ADVOCACY * SUPPORT * AWARENESS
The Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council (SIDDC) was established in 1969 to assist in the planning, promotion, and development of supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families throughout their lifespan.
The SIDDC works in an effort to ensure the best possible quality of life for Staten Islanders with special needs through advocacy and providing individuals with relevant information. Members include self-advocates, their parents/family, friends, and service providers.
General Council monthly meetings are held both mornings and evenings, which sometimes include presentations by guest speakers keeping members informed about current issues. At these meetings, each of the SIDDC committees provide monthly reports, describing their work and advocacy efforts on the latest issues and trends impacting individuals with developmental disabilities. These committees are comprised of parents, self-advocates, advocates and professionals who have extensive knowledge in the field.
The SIDDC communicates the needs of families to public and elected officials using various media outlets, legislative information exchanges and through an annual Community Breakfast to ensure that the concerns and needs of the people represented are received and addressed. The SIDDC offers numerous events throughout the year to support our members including; a Family Resource and Transition Fair, Celebrating Achievements, Direct Support Professional (DSP) Awards Ceremony, Educational forums, Adult Transitioning forums and various events that are relevant to the mission of the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council.
SIDDC Executive Board Officers
Diane Peruggia’s career of advocacy, leadership, and charity started at a young age. As a teen she was appointed liturgical leader for her local parish, volunteered at nursing homes, taught CCD, and participated in many charity events within her community.
While pregnant with her second child, Michael, her two year old daughter, Alexa, was diagnosed with Autism. In August of 2000, Diane and a group of others came together to form The Grace Foundation to support and offer services for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Diane spearheaded the creation of the Grace Foundation’s social skills classes and Applied Behavior Analysis training for college students, who could aid parents with at-home services. She has chaired National Autism Conferences featuring various speakers and experts in the field, and has advocated in Albany and Washington D.C. to secure necessary funding for the disabled. Diane served as Vice Chairman for the Grace Foundation for 7 years and is currently the Chairman of their Strategic Planning Committee.
In 2010 Diane was appointed by former Borough President James P Molinaro to the NYC Department of Education’s Panel for Education Policy. During her four-year term, she participated and voted on policy issues and resolutions for the DOE. She was also assigned to the Contracts Committee and served as a trustee for the DOE retirement system.
Diane also holds leadership positions with the Staten Island Disability Council, the Family Support Services Advisory Council, the Seton Foundation for Learning, The James Cancer Fund, HealthCare Associates in Medicine, and Staten Island Community Board Three.
Diane, her husband, and their two children currently reside in Huguenot and are owners of Great Escapes Travel.
Jason Harr is the Senior Director of Program Services at On Your Mark, Inc. He has been with the agency since 2009, working his way up from the recreational program, to Assistant Residential Director, to Director of Residential Services prior to his current role. He also sits on the agency’s Human Rights Committee as well as the Incident Review Committee. Jason has been a member of the SIDDC since 2013, and was formerly the co-chair of the Residential Quality of Life Committee since 2014. Jason graduated with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Touro College in 2012. Jason is a strong advocate for the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and is excited to begin a new chapter in his role with the SIDDC. In his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his family and 3 children.
Jayne A. Cooper, LCSW-R, MPA, is a NYS and NJ Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She recently retired from the Staten Island Mental Health Society Division of Richmond University Medical Center, where she served for 12 years as Director of Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Mental Health. Her extensive 44 career in health and human services included establishing and directing a number of health care programs. She has overseen services, programs and interdisciplinary teams in the areas of aging, mental health, hospitals and nursing homes, adult services, homelessness, addictions, and HIV/AIDS. he has been and SIDDC member for 12 years, and chair/co-chair of the Health and Clinical Services Committee for over 10 years.
Pam Minkoff is Associate Vice President of Administrative Services at AHRC New York City (AHRC), which is a family-governed organization that provides services for people with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) and their families. In her role Pam oversees the Administrative Services Department, which includes Contracts Management, Procurement, Insurance, Fleet Management, Safety and Facilities Management of the Headquarters Office. Pam is on AHRC’s Senior Management Team and is proud that almost every aspect of her job is focused on supporting people receiving services, and to help keep them safe.
In her prior employment positions, Pam served for ten years as Director of Human Resources at Birch Family Services, another non-profit organization that provides services for people with I/DD and their families. Pam also worked for 14 years at the Public Relations Society of America where she held several positions starting as the Assistant to the Executive Director and ending as the Director of Administrative Services.
Pam graduated Cum Laude from Iona College with a Bachelor of Administration Degree in Business. Pam has been a board trustee on the D.C. 1707 Health & Benefit Fund for the last 15 years and was a member of the Inter-Agency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, Inc. (IAC), servicing on their H.R. Director’s Committee. She has been a member of the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council for 18 years, was Co-Chair of its Community Outreach Committee and a has been a board member for 10 years. She is honored to now be a part of the SIDDC Executive Board as their Recording Secretary for 2022-24.