Dear Provider Partners:

Your partnership and support has never been more important. As New York State and OPWDD continue to navigate the COVID-19 public health emergency, we appreciate your dedication to protecting the staff and individuals within our service system. Now, as we prepare for reopening and slowly going back out into the community, we must help the people we support understand how to keep themselves safe. We need your help to do this. With the input of self-advocates, OPWDD has created several informational aids and resource materials that will help ensure everyone understands basic information about COVID-19 and our response to it. We need your help in distributing this information broadly to the people we support and the staff who support them. 

These materials are as follows:

All these materials are accessible from the COVID-19 In Plain Language resource page on the OPWDD website. All of them are designed to provide clear, understandable information to the people we support.

In addition, we have created training materials for staff to use to help educate people about how they can keep themselves safe which are attached to this email. I hope your staff will find them to be useful for themselves and as they interact daily with individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers. I ask that you make these available to all your direct support professionals and their supervisors.

Thank you for all you do every day and for your support in making these materials available. Working together, we will ensure that the people we support, their families and caregivers, and our direct support workforce, are armed with the information and skills they need to remain safe and healthy.


Theodore Kastner, M.D., M.S.