The first step to getting started is to meet with our Intake Coordinator, who will help you through the eligibility process. Contact JoEllen Schaefer, intake coordinator at Ontario ARC, at or 585.919.2118.

Before your first appointment — click here for a list of what documents to bring.

Eligibility Process

Are you OPWDD eligible? Do you know what OPWDD eligibility means, or how to get this information? If you have not contacted the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) about your eligibility, JoEllen will be able to assist you. Learn more about the eligibility process online on OPWDD’s website.

Attend a Front Door Information Session

To help you get ready to plan for OPWDD services, you will be asked to attend a Front Door information session. The information session is a way for you to learn valuable information about:

  • The supports and services that may be right for you, and how to access them
  • The options that exist for helping individuals and families
  • How the Front Door process works

Once your eligibility status is determined, JoEllen will be able to assist you in identifying what services at Ontario ARC are available. She will be able to arrange tours of specific services and sites, and will schedule appointments for you to meet with our staff. In addition to programs hosted at Ontario ARC sites, we work with school districts, Acces-VR, Region 1 DDRO, and other providers to develop a plan for you.

What’s Next?

Once your questions have been answered and you have made a decision on the types of services that you are interested in, it’s time to select your Service Coordination provider.

Your Service Coordinator will be your go-to person, working for your best interests and helping you navigate the system. He or she will work with you to develop a plan that will continue to create opportunities and promote independence through life’s transitions – and they will be with you every step of the way!


We are available to answer questions along the way, and are happy to assist you and your family in determining the right path for you. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available at Ontario ARC, take a look around our website and find what inspires you!

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