DDS POLICY #: 2009 - 1
DATE ISSUED: January 14, 2010 (Reissued with technical corrections)
EFFECTIVE DATE: March 9, 2009 (Date policy first issued)

The Department of Developmental Services is committed to the advancement of self-determination for individuals with intellectual disabilities. In a service system that promotes self-determination, individuals, guardians and families can choose to be served by traditional agency providers through arrangements with the Department, can choose to self direct all aspects of their supports including hiring and managing direct support workers, or can choose any combination of both approaches.

To advance self-determination, the Department supports and expands opportunities for self-direction that will enable individuals, and where appropriate, their guardians, and families, to obtain supports and services based on the individual's needs, values, and preferences. This is accomplished through the design and implementation of service options that give individuals, guardians, and families, greater control to decide and direct what supports and services to use, when and where to receive them and from whom. These service options will incorporate elements of self-direction that are individualized, sensitive, and culturally appropriate and may include:

  • Individual-directed, person-centered planning process enabling the individual, and where appropriate, guardian or family, to identify and access a personalized mix of paid and non-paid supports to meet unique needs and personally defined goals;
  • Circle of support or team selected by the individual, guardian and/or family that meets regularly to help the individual accomplish his or her personal goals;
  • Support broker to assist the individual, guardian and/or family to develop and carry out a person-centered plan;
  • An individual budget, that is a dollar amount for goods, services and supports specified in the person-centered plan that is under the control and direction of the individual, and where appropriate, their guardian or family;
  • Availability of financial management services/fiscal intermediaries that will disburse a person's funds in accordance with their service plan and individual budget;
  • Recruitment, hiring, firing, and training of direct support professionals and other staff by individuals, guardians and families;
  • Self-advocacy and training on consumer choice of differing levels of authority and responsibility for exercising self-direction.

With self-determination, individuals, guardians and families, with supports as needed, make their own decisions, plan their own futures, decide how money is spent for supports and take responsibility for the decisions they make.

This information is provided by the Department of Developmental Services.