Providing individualized person-centered
services and support

DSP Recognition Week

In celebration of DSP Recognition Week, we’re honoring our DSPs for their hard work and dedication! You can help us celebrate by sharing a message of appreciation below.

DSP Recognition Week

Official Jefferson Career Center Opening

Jefferson Career Center Opening

After a very busy and successful 2016 and early 2017, we are set to open our Jefferson Career Center in the early fall. Located on the East Side of Buffalo in the former Bethel Head Start building on the corner of Jefferson and East Ferry, the Jefferson Career Exploration Center will offer pre-vocational services and employment services for adults with developmental disabilities. Our Respite services will also be offered within the Jefferson building. Respite services are offered to families we serve in a variety of degrees, such as after school care, over school breaks, and even on the weekends.

Jefferson Career Center will give those in our pre-vocation and employment services a chance to learn in a hands-on fashion. Throughout the building there will be different “suites” that will offer the people we serve a chance to learn more about different career paths. These suites include a culinary suite, an auto detailing suite, a mock hotel room and an office, all of which will give the people we serve an opportunity to explore career options and train in a variety of ways. We have several different community partners throughout Western New York who are helping to make Jefferson and the vision we have for it, come alive!
When the Jefferson Career Center opens, Community Services will be inching closer to our mission and vision of helping individuals with developmental disabilities in Western New York achieve their highest level of independence and promote their fullest participation in society. Through the partnerships established, Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled hopes to advance and expand employment opportunities for those we serve. The goal is ultimately for the Jefferson Career Center to become a go-to place within the community!

We would like to thank those who attended our 3rd Annual Golf Tournament in July 2016, and those who attended our 2nd Annual Buffalo Inspired Art, Far and Beer event in November 2016. Funds raised at both of these events went towards the Jefferson Career Center.

President & CEO raises concerns about potential cuts to Medicaid

mindyOur President & CEO Mindy Cervoni discusses the negative impact potential cuts to Medicaid could have on the people we serve in a letter to the editor that was recently published in The Buffalo News. We are urging our state legislators to vote against these budget cuts and to vote for the rights of people with developmental disabilities.

You can read the full letter by clicking here.


Autism Awareness Month | New Research Found on Identification


As you may or may not know, April is recognized by the Autism Society as National Autism Awareness month. CSDD aims to always lead the way for individuals with developmental disabilities, whether it be through transitional services, supportive employment, or general advancement. In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, we’d like to share a little information on recent research found back in February that could mean a lot to any new parent of an infant.

Recent research shows it may be possible to assess an individual’s risk for developing autism before they display behavioral symptoms. The new study goes further, and suggests predicting whether or not a child will develop autism within the first year of their life could now be possible. The study claims to have identified which baby’s would eventually be diagnosed with ASD by the time they’re two-years-old, with more than a 90 percent rate of accuracy. 

New Possibilities

The results, published this past February, could change the landscape in context to early diagnosis and intervention of autism. While the medical community has long viewed autism as emerging in a slow, subtle and gradual context over the course of an individual’s first couple years of life, this study offers the first possibility that some higher-risk children could be identified during the first year of life.

In the study, 106 infants who were identified as “high risk” for autism premised on having an older sibling diagnosed with a developmental disorder as well as 42 other “low-risk” infants. Each went through MRI scans at the ages of six, twelve and 24-months. In those who went on to develop autism, brain surface area growth was considerably increased between the ages of six and twelve, and the overall size of the impacted children’s brains grew at a faster rate between the ages of twelve and 24-months.

In the high-risk pool, just the differences in the brain between ages six and twelve were able to predict if the child would develop autism with a rate of 80 percent accuracy. Other factors were considered, including additional brain measurements and sex to assess statistical analysis to so accurately predict which children would go on to develop autism.

Continuing to Move Forward

While most children aren’t categorized as being autistic until after they turn four-years-old, they can still be reliably diagnosed as early as 2. This new research could be integral in advancing treatment as research shows treatment and/or intervention is increasingly successful the earlier it’s initiated, and medical professionals are always looking to identify avenues for earlier, but reliable diagnosis. While biomarkers to identify at-risk children have yet to be identified, the study provides hope that they exist while possibly expediting the diagnosis time to cultivate earlier and more effective intervention.

Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled is proud of the community we serve. From assisting with vocational training for developmentally disabled in WNY, to providing a myriad of other services for the developmentally disabled, give us a call if you’re looking for assistance, or support in any kind to help you and/or your loves ones live the fulfilling lives you deserve. If you or someone you know is looking for supportive employment or jobs for someone with a developmental disability, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.



How You Can Help

bfair2directcare logo

The #bFair2DirectCare Coalition is hosting a call-in campaign to urge Governor Andrew to include $45 million in the state budget to give Direct Care employees a fair wage. You can help by taking part in the call-in on Tuesday, March 21. Call Governor Cuomo at (518) 474-8390 and press 1 to leave a message.

Here is a sample message you can leave:

“I am calling on behalf of the #bFair2DirectCare Campaign for a living wage for the direct support staff that assist people with developmental disabilities. Governor Cuomo must join the Legislature and provide $45 million in the final budget! Funding is critical to the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities!”


Celebrating Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Back in 1987, the month of March was designated “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” by then President Ronald Reagan.  The push towards deinstitutionalization in the 70s and 80s provided the bedrock for incredible and needed social advancement.  Reagan’s proclamation asked Americans to offer  individuals with developmental disabilities “both encouragement and the opportunities they need to lead productive lives and to achieve their full potential.

A Changing Landscape

As the narrative continued to shift, and those individuals impacted began to live and transition into an increasing part of the general community, programs aimed at career coaching, planning and placement started to emerge as well.  The notion that individuals with developmental disabilities could transition into productive and valuable members of the workforce was new to many Americans and as such, work to deconstruct long-established preconceptions and stereotypes had to be approached head on.

Just a few years later, in 1990, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, significant ground was made towards mitigating discrimination against people with disabilities in the workplace.

With Reagan’s proclamation and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the realistic expectations of individuals with disabilities began to change and autonomy, perseverance and community involvement increasingly became an achievable goal.  Simultaneously, along with better health care, individuals with developmental disabilities started living longer and cultivated a wide spectrum of support needed to live fulfilling lives.   

In 2004, the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) further clarified the perseverance, importance and abilities of individuals with disabilities.  While promising early interventions, special education and services to help high schoolers transition into adulthood, IDEA continued to open doors.

Forging Forward

While there has been significant and positive change three decades after the establishment of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, many challenges remain and we at Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled remain committed to continue working and advocating for our community.  Our 40 different programs provide a full range of services to meet the personal, social, vocational training for developmentally disabled in WNY needs and to meet the goals of the people we serve.  

We celebrate achievements and diversity  during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and hope you take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate with us.  We emphasize our commitment to working with developmentally disabled and community efforts to ensure the availability of support services to advocate for individuals with disabilities to live, work and participate fully in society.