DDI van wrapped in recruitment advertisement


As part of DDI’s on-going efforts to attract new prospective staff, the workforce development committee came together to create a solution.


The solution had multiple objectives.


Read more: It's a Wrap

Children visiting the CRP holding handmade pillows and bean bags


Developmental Disabilities Institute’s Children’s Residential Program (DDI's-CRP) was welcomed last week by students from the Commack School District. They came with their arms full of handmade pillows and bean bags for the children in the CRP.

Read more: Stuffed with Love


DDI announced the election of Kevin Long of East Setauket to Board Chairperson.  Mr. Long joined DDI's Board of Directors in May 2008. In addition to the election of Mr. Long, four new Board appointments have been announced.  Dr. Larry Boone of Westbury, Dr. James Fogarty of Babylon, Joseph Napolitano of Wantagh, and Joseph Schmidt of Wantagh will help to oversee the agency that supports nearly5,000 children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.


Mr. Kevin Long has extensive experience in employee communications and engagement. He is currently consulting with a number of Fortune 500 organizations to improve performance and retain talent through strategic communications that align employees with organizational strategy, mission, vision and values. Previously, Kevin held senior communications and HR positions at Accenture, CA Technologies and Insidedge. He has an M.S. in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations and a B.S. in Technical Writing from the New York Institute of Technology. He currently chairs DDI's Human Resource Committee and has been an active board member on the DDI Foundation since 2005. He currently chairs the Strategic Planning Committee in addition to the HR Committee.  Kevin has a son who previously attended DDI's early education programs.

“DDI is fortunate to have Mr. Long serving as the Board Chairperson.  Mr. Long brings with him a wealth of valuable experience and has beena great asset to DDI,” commented John Lessard, DDI's Executive Director.  "Additions to the DDI family, like Dr. Boone, Dr. Fogarty, Mr. Napolitano, and Mr. Schmidt enable us to advance our mission to support children and adults with developmental disabilities in achieving a lifetime of growth through exceptional care and innovative, individualized services."


Dr. Larry Boone has been associated with St. John’s University for the past 28 years, most recently as Associate Professor of Management at the Tobin College of Business its Executive-in-Residence Program, which joins businesses with students for their development.  While at St. John's he has held various positions including Assistant Provost, Acting Dean of the Tobin College, Editor of the "Review of Business" publication, Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and Senior Fellow of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society. Dr. Boone has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University, a MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He is very active in the Brooklyn and Rockville Center Dioceses of the Catholic Church serving on advisory committees and instructing and consulting on Parish strategic and financial planning, management skills, Parish demographics, and decision making among other management topics.


Dr. James Fogarty has a Doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University, Master’s Degree in Special Education from Adelphi University as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration from Hofstra University. Dr. Fogarty worked for Eastern Suffolk BOCES from 1983 through 2000 administering their special education programs as well as all other instructional programs and, more recently, has been providing consultation services to various school districts. James has previously been on the DDI Board of Directors from August 2003 - December 2014 and served as Chairperson of the Certification Review Committee.


Joseph Napolitano is Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Acadia Realty Trust (AKR). He is accountable for managing the company’s property and risk management, human resources, marketing, and information technology disciplines. Mr. Napolitano holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Adelphi University, and is a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) as certified by the Human Capital Institute, is a Certified Property Manager (CPM) by the Institute of Real Estate Management, and is a Real Property Administrator (RPA) by the Building Owners and Managers Institute International.


Joseph Schmidt has been on DDI’s Foundation Board since 2004 currently serving as Board President, while previously holding Vice President, and Secretary positions.  Joe is a member of the DDI Golf Tournament Committee and has been the co-chairperson for the last seven years.  He is a Senior Partner of the law firm, Carter Deluca Farrell & Schmidt, of Melville, N.Y. Joe holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and received his J.D. from St. Johns University.  He lives in Wantagh, N.Y. with his wife Terri, and is also active in his community having served as a Board Member for the Wantagh Little League for at least ten years. His son, Bobby, receives services in our residential and Day Hab programs.

Governor Cuomo has proposed a $15 minimum wage for all but he failed to put funding in for Direct Support Professionals, special education staff and other low wage workers whose rate is set by the State.  As an agency responsible for the care of more than 5,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, we are perplexed at the State’s budgetary plans for ensuring the continuity of these vital supports and services.  Please help us reach Governor Cuomo to have him provide the additional funding which will be necessary for not-for-profit service providers to increase the pay scale for their staff members who take care of our most vulnerable population of people with disabilities.


Everyone needs to CALL OR WRITE the Governor and your Senator, Assembly member today!!!
Act NOW or it will be too late!  The Governor’s Budget amendments will be out next week!

Governor Cuomo MUST fund his $15 minimum wage proposal! Funding is critical to the health, safety and well-being of people with developmental disabilities and it’s the right thing to do for the people who work tirelessly caring for them.

1.      Governor (518) 474 -1041 and press 3 to speak to an assistant

2.      Senate switchboard – (518) 455 – 2800 – and ask for your Senator.  You can find your Senator athttp://www.nysenate.gov/   Urge your Senator to Call the Governor and tell him to fund his $15 minimum wage.

3.      Assembly switchboard (518) 455-4100 – and ask for your Assembly member.  You can find your Assembly member at http://assembly.state.ny.us/   Urge your Assembly member to Call the Governor and tell him to fund his $15 minimum wage.


Click to use the  IAC  website to automatically send emails and  find your local legislators to tell the Governor to fund his minimum wage proposal.
Printed letters can also be generated.  Send letters to:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

Once you click the link, click on the box that says “take action”.  If you want printed letters click the circle on the right next to “printed letters” then fill in the sender information.

It is especially important that the Governor hear from Direct Support Professionals, Education staff and other low wageworkers who support people with developmental disabilities