A message from our executive director

“With guidance and leadership from our council members and continued commitment of our staff, we were proud to see advances in several key areas in 2022 for people with developmental disabilities. With the continued support of our council, agency partners, grantees and our dedicated CDD staff, we are looking forward to another year of promise and progress in 2023.”

- Vicky Hiffa, CDD Executive Director

By The Numbers

18,800 people in the developmental disability community engaged with our grant projects.

6,800+ professionals in the developmental disability community received training through CDD grants.



Almost 100% of individuals and their family members expressed satisfaction with their experience.

250+ people with developmental disabilities and 500+ family members reported an improved ability to self-advocate after participating in projects we funded.


We continued our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the disability field by funding 9 existing projects, awarding new grants, and developing grants focused specifically on reaching un/under-served communities.

We represented and advanced your voice
A photo of participants in APPLE Acedemy


As a direct result of our supported decision-making (SDM) pilot project, legislation was enacted during the 2022 legislative session to recognize supported decision-making as a less restrictive alternative to guardianship.  

We supported 8 new advocacy initiatives, run and led by people with developmental disabilities and their families, as well as supported non-profit organizations, to enhance advocacy opportunities. One grantee, the Alliance for Families with Developmental Needs, coordinated more than 10 advocacy-focused workshops and peer events, engaging more than 250 Chinese-American parents.   

Our grantee, Sinergia, hosted the APPLE Academy to increase the advocacy of Spanish speaking families and caregivers of people with disabilities. Participants worked to develop skills to advocate on their own behalf and on behalf of their children with developmental disabilities.

“Ahora me siento mas segura y con mas conocimientos sobre los derechos de mi hija y me siento mas segura al comunicarme con los profesores, terapeutas y todo el equipo de la escuela para pedir mas servicios para mi hija.”

I now feel more confident and knowledgeable about my daughter's rights and feel more confident communicating with teachers, therapists and the entire school team to request more services for my daughter.

Willowbrook: The Path Forward

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the expose on Willowbrook and the resulting seismic changes in the developmental disabilities system, CDD created a video series called ‘The Path Forward: Remembering Willowbrook’ from a collection of interviews, including an interview with Geraldo Rivera and Bernard Carabello.
Bernard Carabello smiling
We developed groundbreaking projects to create real change

To improve new Americans' access to disability resources, information and services, we funded the Office for New Americans’ (ONA) Ramirez June Initiative. This initiative is a first of its kind in the nation. It reached 70 family members and 180 other stakeholders this year.

We supported the NY Unified Court System to train Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) staff to improve mediation and conflict coaching services to people with developmental disabilities.  They trained 170+ CDRC volunteers and staff and served 140+ people with developmental disabilities and their families in various disputes.

This new program provides youth with developmental disabilities opportunities to explore careers in information technology.

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Watch a five minute video explaining how TechLaunch provides young people with developmental disabilities opportunities to explore careers in information technology

COVID-19 Impact Report

CDD assisted the Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council with a report assessing the state’s response to COVID for people with developmental disabilities and making recommendations for the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities during future public emergencies. CDD conducted focus groups with more than 2,200 stakeholders in the developmental disability community.
A watercolor painting of a person wearing a cloth mask and holding their right hand up toward their mouth and nose
We promoted choice and independence in all facets of community life
In Housing

We continued to collaborate with the NY Alliance to connect people with developmental disabilities to inclusive living options, meeting their needs and preferences. Over three years, NY Alliance supported the successful transition of 26 people to new housing arrangements. To read a report on this initiative, click the button below.

With Technology

We funded Self-Advocacy Association of NYS’ (SANYS) TechKnowledgeMe project to create resources and trainings to help people with developmental disabilities use technology, including videos featuring self-advocates, on how to effectively join and participate in videoconferences or online events.