Day Programming

  • Individuals may choose to participate in day programming after graduation from school services. Day programs provide individuals with disabilities an opportunity to participate and develop skills in the areas of vocation, independent living, community access, recreation/leisure, communication, and much more. There are a wide variety of programs offered throughout the North Shore.

    It is suggested to visit as many programs as possible to gain an understanding of what each program has to offer.

    Center-Based Programs

    These programs typically provide programming within a facility. Community outings and vocational opportunities are limited. Participants may spend the majority of the day in a classroom-like setting learning various independent and daily living skills. Some of these programs may provide vocational training and/or employment services.

    Community-Based Programs 

    Participants are typically in the community, engaged in a variety of activities or volunteering, on a daily basis. Participants will start and end their day in one centralized location, but then daily and weekly activities are varied, usually based on participant interest and choice. Some of these programs may provide vocational training and/or employment services. 

    Click here to view the Agency Comparison Sheet.

    Questions to Consider When Touring Day Programs


    • Is the program a "site-based" or a "community-based" program?
    • What activities are provided at the facility?
    • Is there a written plan of activities for each client? How often are plans reviewed? Does the family have input on the plan?

    The Facility

    • Are the facilities accessible? Can you provide a tour?
    • What are the hours and days the program is open? When is it closed for breaks and holidays?
    • Are participants required to attend full-time or can they come part-time? What happens if a participant does not attend due to extended illness or family vacation? Must they pay and is their place held?
    • How many participants attend the program?
    • How long has the program been in operation?
    • Is this program a part of a larger provider? If so, how large is the provider and how many facilities does it run? 
    • Is there a waiting list? How long?
    • Do they accept the Medicaid waiver?
    • Is private pay an option?
    • What are the full-time and part-time costs?


    • What is the staff-to-participant ratio on site? On community outings?
    • Is there a nurse on duty?
    • What type of background check is done for staff?
    • What resources are available for the direct care staff members to support the participants (i.e. behavior training, instructional support, health care needs, etc.)? 


    • Does the facility have the ability to dispense medications?
    • If so, where are the medications kept? Who distributes the medications?
    • How does the facility handle "as needed" medications? Over the counter?
    • What is the facility's procedure for dealing with clients who do not feel well (not a medical emergency)? 


    • How are negative behaviors handled? What techniques are implemented by staff when a participant displays disruptive or abusive behavior?
    • What negative behaviors would exclude an individual from participating at that facility?

    Activities of Daily Living

    • What independent living skills must the participants have to be accepted into the program? (Mobility, toileting, feeding, etc)
    • What is the daily schedule?
    • When is lunch served? Are snacks available during the day? Does the program provide lunch or must the client bring one from home?
    • Can the facility accommodate special diets? Discuss your child's needs.

North Shore Area Agency List