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Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a state agency?

No, Oak Hill is a private nonprofit organization. Oak Hill is a community provider with the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Developmental Services, Social Services and Children and Families and is a recognized vendor by the Home and Community Based Services Waiver.  Oak Hill also has service contracts with school districts and the Department of Public Health.

Our legal name is the Connecticut Institute for the Blind, Inc., d/b/a Oak Hill, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Do you only provide services to people with visual impairments or blindness?

No, we provide services to children and adults with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities, specializing in people with multiple disabilities, which include visual impairments. Oak Hill has programs that specifically serve people who are visually impaired and blind.

Do you have locations outside of Hartford?

Yes, we have 120 program sites located in 59 towns in Connecticut.

What are self-directed services?

The State of Connecticut’s Home and Community Based Services (Comprehensive Waiver and Individual and Family Supports Waiver) through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is designed to help people with disabilities and their families choose and design an individualized program that will encourage growth, independence and quality of life.

Is Oak Hill recognized by the state as a community vendor in this waiver program?

Yes. Individual and Family Supports Center at Oak Hill provides a full range of supports for individuals with developmental disabilities delivered by highly qualified and trained healthcare professionals. Program features: in-home supports; day service supports; comprehensive (24 hours/7 days a week) residential programs; and a wide range of living and employment options.

For more information, please contact:

Anita Ustjanauskas
Senior Director, Community Programs
860-242-2274 Ext. 3352

What is assistive technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) refers to devices and services that are used to increase, maintain or improve a person’s ability to function at home, school or work.

Oak Hill School

What type of child is educated at Oak Hill School?

Oak Hill students have a variety of disabilities, and the services they receive are outlined in the school’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP). Oak Hill serves children 3 to 21 years of age with significant cognitive impairments and multiple disabilities.  We have classrooms for elementary, middle school, high school, and transition students.  The Oak Hill School is state approved private special education school.

What types of educational curriculum or programs do you offer?

Our curriculum focuses on functional academics, life skills and community programs that meet the needs of our children, based upon the student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP) goals.  We specialize in developing a creative and individualized educational program for each of our students.


Where is Oak Hill School?

The Oak Hill School has 11 classrooms located within public schools and community sites throughout northern Connecticut. Classroom locations are in Avon, Bristol, Hartford, Hebron, Higganum, New Britain, New Hartford, and Plainville. Both the public school and community sites facilitate functional academics, independent living skills and vocational training; art and music therapy; and integration within the community.


Is it a residential school?

No, the Oak Hill School is a day school (Monday through Friday) and is open year round (250 days a year). Oak Hill does provide community-based housing for children with disabilities.

Who are the people who work with my child?

We have a dedicated staff who function as a team to best meet the needs of the students.  The multi-disciplinary team consists of the special education teacher, SLP, OT, PT, RN/LPN, behavior specialist, and the consulting psychiatrist, as well as the paraprofessionals and teaching assistants. 


Are your teachers, therapists and medical professionals trained and licensed?

Yes, Oak Hill teachers, therapists and medical professionals are fully certified or licensed by the State of Connecticut.  All of our staff is highly educated and qualified, and receive additional professional development and training annually by Oak Hill.

What is your staffing ratio (teacher to student)?

Oak Hill School staffs their classrooms with a 2:1 student to teacher ratio, which is exceptional. 

Does Oak Hill School comply with Title IX of the United States Education Amendments?

Oak Hill complies fully with Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs. Oak Hill School does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs including: recruitment, admissions, instructional materials, physical education, therapeutic services, recreational activities, vocational preparation, or employment.

 

Can I visit Oak Hill School?

Yes, we offer parent tours, and our referral team can help you set up a visit to an appropriate program.

Does Oak Hill School have access to technology and adaptive devices?

Yes, the Oak Hill School has access to the latest technological advances serving the needs of students with multiple disabilities, including Assistive Technology Specialists from the NEAT Center at Oak Hill.

How do I enroll my child in Oak Hill School?

Your child must receive a student referral from the school district where the child resides. The referral is made at your child’s Pupil Planning Team (PPT) meeting. Your child’s educational team, (which includes you, your child’s teachers, therapists, and school administration) make the recommendation to receive educational services with the Oak Hill School.

 

To learn more, please call Ana Wittig, Chief Administrator, Oak Hill School program at (860) 769-3891 or email ana.wittig@OakHillCT.org.                                                                                                        


NEAT Center at Oak Hill

What services do you provide at the NEAT Center at Oak Hill?

The NEAT Center at Oak Hill is the only facility of its kind in the state; it is a place to learn about products and equipment that assist people with day-to-day activities they have trouble doing for themselves, either because of a temporary or permanent disability or because of the effects of aging. It is also a place to donate or buy adaptive medical equipment; offers professional development in assistive technology and school-based training and technical assistance; AT consultations and evaluation services; and so much more.

Is there a fee to use the NEAT Center at Oak Hill?

Membership is free for individuals who have disabilities, people over the age of 65, and their family members. Paid memberships are also available for professionals, provider organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and school districts.

Where is the NEAT Center at Oak Hill?

The NEAT Center at Oak Hill currently has three locations. Our primary location is in Hartford; our satellite offices are in Stratford, and New London. NEAT has future plans to expand in Connecticut and New England.

Can I donate my gently used durable medical equipment and will you come pick it up?

Yes, Oak Hill accepts most gently used durable medical equipment and will arrange for free pick up from your home or business. Your donation is also tax-deductible. For more information please call Don Hoerman, manager, NEAT's ERC at (860) 243-2869.

Services

What resources are available for individuals with visual impairments?

There are many resources: agencies, products, web sites, and support groups are available to help individuals maintain their independence. An information packet can be obtained by calling (860) 769-3873.

What services does Oak Hill offer for individuals with vision loss?

At present, Oak Hill offers assistance in finding needed services (rehabilitation, housing, transportation, community support); provides on-going computer classes, vocational training and employment opportunities. The Eleanor A. Brooks Blindness Related Supports Center at Oak Hill has plans to expand its services and we welcome input from individuals, families, and service providers.

What services do you provide at Oak Hill Center for Relationship & Sexuality Education (CRSE)?

CRSE provides therapeutic education and counseling with a focus on safe, healthy relationships for youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

How does the Connecticut Birth to Three System work?

The program provides support to families of children three and under with disabilities or delays in developmental milestones. First, your pediatrician will recommend that you contact Connecticut Birth to Three System (www.birth23.org). Your child will be evaluated and if found eligible, a plan of services and supports will be set up to meet the specific needs of your child and the family. This program is designed to help you help your child.

Are you recognized by the Connecticut Birth to Three System?

Yes, the Oak Hill Birth to Three Program is a recognized provider. To learn about approved programs serving your town, call the state’s information line at 211 or (800) 505-7000, or visit www.birth23.org; you are also free to choose the program that is right for you and your child.

Where will my child receive Birth to Three services?

Your child will receive services in your home, your child’s daycare facility, or other environment where your child spends the most time during the day.

Is there a fee for Birth to Three services?

Yes. The Connecticut Birth to Three System receives state and federal funding and families are asked to pay a monthly fee based on a sliding scale; some families pay for services through their private insurance.

What classes do you offer?

Oak Hill Professional Development offers a wide range of modules in topics related to providing supports to individuals with disabilities. The topics include Red Cross safety training, nursing delegation skills, positive behavioral supports, and abuse prevention, among others.

Is Oak Hill Professional Development open to everyone?

Yes, we welcome the general public to take the Red Cross and National Safety Council classes. Many classes are tailored to people working in human services and family members of individuals with disabilities. For more information, please contact Jim Pellino, director at (860) 769-3878 or email Jim.Pellino@OakHillCT.org.
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Oak Hill sets the standard, partnering with people with disabilities, to provide services and solutions promoting independence, education, health and dignity.