Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Enriching Lives!

At CMCS, we believe in people! We believe in passion and purpose, empowerment and lifting people up. We believe in engagement, teamwork, neighbors and neighborhoods, the sense of belonging and the power of partnership. We believe in the dignity of work, and employment for all! We believe in potential, and all that's possible. We believe in community!

CMCS is part of many communities. Individuals seeking more independence are supported on their journey as they live and work in communities across the region. The CMCS team of dedicated professionals' works in concert guided by each individual and the goals they set for themselves. In our homes and throughout our day and employment services, Direct Support Professionals champion the abilities of individuals with developmental disabilities. DSPs spend each day helping others achieve, lifting them up as they soar to new heights.

Community Connections

Many CMCS participants work in local small businesses by volunteering, serving in food pantries, and supporting our troops. They are neighbors, friends, and members of churches and synagogues. These connections to our communities are often the result of successful partnerships with families, employers and community leaders. The strength of our partnerships not only supports our mission, but helps to positively impact and strengthen the communities as well.

Community Connections

Many CMCS participants work in local small businesses by volunteering, serving in food pantries, and supporting our troops. They are neighbors, friends, and members of churches and synagogues. These connections to our communities are often the result of successful partnerships with families, employers and community leaders. The strength of our partnerships not only supports our mission, but helps to positively impact and strengthen the communities as well.

What Is ABA?

Our supports are as varied as the individuals who seek them. Person-centered supports coordinate evidence-based services toward measurable outcomes. Through the use of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) across settings, enhanced supports are provided for very complex clinical needs. Our skilled nursing team directs and monitors specialized services for chronic medical needs, visual and hearing impairments, and ambulation difficulties. We firmly believe in one’s ability to age in place, as familiarity provides comfort, vital to optimal health.

Our commitment to person-centered services is illustrated across our programs: The young man proud and comfortable in his new home, excited to start the next chapter in his life; the mother who sleeps soundly, thankful her daughter is living and learning in a safe, engaging environment; the team member who believes in others, inspiring everyone to be themselves and shine; the determined job seeker thrilled to tell her job coach she just landed her dream job!

We are the cheerleaders and the believers, happy and proud to celebrate milestones and achievements. But success is also found in the quiet moments of each day. It’s around the table each morning as we anticipate all that the day may promise, and with a warm welcome home when the day is done. It’s in all such moments and in between that we help people to live as they’d like, enjoying supportive relationships with people who care about them.

If you are unsure of who to call, please contact:

Wanda Melendez at (914) 997-8000 ext. 138 and she can direct your call.

Developmental Services

Residential Services

Our residential program offers a continuum of comprehensive supports and services, across Bronx, Rockland, and Westchester communities, for individuals with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Our 18 homes are as individual as their residents. We guide graduating students as they transition into adulthood. We offer intensive clinical supports for individuals with more complex needs. We help our seniors who wish to age in place and enjoy their golden years to the fullest. 

Our services are person-centered, embracing choice and individuality, while ensuring protective safeguards. We seek to build relationships and connections to community life. We encourage employment and engagement. Daily household, recreational, and community activities serve to support the individual’s interests and growth and promote health and wellness, with flexibility for autonomy, choice, and independent activity.

Helping each person to feel part of a community, in whatever way meaningful to them, is integral to our planning process. Activities can be just that; rather, we strive for each person’s experience in the world to be one of belonging, whether it’s following a high school sports team, joining a social club, or “adopting” the local animal shelter.

Recreationally we support many areas of interest including dance, drama, art, horseback riding, music, and softball to name a few. Individual activities are often supplemented with group activities. Such group activities may be enjoyed with housemates, but also with friends or community groups. We facilitate and encourage individuals to stay connected to friends and important others in their life, as they build new relationships with new experiences.

We have a deep appreciation for rights issues. We value the rights and responsibilities that come with adulthood and our responsibility in fostering these as young men and women mature. We do not accept the rigidity of black and white, but rather thrive on ingenuity and creativity, particularly in balancing safety needs while ensuring and protecting rights and supporting autonomy.

At the end of each day, we all should enjoy the sanctuary that is our home. Our skilled and dedicated team helps us to carry out this extraordinary Mission each day.

For those seeking services, we recognize this may represent a positive step in one’s life, but often one with mixed emotions. This first step often culminates in supports and services which could be life-long. We believe in being open, thorough, and transparent to build trust and confidence and ensure a good fit. We invite individuals and their families to tour our homes and programs, as we provide examples of coordinated services and achievement of personal goals. We highlight what a typical day might look like and share our philosophy and practices and what we believe distinguishes us at CMCS (it’s our heart!).

Any questions about our IRAs please feel free to direct your inquiry to Wanda Melendez at (914) 997-8000 ext. 138 and she can direct your call.

In Wanda’s absence, you can also reach out to:

   Ashley Caldwell, Program Director – (914) 263-4431

   Melvese Rountree, Assistant Program Director – (914) 263-1662

   Janelle Bailey, Assistant Program Director -  (914) 263-5104

Day and Employment Services

At Cardinal McCloskey Community Services, we stand beside individuals with developmental disabilities! We know as vital members of our communities, they contribute greatly to our neighborhoods. We also know they can be productive employees in the workplace! The world of work is expanding to be more inclusive and creative, and so are we!

It has long been understood that individuals with developmental disabilities reap the same many benefits from working as anyone does – self-worth, a sense of accomplishment, direction, and purpose. We firmly believe in the ability of those we serve and the power of work. We developed a new service model aimed specifically to help those who wish to work but who have been especially challenged by needing more support. We are very excited to fill this gap in employment services with our newly designed McCloskey Works!

Our mission is to increase opportunities for those who wish to work to discover, develop, and demonstrate their skills and abilities to contribute in the workplace. Individuals gain employable skills in stimulating work-based settings on site and in the community, and in concert with our supported employment Wish to Work program. 

CMCS has also been at the forefront in providing evidence-based services for those with Autism. With McCloskey Works! and our Employment For All philosophy, we apply those same ABA principles towards employment, for all! We also understand the importance of a healthy work-life balance and offer supports in various areas of health and wellness! Facilities for fitness, sensory integration, and desensitization are available to strengthen one's readiness for the workforce. 

As always, our person-centered approach helps guide the path to meaningful work. A robust discovery process paves the way to exploring options, brushing up on skills, and learning new ones, while also building soft skills to prepare for the workplace. A computer lab, wash/dry/fold, culinary facilities, and more, will be integrated to meet the needs of local small businesses, while gaining valuable work experience. 

We are excited to expand our employment services to include a focus on youth as they prepare to transition from high school, as well as applying ABA to support all those who wish to work. If you want meaningful work, we may be the place for you too!

So, are you ready for work? Ready or not, we can help!

Day Services – For questions regarding Day Hab or Supported Employment:

   Noreen O’Connor, Program Director –  914-999-0871

   Terril Welsh – Assistant Program Director –  914-263-9704

   Marissa Torres, Senior Coordinator – 914-281-4522

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Program

CMCS has achieved great success for the individuals in our developmental disabilities programs through our ground-breaking use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a rigorous evidenced-based practice we introduced as part of our service delivery in 2011. ABA helps us to offer our individuals an improved quality of life and personal development, and enhances the efficacy of our interventions and treatment in residential as well as day service programs. Through the use of ABA in our residential and day programs, CMCS has effectuated:

  • Demonstrable, positive developmental strides by our individuals with autism and the measurable achievement of personal outcomes;
  • Significant reduction in episodes of behavioral and other crises and the near elimination of associated emergency room and hospitalization use;
  • The development of an effective model for the provision of residential and other services for adults with autism using ABA; and,
  • The building of a highly skilled enhanced support team that uses data-driven practice as they offer a superior form of daily care and developmental supports to individuals with autism.

ABA practice is designed and administered to help individuals develop patterns of positive behavior, and enables us to monitor their progress in learning skills and communication techniques. The development of CMCS’ ABA services began with a group of families searching for a home and services for their adult children. Guided by our person-centered process and principles, CMCS invested in designing and delivering an ABA service model across residential and day settings – a “game changer” in the field of ABA and adult developmental disabilities services. In 2011 we opened our first ABA home. This home was the first of its kind in the region for adults with autism and has demonstrated its success: 

  • No psychiatric hospitalizations (or medical admissions).
  • Dramatic increases in communication and positive behaviors.
  • Consistent overall decline in challenging behaviors.
  • The quality and quantity of community integration has improved and increased.

CMCS is building on our success. Our reputation earned us the opportunity to open two new homes in 2015 for those with autism, using the ABA methodology. Moreover, we have also developed a comprehensive, 8 course ABA training curriculum that supports credentialing personnel on every level of our CMCS team in ABA service provision. This training series is based on the training standards of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), and affords CMCS the ability to measure the effectiveness of training and generate reports on associated measureable outcomes.

As a result of our efforts in expanding and maintaining the fidelity of our program model, CMCS is currently seen as a leader in the delivery of adult ABA services in Westchester and Bronx counties, and as such we have been awarded funding by Westchester Medical Center to provide 12 months of consultation to another agency in Westchester County as they pursued the development of ABA programming within their own programs. Based on the extremely positive outcomes of this project, our relationship with this agency has continued and there have been discussions related to ongoing consultancy in support of their ABA program development.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, CMCS continues to be impressed by the resiliency of those in our care and their ability to develop the necessary health and safety related skills in response to this virus. ABA assessment and teaching methods have been critical in achieving widespread success in:

  • Tolerance of, and compliance with mask-wearing for periods exceeding 45 minutes for over 90% of the adults in our care
  • Acceptance of individual scheduling adjustments to incorporate more time at the residence and remote opportunities for socialization and community inclusion
  • Participation in telehealth appointments and greater independence in the use of telehealth platforms
  • Demonstration of proper hand-washing and sanitizing procedures for adults in our care
  • Engagement in new activities that support continual service delivery and an active lifestyle

Compliance with regular assessments of vitals, including temperature taking, blood pressure, and oxygen levels as well as others

To make a referral or to inquire regarding applying for services:

   Anne Marie Russo, Director, Program Supports - 914-506-7060 

   Noreen O’Connor, for Day Services –  914-999-0871

For more information, please email us at

Please contact us with any questions you may have about those we serve or the work we do at Cardinal McCloskey Community Services.