Regional Self-Direction Liaison

If you still have questions, you can call: 

OPWDD’s information line – 1-866-946-9733   

(For individuals who have hearing impairment, please use the NY Relay System 7-1-1.)