Long Island CSS & Friends



About Us

My name is Donna Irving and I have a child with Autism and Developmental Disabilities, who receives services through Self Direction formerly known as Consolidated Support Services. I have also been Support Staff for individuals in Self Direction for several years now. Since I began working in this field I realized that there was very little connection with other participants or families receiving services through OPWDD. So, I formed Long Island CSS & Friends so that people could connect as well as learn about upcoming events. Last year, I began a Yahoo Group called Long Island CSS as well as I started local meet ups in places such as Wantagh Pool, Adventureland, and Splish Splash. We eventually changed the name of the group to Long Island CSS & Friends, along with adding a Facebook Page. Also, please feel free to check out our blog.

Over the past few months, we have also had meet-ups at several cafes such as Starry Night Cafe, Sip This, Starbucks in Long Beach, Witches Brew, Panera Bread in Bellmore, Roller Skating at United Skates of America and Hot Skate, Wednesday Walkers at the Source Mall, and more to come. I have created this place so that we can support each other, share important information, share resources, share stories, receive support, and participants can make friends with others in Self Direction as well as make new friends in the community.

I look forward to meeting all of you in time at one of our meet-ups.

Donna Irving

How To's

ISS Self Direction ID Badge:
For Support Staff:
Send a head-shot to TWoodard@issny.org
You should be directed to someone who can help you.

Non-driver ID:
For people w/ disabilities:
There is a fee & you need proof of residence. Contact the DMV for info: Click here

Nassau County Disability Leisure Pass:
Gets Discounts in Nassau County Parks
Go to either Cantiague Park, Wantagh Park, or Eisenhower Park, bring ID & money.
You will have to call whichever park you go to in order to find out more info on what you need to bring.

For Suffolk County (Green Key):
Click here for more info.

Federal Access Pass:
If you do it online, it is $10, but you can go for free at Theodore Roosevelt’s Mansion/Museum in Oyster Bay.
For more info on Sagamore Hill, click here.
For more info on Federal Access Passes, click here.

State Disability Access Pass:
Gets Discounts or Free Admission to State Parks
Click here, then click where it says application & follow the direction. It’s free.

Disability Metro Card:
For Info, scroll down on the following page till you find the “Customers with qualifying disabilities” section: Click here You need to send a head-shot to them.

For those who use Able-Ride, Click here to get the Able-Ride photo ID. Please see page for info.

Upcoming Events
  • Art League of Long Island “Art w/ a Partner”!
    1:00 pm-3:00 pm

    107 E Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA

    107 E Deer Park Rd, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA

    Flyer here.

    Art League of Long Island This series provides each participant and his/her special loved one a precious opportunity to bond together while creating something beautiful. Using a multitude of mediums, each young person goes home with a completed craft project each session. This program is led by Toni Neuschaefer, who for the past thirteen years has directed the Town of Huntington’s multi-faceted Saturday Recreational Program for Children with Special Needs. Toni is also the mother of a 25 year old daughter with multiple special needs.

    Sunday January 8, 2017
    1:00 – 3:00 PM • $35 Space is Limited for More Information Contact the Art League of LI
    107 E. Deer Park Road • Dix Hills, NY 11746 •
    631.462.5400 • www.artleagueli.org

  • Parent Workshop on Bullying and Cyber-bullying
    6:15 pm-7:30 pm

    58-20 Little Neck Pkwy, Flushing, NY 11362, USA

    58-20 Little Neck Pkwy, Flushing, NY 11362, USA

    Please see flyer.

  • ECDC Free Workshop
    6:30 pm-8:00 pm

    1500 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA

    1500 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA

    Free Workshop Offered Through the Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) 

    Jan. 12th Supporting Young Students with Disabilities in Less Restrictive Placements

  • Long Island CSS & Friends Staff/Family Connections
    7:00 pm-8:45 pm

    221 N Village Ave, Rockville Centre, NY 11570, USA

    221 N Village Ave, Rockville Centre, NY 11570, USA

    Happy New Year!!!!
    Long Island CSS and Friends
    May all who enter as guests, leave as friends

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017!!!!
    Your Invited to our Family and Staff Connections (Flyer here)

    Do you know someone with a Developmental Disabilities looking for information about services or Self Direction?

    What is a Family and Staff Connection?
    A Family and Staff Connection is an event that provides information, support, socialization, prospective staff and resources about services such as:

    *OPWDD also known as Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
    *Self Direction (Brokers, Job Developers and Staff)
    * MSC’s (Medicaid Service Coordinators)

    We usually offer monthly connections in Nassau County at the Rockville Centre Library, as well as several Suffolk County Library’s. This provides a safe environment to come and ask question, get information about services that you may be entitled to through OPWDD, meet available MSC’s, Brokers or Job Developers, and interview prospective staff such as Community Habilitation Staff or Job Coaches.
    Who should attend?

    Individuals, Families, Brokers, MSC’s, Job Developer’s, Comm. Hab Staff, Job Coaches, or anyone that would like to provide information or resources. Fiscal Intermediaries are welcome as well.

    Families bring your questions. MSC’s, Brokers and Job Developers bring your business cards. Staff bring at least 20 or more resumes to share with families and brokers.

    When is the next Family and Staff Connections? Nassau County

    *Thursday, January 12, 2017
    *Thursday, February, 2, 2017
    *Thursday, March 9, 2017
    *Monday, April 3, 2017
    *Thursday, May 18, 2017
    *Thursday, June 8, 2017

    Place: Rockville Centre Library at 221 North Village Ave, Rockville Centre, NY 11570
    Time: 7;00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
    Note: $1.00 Entrance FEE (to cover cost for materials)

    RSVP to: longislandcssandfriends@gmail.com. In the subject line put “I will attend the Nassau County Family and Staff Connections”. In the email include the following: if you are a family; if you are a MSC, Broker, or Job Developer.

    Direct Support Staff that are looking for positions, please indicate if you are “CLEARED” through Independent Support Services or another Fiscal Intermediary. Include a copy of your resume with response. Also, bring at least 20 or more resumes. We are asking that you wear your Fiscal Intermediary ID. If you don’t have one, contact the FI Human resources department.
    Reminder: -DOORS OPEN AT 7:00 p.m.-

    Thank you: Donna Irving

    Check out our webpage: http://www.longislandcssandfriends.com/
    Join our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/889671771094194/
    Join our Yahoo group: https://sg.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/longislandcssandfriends/info

  • Gural JCC LIFE Program: Memorial for Maria G.
    6:00 pm-7:00 pm

    207 Grove Ave, Cedarhurst, NY 11516, USA

    207 Grove Ave, Cedarhurst, NY 11516, USA

    Hi All, As many of you may have heard, we recently lost a dear member of our group. Maria Giustini passed away last week, after having been sick for a while. Due to logistical issues we are postponing our program on January 16th- Healthy Cooking, but will reschedule it during the month of February. Instead, we would like to invite you to support Greg Nelson, Maria’s boyfriend and our fellow LIFE member, at a Celebration of Life in memory of Maria on January 16th from 6.00 -7.00 PM in Club Room A at the JCC at 207 Grove Ave, Cedarhurst NY 11516. At that time, we invite all of our members to share a story, song, poem or supportive thoughts related to Maria, as we remember her as a vibrant member of our group. As space will be limited, please RSVP to Yael or myself at JCCLifeProgram@gmail.com if you plan on attending. If you would like to share something with the group, please let us know by 1.00 PM on Thursday. Please limit your thoughts to 2-3 minutes, to ensure that everyone gets a chance to share. We look forward to seeing you all on Monday, and hope to share only happy occasions together in the future. Best, Naomi & Yael PS: If you have already paid for the Healthy Cooking program that was scheduled for January 16th: Your payment will be used towards a future program of your choice. PPS: Please see attached for the memorial flyer, the updated LIFE flyer and the RSVP form for January.  <3

  • Support Parent Volunteers Needed!
    10:00 am-12:00 pm

    395-407 Oser Ave, Hauppauge, NY 11788, USA

    395-407 Oser Ave, Hauppauge, NY 11788, USA

    Support Parent Volunteers Needed!


    **Specifically seeking parents of children with special needs under age 15.


    Join us for a Support Parent Training.

    Tuesday January 24th

    10:00 to 12:00

    Parent to Parent offices

    415-A Oser Avenue

    Hauppauge, NY 11788


    RSVP to Valerie or Alissa





    Parents of children with autism and ADHD are needed. We strongly encourage you to volunteer and participate!



    Who is a Support Parent?

     A Support Parent is a parent or primary caregiver of an individual with a disability or special health care needs who resides in New York State. They volunteer to help other families in situations similar to those they have faced, usually by telephone.

    What is the role of a Support Parent?  What do Support Parents do?

     As a representative of Parent to Parent of New York State, a Support Parent provides emotional support and information to families of individuals with disabilities or other special needs. A Support Parent provides a safe listening environment and can be a wealth of information to other families.


    Who can be a volunteer Support Parent?

     If you are the parent or primary caregiver of an individual with developmental or intellectual disability or special health care needs and reside in New York State, you can become a Support Parent.

    Parent to Parent of NYS maintains this electronic mailing list as a service to families and professional partners. It is informational in nature. Posts do not reflect endorsement of any services or programs.

    Parent to Parent of NYS offices are staffed with family members of individuals with disabilities and we have a vast volunteer Support Parent network accessible to us. We are ready to listen and share what we have learned to make the journey easier. If you have any questions or would like to speak with another family member, give our Long Island Office a call at 631-434-6196 –we would love to hear from you!

    You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Long Island News & Events” group.
    To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to linews+unsubscribe@parenttoparentnys.org.
    For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/a/parenttoparentnys.org/d/optout.

  • LICSS & Friends/SOYAN Game Night
    7:00 pm-9:00 pm

    225 Fox Blvd, Merrick, NY 11566, USA

    225 Fox Blvd, Merrick, NY 11566, USA

    Happy New Year!!!


    A Social Connection Group for Self-Determined Young Adults
    an evening of board games, puzzles & trivia

    -18 years or older-
    Accompanied by Staff or a Chaperone***

    Hosted/Organized by
    Long Island CSS & Friends & S.O.Y.A.N.

    WINTER * 2017

    January 24

    NEW TIME** Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    -DOORS OPEN AT 6:45

    Place: Merrick Jewish Center
    225 Fox Blvd., Merrick, NY 11566


    Join old friends and make some new ones!
    *** Questions & RSVP to:


  • Jewish Museum Access Workshop
    2:00 pm-4:00 pm

    1 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128, USA

    1 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128, USA

    We hope to see you at our upcoming Access Family Workshops. During each program we will explore different exhibitions at the Jewish Museum and then create art inspired by the works on view.

    All programs are free and require advance registration. Many of you have registered already for January 29, but if you have not (or would like to confirm your registration), please email access@thejm.org or call 212-423-3289.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Additionally, if you are interested in bringing a private group for a workshop or tour please email access@thejm.org or me directly. Thank you!

    Warmest regards,


    Samantha Schott
    Assistant Manager of Gallery Programs

    E sschott@thejm.org
    T 212.423.3289

    The Jewish Museum
    1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
    New York, NY 10128

  • FYI…Parent Leadership Initiative Information Cafe
    6:00 pm-8:00 pm

    99 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd, Garden City, NY 11530, USA

    99 Quentin Roosevelt Blvd, Garden City, NY 11530, USA


    Attached, please find a flyer about an Information Café being held on
    Monday, January 9, 2017 at the Child Care Council of Nassau, 99 Quentin Roosevelt Boulevard, Garden City at 6:00 p.m. related to the Parent Leadership Initiative (PLI). PLI helps parents and those who care about children become leading advocates for children. It is a civic leadership initiative of the Connecticut Commission on Children and is successfully being replicated locally through the Child Care Council of Suffolk. In collaboration with the Child Care Council of Nassau and our community partners, over the last couple of years, this initiative has expanded into Nassau County with great success! Please join on January 9th @ 6:00 p.m. to hear more about the program. Please help share this information as well with others you feel may be interested. For more information or to RSVP, please call 631-462-0303 or email PLI at

    Please click here to view the attached flyer.

    Thank you,

    Cynthia McKelvey

    Communities of Practice, 44 S.Elmwood Avenue, Montauk, NY 11954

  • Bellmore-Merrick Transition Fair
    6:00 pm-9:00 pm

    1786 State St, Merrick, NY 11566, USA

    1786 State St, Merrick, NY 11566, USA

    ALL ARE WELCOME! Please check the flyer and the brochure for more info.

    On January 31, 2017, The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District along with SEPTA is pleased to announce our 10th annual Transition Fair for students with disabilities. The event is hosted by Sanford H. Calhoun High located at 1786 State Street, Merrick, NY 11566.
    This fair is designed to help students with special needs reach their fullest potential by engaging them along with their parents in a workshop style of the transition process. Whether it is eligibility determination, employment opportunity, supported living or self-direction services, the various organizations and agencies across Long Island that participate are there to help target your specific needs.
    The events highlights are subjects including determination to special needs trusts for social security benefits, Medicaid and Non-Medicaid services. All workshops are given by expert representatives who specialize in the field of disability rights. A questions and answer opportunity to follow at the booths after the workshop presentations.
    High point of the night, our student workshop! This workshop is a way for students to take part in understanding the transition process by listening to Bellmore-Merrick alumni who have already taken part in the pre-vocational and vocational experiences. Following the workshop, students will participate in a guided scavenger hunt with opportunity to win prizes. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.
    Pre-registration is open up to the day of the event, January 31, 2017. All inquiries can be made to bellmoremerricksepta@gmail.com or by following the link.

    Cheryl Gitlitz, LCSW
    District Wide Transition Coordinator
    Bellmore-Merrick Central
    High School District

  • Free Workshop in Brooklyn
    6:15 pm-8:15 pm

    3300 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235, USA

    3300 Coney Island Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235, USA

    Please join us for a FREE Workshop provided by “Advocates for Children” (AFC), and hosted by the Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton & Manhattan Beach, Inc.

    The workshop will cover the following topics:

    • Evaluations by DOE and independent providers (pros and cons)
    • Reading evaluations and IEP’s, spotting problems.
    • Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings
    • Creating the IEP and the continuum of services
    • Appropriate placement (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
    • Due process rights and advocacy tips
    • At risk programs: Title I, ERSS, Section 504 and the American Disabilities Act.
    The presenter- Karmena Diggs, Esq, will be happy to answer specific questions for the participants of this workshop.
    The Shorefront Y is located at 3300 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11235. (B and Q trains to Brighton Beach Avenue).
    We will meet on Tuesday, January 31st, at 6:15 PM.
    FREE child care will be provided.
    Please RSVP at kochL@shorefronty.org
    Contact (347) 689 1842 for more information.