Social Inclusion: Increasing our emphasis on assisting individuals to be part of their community

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in partnership with providers, families and self-advocates, has a long-standing commitment to supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ( ID/DD) to be fully engaged members of their community.  While together we have assisted individuals to live in the community, we all aspire to support individuals to be “of” the community.  The goal of having individuals truly be a part of their community with the opportunity to have a bounty of friendships and relationships is one that requires dedication, commitment, time and creativity.   There is no one strategy that offers an easy response, nor should there be practices that have the unintended effect of putting up artificial barriers to inclusion. 

It is with the goal of full inclusion in mind that DDS is embarking upon an initiative and renewed emphasis on breaking down the barriers to community membership  as well as sharing successful strategies to support friendships and relationships. 

The following  provides an opportunity to share information regarding DDS, provider and stakeholder efforts in this critical area:

  • The White Paper, “Fostering Social Inclusion and Community Engagement,” a summary of focus groups held around the State. SI White Paper  pdf format of SI White Paper
docx format of                             SI White Paper
  • Plain language version of the “White Paper” SI White Paper - Plain  pdf format of SI White Paper - Plain
  • The draft of a proposed DDS Social Inclusion Policy SI Draft Policy  pdf format of SI Draft Policy
docx format of                             SI Draft Policy
  • Plain language version of the proposed Social Inclusion Policy SI Draft Policy - Plain  pdf format of SI Draft Policy - Plain
docx format of                             SI Draft Policy - Plain
  • A series of bulletins which address perceived barriers to inclusion
    • Bulletin #1- dressing when background checks are required for volunteers SI Cori  pdf format of SI Cori
docx format of                             SI Cori
    • Bulletin #2 - addressing flexibility regarding administration. SI Med Admin  pdf format of SI Med Admin
docx format of                             SI Med Admin
  • Upcoming updates on activities designed to foster inclusion

As we work together to advance the goal of full inclusion, future sections of this link will include:

We invite you to explore this page and join with us as we seek to make community membership, meaningful friendships and relationships a reality for all individuals with ID/DD.