Services for Adults with Developmental Disabilities


At Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB), people with developmental disabilities find the support and resources they need to become more productive and independent in their daily lives.

We offer a full range of services for individuals with disabilities ranging from mental retardation and cerebral palsy to epilepsy, autism and neurological impairments. Most of the people we serve also are blind or have vision loss, and some are DeafBlind, but vision loss is not a requirement for admission.

Working in collaboration with the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, we provide day habilitation, Medicaid service coordination, supported employment, community habilitation, respite and community residence programs. Small classes, individualized training, community involvement and hands-on learning are the hallmarks of these programs.

Day Habilitation

Our Day Habilitation Program provides daytime educational and recreational activities for individuals who are developmentally disabled and may be blind or have vision loss.

The program offers the best of both worlds: it’s small in size and big on resources. There are about 10 individuals in each class with three staff members, enabling the staff to really get to know the people they serve and to engage in person-centered planning. The result is a training program comprised of skill development and experiential learning opportunities that are tailored to each individual’s needs, interests and goals. Designed to boost self-confidence and self-esteem, the program emphasizes daily living skills and encourages participation in a variety of community-based activities.

An individual’s functioning level and interests dictate what he or she works on in the course of a day of training. Opportunities for skill development range from training in the basics of daily living (toileting, eating, tooth-brushing, handwashing) to getting involved with volunteer work in the local community.

Activities include:

  • Pet therapy
  • Volunteering with community organizations like Meals on Wheels
  • Choir
  • Sign language
  • Science Club

Community outings include trips to:

  • Libraries
  • Parks
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Restaurants
  • Bowling
  • Movies
  • Museums

Fast Facts about Day Habilitation at HKSB:

  • Individuals come to our Hempstead training facility from all over Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn and Queens.
  • Door-to-door private transportation is provided to and from the training facility and for all community outings.     
  • Individuals receive at least 4.5 hours of services per day.

Medicaid Service Coordination

Our Medicaid service coordinator assists people living at home or in an individual residential alternative, providing advocacy and helping with service acquisition.

Supported Employment

Our Supported Employment Program helps people who are blind with additional disabilities to find jobs in their own communities--and keep them.

Services include:

  • Job development and training
  • Travel training
  • Job modification
  • Follow-up services to help employees retain their jobs

Community Habilitation

Our community habilitation services are designed to enable individuals to be more independent in their own homes and in their community. Individuals must reside at home with their families in order to be eligible to receive services. A staff member works closely with the individual and his or her family to develop a customized training plan focused on increasing self-sufficiency. Services are provided by trained staff and are available evenings and weekends.

Community Residence

Several individuals who participate in the Day Habilitation Program live in our community residence in Wantagh. The residence is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Residents are involved with all activities related to home life and have input in planning recreational activities such as games, movie nights and group outings on the weekends. They are fully integrated as members of the community and access local resources including local parks, libraries, fitness centers, etc.


HKSB’s Respite Program offers temporary relief to people who are responsible for the primary care of an individual with a developmental disability.

Sometimes a caregiver needs to take time off. Whether a family member, care provider or live-in house parent is ill, dealing with an emergency or is scheduled to go on vacation, we can send one of our trained professionals to provide in-home supervision, ensuring that the developmentally disabled individual’s needs are met when the caregiver can’t be there.

Available as a service to Nassau or Suffolk county residents who live at home with family and meet the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities’ eligibility requirements, our program delivers short-term caregiving solutions 365 days a year. Having access to our respite services can reduce the overall stress level for families, improving quality of life for caregivers and developmentally disabled individuals alike.


Proof of a developmental disability and approval by the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities is required for admission. Services are reimbursed by Medicaid if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Contact us for more information