Posted on August 17, 2011 8:29 pm


These are some frequently asked questions we receive at the regional center. They reflect client and family interest in some of the terms we use on a regular basis. If you have other questions, please feel free to contact us

Q: Can you tell me more about DDS?

A: As part of the Department of Developmental Services' (DDS) commitment to provide information to the general public, individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, and professionals in the field, DDS produces the Fact Book on an annual basis. The information presented in the Fact Book is intended to provide an overview of the DDS service delivery system and the persons served. You can view the current Fact Book at the DDS Fact Books website.


Q: What type of services might I expect to get?

A: Possible services include:

  • In-home supports to help you live more independently.
  • Respite care to provide temporary relief to your caregiver.
  • Training programs and/or education support to teach you life and work skills.
  • Job coaches to help you succeed in the workplace.
  • Residential living arrangements to provide you with the security and care you need.
  • Adaptive equipment to make you more independent.
  • Other supports to improve your quality of life


Q: What is a Medicaid Waiver?

A: A waiver is a funding mechanism which allows the state to offer community-based services as an alternative to institutional services. The term waiver specifically refers to two elements of home and community-based services:

  • First, the state applies to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a special waiver or a special allowance from the services typically included in the State Medicaid Plan. This waiver allows the state to use Medicaid funds to provide alternative community supports for a targeted population who is at risk for institutionalization.
  • Second, the individuals served waive the institutional services for which they are eligible in order to receive community-based supports.


Q: What do you mean by "Person Centered Planning"?

A: "Person Centered Planning" is a service planning process centered around individual’s personal goals and preferences. Services and supports are designed and provided to meet long term expectations of the person and his/her family and friends. The person and his/her significant others have the same authority as service provider professional staff in choosing life goals in areas including work, school, home and social relationships. Funding and resources support integrated community living.


Q: What is the ADA?

A: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law by President George Bush Senior on July 26, 1990 ( Public Law 336). The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandated the establishment of the TDD/telephone relay services.


Q: Can you explain Self Directed Services?

A: In the past, people with disabilities have been treated as incapable and in need of care. In fact, the majority are capable and can make their own decisions. Families and friends can be important sources of support. The community also has many resources that have not been previously accessed by the disabled. Self Directed Services acknowledges that individuals with disabilities have a right to be respected and should have an opportunity to receive the supports they need through community resources and public funds. Self Directed Services provides client choice and control. This means that everyone will have:

  • the freedom to plan a life with support,
  • the authority to control support dollars,
  • the support to be involved in the community,
  • and the responsibility to be a community member who is fiscally responsible in using public funds.


Q: I keep hearing about "People First." What's that?

A: People First is a self-advocacy and self-help organization of people who are developmentally disabled. Self-advocacy means that the members are learning to speak for themselves and make decisions about what they want to do with their lives. Self-help means that the members are helping each other with their problems, making friends and reaching out to people with severe disabilities. People First is also trying to show people in the community that those with developmental disabilities are human beings like everyone else and are able to learn, work, make decisions, and contribute to the community where they live.


Q: What's a CDER?

A: The Client Development Evaluation Report (CDER) is an instrument used to collect diagnostic and evaluation information on individuals with developmental disabilities. A CDER is completed by a regional center or developmental center on each individual at the time of the initial Individual Program Plan (IPP) and is updated whenever there is a new IPP.

For more information visit the Diagnostic Information And Instruments page on the Department of Developmental Services website.

For Residential Care Providers

These FAQs are specific to residential care providers. The document covers a number of frequently asked questions and is updated periodically: Residential Providers – FAQ.

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