Who Do We Serve?

Based on available funding, the Department provides support services to:

  • Adults 18 years or older who have intellectual disabilities.
  • People whose permanent, primary home is in Massachusetts.
  • People who need assistance to live and work in the community.

It also provides support to:

  • Families with children with a developmental disability under 18 years of age if the family could benefit from support in caring for their child at home.

Support Services

Working with individuals and families, the Department creates a wide array of supports, housing options, training and other support services that are custom-fit to a person's needs and desires. We support people in defining their own needs and preferences in many areas including daily life, personal goals, home, work, leisure and life-style.

We provide assistance in safe environments. We are committed to creating opportunities for people to become fully integrated in their communities. It promotes individual decision-making, encourages family involvement, and emphasizes consumer and family participation.

Individualized Service Coordination

Service coordination enables each person to receive the most appropriate supports and opportunities. Service Coordinators conduct assessments to determine if people are eligible for services. They also provide information, assistance, crisis intervention, advocacy, and other supports.

Flexible Family Supports

The majority of persons served by us live with their families. We offer a flexible array of supports to help families keep their loved ones at home. These supports may include community oriented resources, respite, special activities, and other supports.

Employment Services

These services help people with intellectual disabilities develop and refine their work skills so they can find meaningful work. The Department also works closely with individuals and families to help them find good jobs that meet their interests and needs.

Day Services

Day Services are non-work related supports that help people develop skills to lead more fulfilling lives.

Residential Supports

We provide residential service options to adults who are unable to live at home.


The Department supports people in a wide range of living arrangements in the community. They can be homes, apartments, condominiums, or others such as small family settings to group living situations. These residences are managed both by state and provider organizations.


The Department continues to serve individuals in its six Developmental Centers. These centers provide 24-hour support in compliance with federal regulations. We continue to assist individuals and families who choose to move to homes in the community.

Collaboration with Other Services

Some of the people we support receive their services directly from community providers and agencies. Many require the services of multiple agencies. We collaborate with these agencies to help people get the supports they need.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.