Services for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

April 12, 2016

This legislative session, an important bill that will help individuals with intellectual disabilities is being considered. I've co-sponsored SB 294, An Act Concerning Services for Individuals With Intellectual Disability, to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities who have requested services from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) are properly informed and updated on the status of their request.

It can sometimes be confusing and frustrating for families to navigate requests for social services for individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially those on waiting lists for services. This bill aims to make sure that individuals and their families receive the information they need in a timely manner. The bill requires DDS to:

  • Provide individuals with intellectual disabilities and their legal guardians with a copy of the individual's level of need assessment and written notice of the individual's priority status on any waiting list and the funding budgeted for each DDS service.
  • Develop a five- and 10-year plan for each DDS client, in consultation with the client and his or her legal representatives.
  • Develop and maintain one state-wide residential waiting list and update it at least quarterly.
  • Conduct a statewide census and needs assessment of DDS clients and report to the Public Health Committee on the assessment and status of the waiting lists.

The bill has passed out of the Public Health Committee and will now go to the House for a vote.