Handicapped man in a rowing scull enjoying the outdoorsHandicapped man in a rowing scull enjoying the outdoors

Citizen Advocates provides truly inclusive community supports and activities to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Whether it be a gym membership, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, or going grocery shopping, people who participate in our community supports and activities can be found throughout every town and village in our area. People of all ages enjoy these personally unique services as they spend time with a direct support professional with whom they may be seen playing in the park, feeding ducks at the duck pond, or orchestrating a birthday party.

Community habilitation services

Community habilitation services helps people participate in opportunities for personal growth, offers enhanced opportunities for success in living a life they choose, and assists each person in learning and practicing skills they may want or need. Also, helping people fulfill their personal dreams and interests, learning other skills such as how to maintain a home, buying groceries, budgeting and preparing meals can be chosen. Through this service, people can explore and learn about their community and its resources and participate in local events. Increasing opportunities to socialize by participating in fun activities is a high point for many people who receive community habilitation.

Most times, community habilitation is offered as a one-on-one service. The hours and schedules are very flexible, based on what each person may want or need. Community habilitation services are available from Citizen Advocates throughout Franklin and Clinton Counties.

Kary Johnson Director of Innovation and Individualization Phone:518-651-2821

Fiscal intermediary and self-directed services

The fiscal intermediary and self-directed services are focused on giving each person the choice in creating service flexibility to find the right mix of supports and services for them to create their own life. That means each person manages their own budget with the help of the fiscal intermediary and broker to choose the services, hire their own staff to provide supports they need, and the find vendors and organizations, such as Citizen Advocates, to buy services from. Self-directed services can also allow a person to build a budget that will pay for such things as their rent, their phone bill, and to purchase basic goods. The Citizen Advocates’ self-directed services also sponsors a self-advocate and family group.

Nakisha Clark nakishaclark@citizenadvocates.net Phone:518-319-5562 Location:Franklin County Clinton County, St. Lawrence County & Essex County

Support broker

Support broker services provide assistance to people who choose to self-direct their Medicaid and other funded services. They help each person to exercise as much control over their life as possible by guiding them through the initiation of their self-directed budget. The support broker also provides training and support to the person upon hiring and supervises their staff and help is the person choose and developing the goals they would like to work toward achieving. They also provide ongoing support to manage and modify their budget as needed. Support brokers help people create a circle of support, friends, family member and people in the community who help the person in different areas of their life.

Nakisha Clark nakishaclark@citizenadvocates.net Phone:518-319-5562 Location:Franklin County Clinton County, St. Lawrence County & Essex County

Group day habilitation—site based

Day habilitation is offered in a group setting at Citizen Advocate’s state-certified locations and is designed to offer people with developmental disabilities opportunities to acquire, retain and improve a variety of identified skills. It is a place where friendships are made and fostered through meaningful activities. Day habilitation offers a range of daily choices both at the day habilitation program and within our local communities.  

Susan Shantie Manager of Employment and Meaningful Activities Phone:518-483-1250 x2830 Fax:518-483-0878
Curtis Lyon Manager, Day Habilitation Services Phone:518-483-1250 x 2846 Fax:518-483-0878


Citizen Advocates offers respite services to families who support a person with an intellectual or developmental disability. Our respite services provide temporary relief for those caregivers as the service is requested or needed. We believe our specialty in providing respite to children under the age of 10 is a great option for families new to the OPWDD system as they determine the type of services will work best for their loved one. For more information, contact Katie Britt, Coordinator of Community Supports – (518) 354-4165.

Volunteer opportunities

Volunteer opportunities may include, but are not limited to: Meals on Wheels, Lion’s mint program, community beautification projects, making homemade dog biscuits for the animal shelter and precious pups, baking cookies at Christmas time for homebound individuals and much more. For more information, call 518-483-1250.

General contact

If you or your family member with a developmental disability would like to create a life at home or in the community, call us and tell us about your dreams and wishes for a full and happy life. And, maybe we’ll see you at the gym!

Malone Office Phone:518-483-1251
Saranac Lake Office Phone:518-891-2590

Need help navigating our intellectual & developmental disabilities services?

At Citizen Advocates, we work as a team to provide the best individual, person-centered services to the people we serve. Care coordination assists clients with identifying and accessing the services that will assist them in addressing the problems they are experiencing, or that will help them to achieve a higher quality life or level of functioning.

go to care coordination »