DDPC Announces $800,000 Grant to Provide Opportunities for Students with Disabilities to Develop Decision-Making Skills to Lead Self- Determined Lives


The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council is pleased to announce a total of $800,000 in grant funding has been awarded for a three-year pilot project to provide education to school-aged students with disabilities on learning and practicing decision-making skills which will allow them to become successful adults and make informed decisions. The DDPC funded grant project is in partnership with Hunter College and is expected to start in January 2023.

With this funding, Hunter College will create a new decision-making curriculum for students with disabilities in Grades K-12 and will then train, support, and provide resources and materials for implementation of this curriculum in school districts throughout the state. There will also be an opportunity for students who have participated in the decision-making skills program to serve as peer mentors for students who are new to the program.  

“Our mission is to enhance the lives of people with development disabilities and their families through programs that promote self-advocacy and inclusion in all facets of community life,” said DDPC Executive Director Vicky Hiffa. “With this pilot program at Hunter College, we will be providing a set of strategies to the youngest students, and the people who support them, to help them learn to take control of the decisions in their lives.”

Along with the creation of a new curriculum and training students with disabilities on decision-making skills, Hunter College will develop a tool kit for parents and providers so that youth participating in this program can practice these skills outside of the classroom.  It is anticipated that youth who have participated in this program will have Increased self-advocacy skills, assertiveness and confidence to be able to make essential life decisions.