Realizing the Intent of the DD Act
How the DD Network Advances the Independence, Productivity, and Integration of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
- Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDDs), State Protection and Advocacy Systems, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities
- DD ACT
- DD ACT, Statute
- DD Act, Disabilities Law
Assuring and Expanding Access to Home and Community-Based Services
Through political action, advocacy, and legal actions, the DD Network can secure new resources and assure access to those resources — roles that state officials cannot fulfill (and in fact are prohibited from doing so, in some instances.) Nationally, many protection and advocacy agencies are engaged in active cases for assisting individuals with ID/DD waiting for HCBS services to gain access to needed supports. DD Councils assist through educating and informing policymakers and advocates about effective and efficient practices, and convening public and private partners to develop strategies for change. The UCEDDs provide training and technical assistance to direct care workers and community providers. These critical functions cannot be accomplished by state agencies. Securing new resources and assuring access to those resources requires the funding, political pressure, and legal advocacy that only the DD Network can provide.
Disability Rights Center-Maine through litigation gained access to in-home supports for children who had either been sent out-of-state for services or had received nothing. In partnership with Maine Equal Justice Partners, the Maine DD Council, the state of Maine Children's Behavioral Health Services, and a private law firm reached an agreement.
Impact of the Initiative:
- The settlement agreement resulted in the adoption of a state rule that no child would wait more than 6 months for in-home supports.
- The state created a children's behavioral health program, promulgated rules, and began serving children with developmental disabilities in state. At the outset, it was estimated that the class consisted of at least 600 children.
- Since the suit, thousands of children have been served resulting in the state applying for and receiving federal approval for a home and community-based services waiver for children with developmental disabilities.
During the period 2003–2009, the efforts of the Tennessee Disability Law & Advocacy Center of Tennessee (DLAC), the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, the two UCEDDs in Tennessee: Boling Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Vanderbilt's Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Education, Dr. Ed O'Leary (Transition Specialist with the Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center), The Arc Tennessee, and other advocacy organizations, have opened up community options for youth in transition from the public school system into community services.
Impact of the Initiative:
- The Division of Special Education hired Dr. Ed O'Leary as a consultant to develop a statewide transition program focused on the student's goals for life after secondary school.
- During the first year of the pilot program, the Tennessee Department of Education selected 10 school districts to participate in trainings and data driven analysis of the outcomes in changes made to improve the transition process of students leaving the public schools and moving to post-secondary education or work.
- By 2010, all 138 school districts in Tennessee had incorporated the TOPS program for facilitating the post-secondary transition process.
- Realizing the Intent of the DD Act (756.03 KB)