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Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you might have questions and we'd love to answer them! Feel free to click on a specific link below to learn more about our services.


    Work Training Center           

    What is the eligibility criteria?          
    All participants must have a documented developmental disability and be able and willing to work. Additional eligibility requirements are determined on an individual basis such as existing coverage under ORMDD, Medicaid waiver eligibility, (link to full description above in Service Coordination section) etc.

    What are the characteristics of others consumers who work at the site?
    Consumers who participate in programs through the WTC are generally of a higher functioning level (moderate to mild MR).

    What is the staffing ratio?          
    In the Day Habilitation program the staffing ratio is 1 to 5; in the workshop it’s 1 to 20.

    How many participants attend this program?          
    Typically 170 participants work on site each day. 

    Is transportation available?          

    School to Work Program

    Where do you provide services?            
    Currently, Arlington, Wappingers Falls, Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, Beacon, New Paltz, Red Hook, Hyde Park.

    Do you provide transportation?            
    The student’s school district will typically provide transportation during school hours.

    What does it cost?            
    There is no cost to the student to attend the program.

    Information for Employers           

    How do I hire a person with disabilities?            
    The hiring process is just like hiring any type of employee with the addition of government-funded supports to help both the employer and the employee have a successful experience.

    Are there incentives for hiring persons with disabilities?
    Yes. Employers receive a tax credit. Government funded on the job training and “work try outs” whereby the employee’s salary is reimbursed to the employer for the first month, is also available.

    What is my liability?
    Employees must be covered under the employer’s employment insurance. Abilities First staff (job coaches) is covered under Abilities First’s employment insurance.

    Does your agency provide on the job training?            
    Depending on the needs of the individual, IES will provide on the job training. 

    Who supervises the participants while at work?            
    Once the individual is established in their individual employment position, the employer is responsible for supervision and will have long-term supports as needed from IES. For our Enclaves (IES page), job coaches work directly supervise employees in the Enclave.

    Do you provide transportation?            
    Generally, no. IES staff will assist consumers with their transportation needs related to their employment.

    What is the application process for a potential employer?            
    There is no application process. One exception may be if an enclave is needed. Please call for further information.

    Who do I contact for more information?            
    Rich Downing 845-454-7750

    Integrated Employment Services

    How much do Integrated Employment Services cost?            
    There is no cost to the consumer or their family. Services are paid for through ACCES-VROPWDDOMH and school districts.

    What is ACCES-VR?            
    Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities is the government agency that exists to assure that people with disabilities have the support, training and opportunities they need to work in jobs integrated within their communities. 

    What is the eligibility criteria for receiving ACCES-VR?            
    Eligibility is set by ACCES-VR, OPWDD, OMH, and school districts. In summary, eligibility requirements are as follows:

    • You must have a medically diagnosed physical (including visual or hearing impairment, or traumatic brain injury), developmental, or emotional/psychiatric disability; substance abuse, learning disability. 

    • your condition(s) creates significant impediments to your ability to work;
    • that there is a reasonable expectation that ACCES-VR services will enable you to work; and
    • ACCES-VR services are required to enable you to become employed.

    Do you provide transportation?            
    IES staff will assist consumers with their transportation needs related to their employment. Abilities First does not provide transportation for participants in the School to Work program. Generally, transportation is available through their school district.

    Where does the IES program operate?            
    Primarily in Dutchess County but also throughout the Mid Hudson Valley. Participants must reside in Dutchess County.

    How much do IES participants get paid?            
    As with most employment situations, wages are set by the employer and, therefore, vary.