Occ. Code 3930100


habilitation specialist 1, grade 14


habilitation specialist 2, grade 17




New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




          Positions in this series carry out a variety of activities in support of individuals diagnosed with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, assisting them in developing pre-academic, academic, and self-help skills, as well as communication, prevocational, and appropriate community skills.  Incumbents of these positions help individuals reach their optimal level of functioning by developing individual habilitation plans, setting goals, and monitoring an individual's progress in reaching those goals.


          These positions are located at the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).  Incumbents at OPWDD assist in the total care of individuals, and as such perform various duties and functions in conjunction with the overall operation of a facility and/or location to which they are assigned.




habilitation specialist 1:  full performance level; provides guidance and training to direct care staff in the implementation of goals and service plans; and may supervise direct care staff.


habilitation specialist 2:  supervisory level; provides specialized training and guidance to staff; supervises at least two Habilitation Specialists 1, and may direct paraprofessional staff involved in the implementation of service plans.




Developmental Assistants are directly related to the active treatment and habilitation of individuals with developmental disabilities. Incumbents supervise Developmental Aides and Developmental Aide Trainees in the care, treatment, and habilitation of individuals and work with staff to motivate and attend to the personal daily living needs of the individuals in their care. 


Developmental Specialists are certified teachers who specialize in teaching children with developmental disabilities.  They are the primary contributors to the individual education program and are members of the program planning team responsible for developing the individual program plan used to assist individuals with developmental disabilities in developing basic learning and self-help skills, as well as communication and prevocational skills. 


Rehabilitation Counselors provide a full range of rehabilitation and habilitation services to individuals, including psychosocial, competency training, residential rehabilitation program services, and such vocational services as evaluation, training, counseling, placement and support, and special employment programs.




habilitation specialist 1 


Develop program and plan activities for assigned groups.


·       Provide assessment, training, and assistance to individuals to develop skills promoting independence in classroom and alternative settings.


·       Monitor programs and revise as needed to ensure continual progress of individuals in reaching their goals.


·       Review and update objectives for individuals at specified times and when necessary to meet the needs of the individual.


·       Instruct paraprofessionals in appropriate strategies to be used with individuals.


·       May supervise activities of paraprofessionals who assist in delivering programs to individuals.


Review ongoing performance data.


·       Assist in the establishment of habilitation plan and the modification of the habilitation plan as necessary to ensure the acquisition of the skills necessary for the individual to function with as much self-determination and independence as possible and to prevent or decelerate regression or loss of current optimal functioning status.


·     Review performance data and program plan at specified intervals to assure individuals continual progress.


·       Ensure that individuals participate in community inclusion activities by transporting and assisting individuals and documenting these activities.


Provide and/or assist staff in carrying out services and activities.


·     Assess current functioning of individuals in relation to valued outcomes. Communicate with treatment team members to gather additional information to plan appropriate services. Make modifications to services as recommended by the treatment team.


·     Ensure individuals are provided with the appropriate level of supervision, based upon their needs.


·     Record data and monthly summaries in a timely manner and in accordance with agency standards, and ensure they are complete and up-to-date.


habilitation specialist 2 


Analyze, develop, revise, and implement individuals day habilitation and residential habilitation plans in accordance with the Individual Service Plan.


·   Develop residential habilitation plans in conjunction with the individual, family, and service providers to provide clear direction to residential staff on methods to assist the individual to acquire, improve, and maintain life skills.


·   Produce, or supervise the production of, Habilitative Service Plans and intervention strategies.


·   Actively seek opportunities for individuals to develop relationships and participate in community life.


·   Develop, approve, and assist in specialized projects for individuals.


·   Develop and oversee individualized day habilitation plans, day treatment plans, and intervention strategies.


·   Implement habilitation and program plans, activities, and intervention strategies for individuals.


Maintain records including monthly notes, service delivery forms, and billing.

Develop and maintain annual habilitation charts to monitor progress in relation to service plans for all individuals.


·     Schedule and monitor community inclusion activities.


·     Review performance data and program plan to ensure continual progress.


Supervise Habilitation Specialists 1 and provide oversight of other staff in the implementation of habilitation plans or the administration of a habilitation program.


·     Monitor daily activity schedules and staff attendance issues, maintain adequate staffing, schedule regular visits to day service work sites, and addresses emergencies as necessary.


·     Conduct annual service planning training for Habilitation Specialists 1 and other staff.  Provide on-going training of residential/habilitation plans.


·     Provide guidance for the development of meaningful community inclusion activities.


·     Ensure that appropriate documentation occurs for all activities.


·     May serve as alternate in absence of site supervisor for day-to-day operations.




habilitation specialist 1


Open Competitive:  a bachelors degree in a human services field and one year of direct care or clinical experience in an organization whose primary focus is providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities.  A masters degree in a human services field or permanent NYS certification as a teacher may be substituted for the required one year experience.


habilitation specialist 2


Promotion:   one year of permanent competitive service as a Habilitation Specialist 1.


Date:  10/15



NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.