Celebrating Work to Include Individuals With Developmental Disabilities in Community Life

Page updated on Mar 12, 2021 at 10:13 AM

Celebrating Work to Include Individuals With Developmental Disabilities in Community Life


DDAM Logo 2021March 12, 2021--March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, and the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) encourages residents to work towards the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life.

According to the Institute on Community Integration, in 2016 there were 7.37 million people in the U.S. with an intellectual or developmental disability. Examples of developmental disabilities include autism, behavior disorders, brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disability and spina bifida. 

DCHS offers a range of support and services to residents with developmental disabilities, which are grounded in the concept of person-centered practice that supports self-direction of people’s own lives. The focus is on the person and what they can do, not their condition or disability. Steps are taken to ensure that services are delivered in a manner that reflects an individual’s personal preferences and choices.

Residential, vocational and day support services are offered to enable individuals to successfully live in the community as independently as possible with the necessary supports, including:  

  • Linking to and monitoring supports                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Assistance finding, funding and utilizing services such as speech, occupational and physical therapies

  • Assistance accessing and maintaining resources such as social security and Medicaid

  • Access to assistive technology

  • Education for parents of children with developmental disabilities

  • In-home training and personal care assistance

  • Respite care

  • Assisted and supervised living including group homes and apartments

  • Day programs for adults including placement in jobs, work crews, community engagement and pre-vocational programs

DCHS encourages residents to learn more about the challenges individuals with disabilities face and movements to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in community life by accessing the resources below compiled by The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities: