BRIDGES operates a variety of programs under the heading of Independent Living Services (ILS). Programs and services are guided by the philosophy of Independent Living to provide the necessary supports for individuals with disabilities to experience autonomy in all areas of living. BRIDGES works with ACCES-VR to achieve aggregate goals for services expected in Rockland County and provides regular reports for each area of ILS. Many of these programs are operated in collaboration with other service providers, government agencies, and community partners. These programs are:
Open Doors is a specialized service to assist individuals living in a nursing home or Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in making decisions regarding home and community-based services. Open Doors meets with individuals and their families to provide information regarding services and supports available in the community. Individuals choosing to live in the community are referred to the Regional Resource Development Center (RRDC) for consideration of NHTD services. Individuals may also be referred to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
BRIDGES works collaboratively with the lead agency, Westchester Independent Living Center, to identify individuals in need of an assessment and consideration for Open Doors. This contract is monitored by New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) and NY Department of Health (NYDOH).
BRIDGES offers people in the community seeking career and job opportunities with several resources and activities to achieve their career goals. Services are provided respective to goals and whether they have a disability or a certain restrictions that require tools or strategies to find successful employment.
BRIDGES is an approved provider of ACCES-VR, a division of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to provide ACCES-VR orientation.
These services include but are not limited to:
- Benefits Advisement
- Work Readiness & Supported Employment in addition to other services within our ACCES-VR Core Rehabilitative Services (CRS) - Adults
- Youth Employment Services - Pre-Employment & Transition Services (Pre-ETS) - Ages 14 - 21
- Mobility Training
- Job Placement (Blind & Low Vision)
- Individual Advocacy and ADA Guidance - All Ages
Call BRIDGES to see if you are eligible for anyone of these areas of services.
Due to the generosity of a private benefactor, BRIDGES offers students with disabilities a unique opportunity at Silver Rock Farm, a recognized member center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Students receive individual instruction demonstrating safe and thoughtful horsemanship. This program expands personal, emotional and physical boundaries; enhances the quality of life for people with disabilities through recreational therapy; fosters positive relationships between families, rider, volunteer, and horse; and develops a foundation of solid technique and knowledgeable handling.
BRIDGES is proud to be a part of Rockland Community Against Hunger (RCAH). RCAH founded in 2011, was formed to bring members of the community together in collaboration to address issues of hunger in Rockland County and to provide help where the need is greatest. RCAH is comprised of representatives from Rockland County’s food pantries and feeding programs, government agencies, local non-profit agencies, community groups, and the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
RCAH provides Rockland residents with information on the County’s food pantries and feeding programs. RCAH shares ideas and information; and improves communication and collaboration among the food pantries and feeding programs. In addition, RCAH raises awareness about hunger in the community; mobilizes support and involvement in the community; and encourages/educates the community about better nutrition and healthy food.
RCAH established a Food Recovery Program in 2018 to feed people, not landfills, help to improve health outcomes, support the local community and save money. RCAH has successfully collected over 50,000 pounds of unspoiled healthy food, and distributed it to over 30 food pantries and feeding programs serving people in need. In addition, we deliver to a local “hub” through Martin Luther King Center in Spring Valley.
In addition to the direct services provided to individuals with Medicaid through our CDPA program, BRIDGES plays a central role in assisting individuals with disabilities access necessary services. New York State is currently implementing changes in Medicaid funding and service authorization. As a leading advocate, BRIDGES is positioned to help individuals understand these changes and gain access to services according to individual needs.
BRIDGES provides a certified Parent Advocate to guide and support families in the process of seeking appropriate Special Education services that address the individualized needs of children with disabilities in the most appropriate, least restrictive setting. These services encourage and empower parents in their navigation of public education services.
Independent Living philosophy emphasizes the value of informal, peer supports to individuals with disabilities. These interventions afford individuals with opportunities for improved experiences of empathy and understanding through both individual and group peer supports.
BRIDGES staff are by majority people with disabilities. Shared lived experiences offer some of the skills that cannot be learned through a professional lens. As a result of these supports, many individuals are able to autonomously address their needs through a meaningful connection with one or more peers, leading to reduced use of higher-cost professional services, including hospitalization.
Pro-Youth is designed to engage students with disabilities in job exploration at an early age. Our goal is to assist students with identifying career interests to be further explored through additional Pro-Youth services, including transition services. Through collaboration with our local community partners in schools, local colleges, non-profit organizations and established businesses we are able to effectively provide career readiness training, as well as assistance with college prep.
Click here to learn more about Pro-Youth
BRIDGES works with the Rockland County Department of Transportation to certify individuals with disabilities for Para-transit and reduced fair. In addition, BRIDGES offers Mobility Training services to prepare students and individuals with disabilities to access public transportation.
BRIDGES serves on the TRIPS Board which oversees transportation services in Rockland County for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.