Self-Direction is an option that embraces AccessCNY’s key principles of choice, inclusion, empowerment, and family involvement. This program gives individuals with disabilities their choice of services, empowering them to make their own decisions and have control over their own lives. It is a person-centered approach that focuses on all aspects of service planning.


Self-Direction gives participants and their families the power to use resources in ways that make sense in their lives. A Self-Direction Broker brings together the most important people in a person’s life to form a circle of support. This support network works together to help participants plan for their best life and allow them to contribute as equal citizens in their community. Self-Direction allows participants to have more power in hiring support staff, choosing which services to receive, and allocating money from their budget.

AccessCNY’s Self-Direction approach helps participants manage their services and staff through initial and ongoing training. The Self-Direction Fiscal Intermediary works collaboratively with individuals to ensure that all their services are high quality. They are also available to help with conflict resolution if needed. This work is done with the goal of increasing each individual’s control over their supports and services.

Self-Direction offers traditional options for support, but strongly encourages people to be creative with their services.



Cydney Ward
Assistant Program Director for Self-Direction
Phone: 315-478-6210 Ext. 110 | 315-454-4611


A determination of eligibility for New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities services is required prior to acceptance. In order to participate, a person must have a strong circle of support and a desire to be self-determining.  A Self-Direction Broker dedicated to the individual and the planning process is essential to the success of this service.  Referrals can be made by an individual, a care manager or a member of the circle of support.

Brokers collaborate with a CNY Developmental Disabilities Regional Office liaison to ensure that every Self-Direction plan and budget includes all services a person wants to purchase. Budgets are based on an individual’s needs and available funding.  Persons seeking services must be enrolled in Medicaid and the Home and Community Based Services waiver.