Developmental Disabilities Administration. The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is a subdivision of the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and administers a broad range of programs that provide habilitative services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Washington State. Habilitative services provide individual's with the necessary life skills to raise the individual's level of physical, mental, social, and vocational functioning. They include education, training for employment, and therapy. DDA provides habilitative services through the Residential Habilitative Centers (RHCs) or through the community in residential services or employment and day programs.
Employment and day programs include individual supported employment, group supported employment and community access services. Individual supported employment assists clients with finding jobs in integrated community work places that pay at least minimum wage. Group supported employment is where no more than eight DDA clients work in a supervised integrated setting. Community access is a non-work service intended to support clients in making connections to people and activities in the community. DDA clients are prohibited from participating in employment and community access services concurrently and must participate in employment services for nine months before they are allowed to access Community Access services.
Community Access is also known as Community Inclusion.
The prohibition on DDA clients participating in Employment services and Community Access services concurrently is removed.
PRO: This is an important bill for the developmental disabilities (DD) community. The prohibition on client's participating in services concurrently was put into place during the 2008 recession as a way to cut costs. It is critical that funding be restored. The DD community has not recovered from this and are still behind. This bill gives everyone the opportunity to live full and meaningful lives so that they can not only have jobs but can participate in their community. Employment doesn't provide all of the support individuals need to thrive. Individuals with IDD want to have fun and spend time with friends in their community. Over the years, community access services have dwindled, leading many individuals with IDD isolated. It is important DDA clients have access to the community to support their needs when they are not working. Most DDA clients live at home with their family which means family members are responsible for providing these community integration services. To do this, many families are faced with having to stop working or hire expensive in-home care. Some families choose to have their loved one live in supported living which is much more costly for the state but allows the individual with IDD to receive all of the support they need. Individuals with IDD need an array of services and allowing them to access community services while having a job can support social skill and other job development skills.
PRO: This bill will help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, if employment does not work out for them, by ensuring that they can continue with other activities in the community. Employment is more complex for those with significant disabilities who need more support. Nearly 80 percent of developmental disabilities clients live with families, and if they stay home in most cases someone has to stay home with them. Other states offer 20 to 30 hours of day services. These services are intended to build skills and help reduce costs of residential placement. The current system ignores the full needs of these clients; one service is not enough. If the providers were allowed to contract directly with the state the costs will go down. Instead, the state pays administrative rates to large entities. Without these kinds of services, clients become isolated and their world becomes smaller. Some fear that this will harm opportunities for employment, but this will only strengthen our commitment to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.