The Herkimer ARC’s mission is to enable individuals with disabilities and others in the community to achieve full potential and enriched lives. The Herkimer ARC provides a wide range of quality support services and activities for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities, such as Preschool Screening, services coordination, recreation and respite services, among many others. Participants and their families are encouraged and supported in the expression of their individual rights and preferred choices. The Herkimer ARC provides consultation to ensure that each service package is appropriately designed to meet the personal needs and preferences of the individual. Service packages may also include one or more of the services offered. All Herkimer ARC programs are provided at the highest quality and comply with all applicable rules, regulations, and laws. Programs and services available include:
Outreach Development Coordination
If parents or caretakers of infants and children are interested in receiving any service(s) with HARC or in investigating other services offered, they should contact the Outreach Development Coordinator at (315) 574-7000. Herkimer ARC’s Coordinator can help individuals or families substantiate developmental disabilities. In addition, the Coordinator can assist with Social Security applications, assistance with applying for other government programs such as food stamps and VESID (Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities), and/or provide a direction of where to begin with services. If individuals are already determined to be eligible, but wish to access some of the Herkimer ARC services listed on this site for themselves or family members, or if they are Service Coordinators from a different agency—the Outreach Development Coordinator can assist in applying for or accessing programs. This also includes referral to Herkimer ARC’s Residential Services.
Medicaid Services Coordination
Medicaid Service Coordinators work with individuals, families, and caretakers to find the agency and community resources an infant or child needs. In order to qualify for Medicaid Service Coordination, an individual must have a certain type of Medicaid coverage and be OMRDD (New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities) services eligible. The Service Coordinator visits the individual at least once per month in order to monitor services he or she is currently receiving and to explore new services the individual or family may desire. Typical areas a Service Coordinator assists with, but are not limited to, include Social Security acquisition, Medicaid and food stamp obtainment and guidance, recreational and respite services, medical and legal advocacy, school advocacy, and day habilitation services. An individual is required to have a Medicaid Service Coordinator in order to be enrolled in an OMRDD Medicaid Waiver Program. Service Coordination offices are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Service Access Assistance
Service Access Assistance is limited service coordination for those who do not currently qualify for Medicaid. A Service Access Assistance Coordinator works with a person and/or their family to help them become eligible for Medicaid Service Coordination, and other OMRDD services including an HCBS (Home and Community-Based Services) Waiver through the obtainment of Medicaid. If Medicaid obtainment is not a realistic goal, a Service Access Assistance Coordinator typically assists in the following areas: medical and legal advocacy, school advocacy, and respite options. Service Coordination offices are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Sibshops recognize that children who have special needs, have non-disabled siblings, who have needs of their own. These free workshops provide brothers and sisters, ages 8 to 13, not only the opportunity to enjoy an exciting, fast-paced program which includes recreational activities in a relaxed setting, but to meet other siblings. The goals of Sibshops are to provide brothers and sisters with opportunities to discuss common joys and concerns with other siblings; to provide opportunities to learn how to handle situations commonly experienced by siblings of children with special needs; and opportunities to learn more about the implications of their siblings’ special needs. These workshops are offered several times per year. Please call (315) 574-7000 for more information.
Herkimer ARC is a contracted provider for the Herkimer County Preschool program assisting with providing evaluations for preschool services. Access to Herkimer ARC’s Preschool Services must come from the child’s local school district. Parents should contact their local school to discuss their child’s needs. If parents and the Chairperson for Preschool Special Education determine that there is a need for an evaluation, they decide what evaluation will be requested and select the provider. If the Herkimer ARC is selected as the provider, upon receipt of the referral contact, Herkimer ARC will work with parents to schedule an appointment(s) for those evaluations. Herkimer ARC provides evaluations for Education, Speech, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services, and Audio logical Services. The hours of availability and sites vary depending on the particular service/evaluation requested and to meet specific family needs.
Special Needs Children’s Play Group – Ages 3 to 5
Special Needs Children Play Group includes children with developmental disabilities, including those with Autism. The service is offered on Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Herkimer ARC’s Recreation Activity Center (RAC) and other Herkimer ARC sites. Activities include art and crafts, listening skills, gross and fine motor activities, social skills, music and language skills, among others. All learning will be done in the form of play and with fun activities.
Children’s In-Home Respite – One-on-one
Children In-Home Respite is available seven days a week. The individual must be HCBS (Home and Community-Based Services) Waiver enrolled, diagnosed with developmental disabilities, and live with another individual (family member, sibling, etc.). The service is designed to give a family member and/or caregiver personal time away—knowing their family member is in trusted care in a safe environment. Activities are designed as needed for the infant or child.
William H. Privett Respitality Center – Residential Services
Respite is available to individuals with a developmental disability, from infants to seniors, enrolled in the HCBS waiver program. The individuals must live at home with a family member or with a caregiver. Family Care Home providers may also access the William H. Privett Respitality Center. Families pre-arrange respite services to help provide them with personal time away from caring for their loved ones—whether it is a few hours, or all weekend. The Respitality Center, located in Little Falls, NY, is open from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening. The Center also operates a few weeks during the year to accommodate the vacation and school-break needs of families with school-age children and teens.
In-home Residential Habilitation
Residential Habilitation is available seven days a week. The infant or child must be HCBS (Home and Community-Based Services) Waiver enrolled and diagnosed with developmental disabilities. All activities are goal-directed and based on individual needs. The majority of time is spent in home on daily living and/or hygiene skills to help individuals to learn new skills within their home environments. Additionally, activities can include outings to community establishments such as the library or playground.
Workshops are provided four times a year, and are open to parents and professionals to assist with learning a technique or modality that will be useful in meeting the needs of those individuals with Autism, Aspergers or other pervasive developmental disabilities. Herkimer ARC invites noted speakers and trainers to lead these trainings which are free and open to the public. Trainings are announced through e-mail, postal mail, and articles in local newspapers. To get on Herkimer ARC’s e-mail list for these mailings, simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list. Also click here to visit Upcoming Events.
Valley Commons offers long term support and education to parents with developmental disabilities. Families may be headed by one or two parents. The parent must have custody of the child. Staffed by Family Educators, the program focuses on helping parents develop an individualized plan that teaches the needed skills to build a bright future for themselves and for their children. Valley Commons involves others organizations serving the parents, such as school teachers, Public Health, Social Services, Cooperative Extension, Head Start, and others, in the family’s planning and education. Examples of parent skill building include: positive discipline, bedtime routines, meal planning for child brain development, who is a safe person to be with my child, and how do I know if my child is too sick for school.
Valley Commons provides group day habilitation, evening and weekend habilitation, and at-home residential habilitation. Currently, the program is designed for four families. Two of the four families rent safe, affordable Valley Commons homes that serve as learning environments for the parent. Parents not enrolled in the program may also join in parenting and other classes with the Valley Commons families at the Learning Center located in Herkimer, NY.
Herkimer ARC’s Compliance and Quality Management department offers opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in a comprehensive, enhanced Person Centered Planning (PCP) session. The process involves group sessions with members of the Compliance and Quality Management department meeting with individuals, their staff, and family members and/or caregivers who support them. The tools enable each individual and their family to envision individualized possibilities for their future; determine supports and resources for each person; and enrich lives with unprecedented levels of customer satisfaction. The tools that assist with Personal Centered Planning include: PATH (Planning Alternatives Tomorrows with Hope), MAPS (McGill Action Plan System), Essential Lifestyle Planning, Personal Outcome Measures, Framework for Planning, and Importance Satisfaction Mapping.
Herkimer ARC supports an organized Self-Advocacy Group, whose representatives contribute to serve as a “voice” for people with disabilities. Accomplishments include sharing ideas and concerns with Herkimer ARC administration and the community, communicating with local, state and national government representatives, and attending state and national conferences. The group also hosts fund raisers throughout the year. Additionally, Self-Advocacy classes are presented within several Herkimer ARC programs, which help to develop and promote self and group independence. Individuals are encouraged to speak out on issues and to promote equal rights.
The Compliance and Quality Management Director oversees the Herkimer ARC’s Ethics Helpline, a confidential secure voice mail system that is committed to timely identification and resolution of all issues that may adversely affect consumers, staff, and/or Herkimer ARC. People can call anonymously. Telephone calls to the Ethics Helpline might include: known episode of misconduct or violation of agency procedures and/or questions regarding documentation or the implementation of agency policy. To call the Ethics Helpline, dial (315) 866-7946.