Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services

Merakey supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the enhancement of their abilities and interests. Services are aimed at partnering with individuals as they become self-sufficient and live everyday lives. Merakey focuses on helping individuals find meaningful roles in their community and to feel valued as community members. Individuals are always at the core of the planning and implementation of services.

Community-Based Services

The Adult Training Facility (ATF) is a specialized, center-based program that offers participants opportunities for enrichment in all aspects of functional skills. People are offered a variety of interesting and purposeful activities to do during the day. Community service is often a part of this service. An ATF can lead to a more independent type of day program.

Behavioral Support is based on a holistic, multimodal approach honoring the complexity of each individual. Behavior Support Professionals work with the individual, the family, and the team to develop the most appropriate support plan. The functional behavior assessment is a tool utilized by all of our specialists to create a solid clinical foundation within every plan. Each plan is developed with the mission to empower the individual in his or her journey of recovery, while also guiding family, friends and staff with strategies that provide the most effective support.

Early Intervention (EI) Case Management is a case management type service for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages birth to three years. EI is provided to ensure services are identified and implemented early in a child’s life. Case managers work with families to obtain the necessary evaluations and identified therapies so that children have the best opportunity at growth and development.

Merakey empowers people by helping them find jobs in the community. Our array of employment services are designed to support people as they progress into the community through integrated employment. Individuals choosing this service receive support from training specialists or job coaches at their work locations.

Individualized services are provided in a person’s home or in the home of their natural family. Community inclusion, assistance with personal care, home safety, communication, and social skill development are a few of the focus areas of this service. Continuation of prescribed therapy recommendations for children or adults is also provided.

Individuals who do not wish to attend a center-based program or who have better success in a less structured physical environment can choose a day program designed to promote more community exposure. Individuals are accompanied by program assistants who provide skill development in community access, recreational and volunteer activities, social skills, and mobility training.

Case management for adults is provided to ensure services are identified and delivered to support the individual wherever they are living. Supports coordinators locate, coordinate and monitor services in the community and also observe services for individuals who live in facility-based type services.

Residential Services

Merakey provides group living for individuals with intellectual disabilities. These homes are in traditional neighborhoods and can be single homes, townhomes or apartments. The typical number of people living together with staff support 24 hours a day ranges from 2 -4. Staff assist people living in these homes with personal care, adult daily living activities, community integration and social skill development.

The Family/Shared Living program offers the option for a person with developmental disabilities to live with a family. Individuals in the program choose a family and/or individual they want to live with in an apartment or house. Shared living offers a person the needed care in a less restrictive setting than a typical residential, group living type home.

The Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) is a facility or community-based residential program that provides active treatment services (personal care, social skill development, recreational activities, communication, etc) to individuals who have an intellectual or developmental disability or persons with related conditions, in a group living setting.

Respite Care provides short term, temporary living arrangements to families caring for a person with disabilities. Individuals who require or request time away from their current residence may also receive respite care.

Specialized residential homes are designed to meet the complex needs of individuals with very specialized physical and behavioral health issues. The homes are staffed 24 hours a day by highly trained employees who understand the multifaceted and complicated requirements these individuals present. Use of best practices, evidence based practices and assistive technology are prevalent in these homes.

Staff provide support to individuals who reside in independent living settings. Individuals in supported living enjoy a home that offers a higher level of independence and flexible support patterns. Services are provided on an individual basis, based on their needs. Supports are coordinated with nursing and therapy services to ensure that physical and behavioral health needs are addressed.

Merakey Allegheny Valley School

Merakey Allegheny Valley School

Merakey Allegheny Valley School (Merakey AVS), a Merakey company, is a private, non-profit organization established in 1960 to care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded by Patricia Hillman Miller, with help from friends Bob Prince and Doug Hannah, AVS provided care for 10 children with intellectual disabilities who were left without a home when The Pittsburgh Home for Babies orphanage closed. Since 1960, AVS has grown into a multi-faceted organization with programs and facilities serving nearly 800 adults. Most of the residents are diagnosed with severe or profound intellectual disabilities; most also have multiple physical disabilities, medical complications and some have behavioral management needs. AVS is known for its outstanding community residential environments and therapeutic programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Merakey AVS currently operates more than 120 programs and facilities in nine Pennsylvania counties; AVS is a Merakey company. Visit to learn more about Merakey Allegheny Valley School.

Merakey IDD Philadelphia

For nearly 30 years, Merakey IDD Philadelphia has enabled people with disabilities to live successful, fulfilling lives in the communities and neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Merakey IDD Philadelphia cares for individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental illness, addictions, and various co-occurring conditions. Our goal is to create and maintain a nurturing, rewarding, and productive environment within which all staff work in unison and focus all efforts on the individuals we serve. Merakey IDD Philadelphia provides residential services, day programs, Lifesharing, job finding and support services, and much more. For more information about Merakey IDD Philadelphia services, please contact 215-320-2040.