NY Connects is a locally based No Wrong Door (NWD) system that provides one stop access to free, objective, comprehensive information and assistance on long term services and supports for people of all ages or with any type of disability. The NY Connects NWD System is administered through a collaboration between the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS), and six regionally contracted Independent Living Centers (ILCs). NY Connects consists of the following fundamental components:
Information and Assistance – Local NY Connects programs provide Information and Assistance on available long term services and supports options to the older population, individuals of all ages with disabilities, and caregivers. Information and Assistance is available in various ways including telephone access, face to face meetings in the community, or email. NY Connects can also be accessed through its statewide telephone number (800-342-9871), which connects callers with local offices by county. Additionally, there is an online resource directory of providers of long term services and supports, information about the different types of such services, and contact information for the local programs.
Public Education – Advertising, marketing, and promotion activities are conducted to increase the visibility of NY Connects and alleviate the misconception that long term services and supports can be delivered only in institutional settings.
Long Term Care Councils – Long Term Care Councils in each participating county are made up of consumers, caregivers, providers, advocates, government representatives (AAA directors, DSS commissioners), and key stakeholders (including Independent Living Centers) who come together to analyze the local long term services and supports system, identify gaps, duplication, and barriers in the system and make recommendations for improvements. The Councils use their findings to work toward a system that is more streamlined, efficient, and responsive, helping individuals remain at home and in the community.
Options Counseling/Person-Centered Counseling – This is an interactive, person-centered process whereby individuals are supported in making informed long term support decisions based on their preferences, strengths, values, abilities, and resources. It includes exploring options, assisting with accessing supports/services, and following-up with the individual, and may result in the development of an action plan.