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Jul 10, 2024 | April Xu

Available language services and resources for Chinese community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities

What services and resources are available and where to find them

According to the CDC, Asian/Pacific Islander 8-year-old children have the highest prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder, at 33.4 per 1,000. Navigating the available services and resources can be challenging for Chinese immigrant families with special needs. To assist these families, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to language services and resources specifically tailored for members of the Chinese community with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, in New York City. This guide aims to provide essential support and information to help families access the services they need. Remember, early intervention for special needs is important!

  • Office for People With Developmental Disabilities is partnering with New York State’s Office for New Americans and the NYS Council on Developmental Disabilities on the Ramirez June Developmental Disabilities Navigator Initiative which assists new Americans with developmental disabilities and their families to connect with vital resources, information, and services. A navigator at ONA centers is trained on OPWDD services and works closely with OPWDD Front Door staff and Care Coordination Organizations (CCOs) to help new Americans and immigrant families access services. A resource guide is available in 12 languages. For more information, you can call OPWDD’s Infoline at 866-946-9733. 

OPWDD NYC Offices

  • Bronx Phone: 718-430-0885
  • Brooklyn Phone: 718-642-6000
  • Manhattan Phone: 646-766-3222
  • Queens Phone: 718-217-5890
  • Staten Island Phone: 718-983-5233

For information about OPWDD’s language access services, please see the Language Access page.

  • Office for New Americans provides the Bilingual Coordinator Program, in which a full-time bilingual case manager assists Chinese-American families to access disability services, including a diagnosis of their disability. If you or someone you represent needs OPWDD and/or immigration services, plus support in Mandarin, please connect them to Wei Zhang, service coordinator of the Services for Families with Special Needs at the Chinese-American Planning Council: wzhang@cpc-nyc.org or call or text 718-685-3302. The New Americans Hotline is also available to connect new American families to services: 1-800-566-7636.
  • Chinese-American Planning Council’s Services for Families with Special Needs in Brooklyn is funded by the NYS Office for New Americans, Ramirez June Initiative, in partnership with the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. You can reach out to Wei Zhang, service coordinator of the Services for Families with Special Needs at the Chinese-American Planning Council: wzhang@cpc-nyc.org or call or text 718-685-3302. Address: 4101 8th Ave, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232
  • Hamilton Madison House- Behavioral Health Department has tirelessly worked since 1973 and continues to collaborate with the Department of Health and NYC to provide innovative models of care to reach health equity and justice for underserved populations with access gaps. Its CONNECT (Continuous Engagement between Community and Clinic Treatment) program is eligible for any adult, connecting the patient with clinical services, health care coordination and case management services.

Behavioral Health Services

Address: 253 South Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10002

Phone: 212-720-4540

Email: BehavioralHealth@hmhonline.org

  • Charles B. Wang Community Health Center’s Special Needs Program works to strengthen services for children with developmental disabilities and their families by providing comprehensive clinical services, care coordination, and by engaging parents as partners in their children’s care. The center also works collaboratively with community partners and build community capacity to provide high-quality services for these families. CBWCHC offers comprehensive bilingual care for your child with special health care needs, which includes: Bilingual Parent-Peer Leaders who connect parents to support services and resources; Monthly Drop-in Parent Groups that provide a safe space to express parent needs, exchange information, and receive parent-peer support; Parent trainings and workshops.To learn more about these services, please email CBWCHC at parentpeerleader@cbwchc.org or visit their website.
  • Alliance For Families With Developmental Needs (AFDN) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit community-based organization in New York City. This organization was formed in spring 2016 by families caring for people with developmental disabilities. We come together because we share the same experiences and have a common understanding of caring for family members with special needs.  We help each other; we support and care for each other. We want our voices heard in the community. We advocate to eliminate social stigma against people and families having developmental and special needs.

Email: afdnfamily@gmail.com

Phone: 646-982-4060

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 650643, Fresh Meadows NY 11365

  • University Settlement Early Childhood program includes early childhood mental health counseling and center-based early childhood centers with EarlyLearn, Pre-K, Head Start,  and Early Head Start. All programs are responsive to the needs of children and families. The organization is dedicated to teaching and caring for children with different learning approaches, including children with special needs. It integrates mental health screening and care for children and parents, knowing that this investment makes a big difference in young lives. The staff speak a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin. 

Address: 184 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002

Phone: Programs + Services: (212) 453-4500

Email: Rachel Ramos, Director of Special Needs, Early Childhood Programs, rramos@universitysettlement.org; General Inquiries: info@universitysettlement.org

  • Chinese Better Living Association: Founded in 2006, this nonprofit provides holistic care to Chinese people living in America through social services.The service areas of the Chinese Better Living Association include special needs families, youth cultivation, holistic care services, and leadership training, etc. 

Address: 132-62 Pople Ave, Flushing NY 11355

Phone: 646-450-3721

Email: info@cblausa.org

  • Project READY Inc. is a parent-to-parent support organization founded by two Chinese American parents of children with developmental disabilities. It is the first 501(3)c non-profit organization in the Asian community targeting youth around the transition age. The focus of the organization is Advocacy, Education, Transition and Community Inclusion. The organization is constantly exploring, expanding and building a community that is owned by and serves people with IDD and their families.

Email: contact@projectready.org or send Project READY a message

  • Good Job Angels is a nonprofit organization that supports families with Christ’s love and hope.  GJA provides integrative learning and social interaction opportunities for children and adolescents with all abilities, preparing them for work readiness and independent living. GJA provides open-to-all courses, all students can benefit from enrolling in courses to know each other. GJA Learning Center provides virtual farming lessons & on-site lessons in Marlboro, NY, 1 on 1 home instruction, and job training programs in Flushing.

Email:  charlotte@goodjobangels.org

Phone:  347-369-4255

Mailing Address: PO Box 4530, Great Neck, NY 11023

Center For All Abilities strives to empower those of all abilities to recognize their potential and thrive in society. Its programs are designed to enable those of all abilities to integrate into a community that both accepts and celebrates individual differences. The center supports all individuals, including those with special needs, as well as neurotypical individuals and those with behavioral or emotional challenges. It believes that everyone can learn and blossom if given creative outlets to address their unique needs and strengths.

Phone: 917-861-9396
Email: info@allabilities.org

Contact Joyce: 646-229-1688

Address: 156-03 Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, NY 11365
The above information is a compilation of online resources and contributions from various organizations and agencies. Special thanks to OPWDD, the Chinese-American Planning Council, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, and the Educational Alliance for their contributions to this guide. This article will be continuously updated. If you have any questions or if your organization provides services for members of the Chinese community with intellectual and developmental disabilities in NYC and would like to be included in this guide, please contact our Chinese community correspondent, April Xu, at april.xu@documentedny.com.

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