Developmental Disabilities Community Services

Developmental Disabilities (DD) staff work with individuals and families to promote the greatest possible independence and participation at home and in the community, and productivity through volunteer jobs, paid employment, and success in school. Services and supports assist individuals and families to achieve their desired quality of life while contributing meaningful roles in the community.

The array of services available to individuals who meet Louisiana State eligibility requirements for developmental disabilities include:

  • Personal Services Coordination
  • Individual/Family Support (e.g., personal companion, supplies, therapies, etc.)
  • Cash Subsidy (eligibility limited to children under 18 with severe disabilities)
  • Respite Care (planned or emergency support to give families a break from care-giving)
  • Supported Living Services (adults 18 years or older assisted to live in their own home)
  • Home of My Own (adults 18 years or older assisted to purchase a home)
  • Vocational Services (options for adults 18 and older, who have profound to mild disabilities, to have center based and community activities, volunteer and paying jobs)
  • Transition Planning for School Graduation (identification of needed adult services)
  • Psychological Services (Positive Behavior Support, Counseling, Parent Training)
  • Juvenile Justice and Adult Criminal Justice System (advocacy and assistance for children, adults and their families to respond to and comply with the justice system)
  • Crisis Intervention Services (A DD administrator is on 24-hour call with Mobile Crisis Services.)
  • Individual/Family Advocacy and Training Resources (via Families Helping Families of Jefferson at 888-9111)
  • Community Education (Annual Family Empowerment Forum, Annual School Inclusion Conference, on-going training and workshops for individuals, families and professionals)

Waiver Services
The "Waiver" refers to the Devcelopmental Disabilities Home and Community Based Waiver Services Program. The DD Home and Community Based Waiver Services Program is a federally funded Medicaid Program which provides eligible children and adults a wide range of developmental disabilities services such as: in home and community respite care and personal companion services, vocational services, supported employment, supported living services, host specially trained family, personal emergency response system, environmental accessibilities adaptations, assistive devices, and specialized medical equipment and supplies as an Extended State Plan Service. The DD Home and Community Based Waiver also provides transitional services which enable individuals to move from institutions, group homes, and nursing homes to return back to live with their families or to live in homes/apartments of their own. When children or adults transition from institutions, group homes or nursing homes, they may receive funding for “start up costs” associated with moving into their family home or own home or apartment (e.g., rental deposits, utility deposits). The purpose of the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Services is to provide the individual and family with the needed DD services to support them to remain in their home and community achieving the greatest possible independence, community participation, self determination, and productivity (i.e., school success, employment, volunteer service, good citizenship) while at the same time having their health and safety needs met. Assessment of Level of Need and Comprehensive Plan of Support In the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Program, the number of hours of services and supports an individual receives is based upon the Louisiana State Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) Resource Allocation Assessment of Level of Need Process. In this Resource Allocation Assessment of Level of Need Process, the individual’s level of skills and functioning at home and in the community is assessed using a standardized assessment instrument called the Supports Intensity Scale. The State OCDD determines the individual’s Resource Allocation Level and number of hours of services based upon their Supports Intensity Scale functional assessment. Then the individual and their family or legally authorized representative meet with their Service Coordinator for Waiver Services to discuss their needs and goals, identify service provider(s), and make a plan to have a Person Centered Planning Meeting. At the Person Centered Planning Meeting, the individual and their Service Coordinator, chosen service provider(s), and any other people important to them work together as a “Person Centered Team” to develop the individual’s Comprehensive Plan of Support.

Person Centered Team Meeting
The “person centered team” is composed of the individual, family member(s) and/or legally authorized representative, chosen service providers, and other people important to the individual/family. The “person centered team” determines the supports and services the individual needs to meet their needs and goals and the number of hours of services to meet their needs. When an individual/family disagrees with the decision of the State OCDD on their Resource Allocation Level, their Service Coordinator for Waiver Services assists them to document what they believe is their needed level and amount of services. If the individual/family and State OCDD do not reach agreement on the determined Resource Allocation Level and amount of service to be received, then the Service Coordinator for Waiver Services will assist the individual/family to make an appeal of the decision of the State OCDD Resource Allocation Level Decision to the Louisiana Division of Administration, Bureau of Appeals.

Eligibility Determination for DD Home and Community Based Services
In Louisiana, you must meet the Louisiana State Eligibility Requirement as a person with a developmental disability in order to be eligible for participation in the DD Home and Community Based Waiver. When an individual meets the State DD eligibility criterion, they are informed of the services of the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Program and they are assisted to apply for the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Program. Individuals applying for the Waiver Program(s) have their name placed on a statewide Waiver Registry System which records the date of their request for the Waiver Program. The Louisiana DD Waiver Program is a “first come, first serve program” meaning that as your name comes up on this DD Waiver Program Registry, you will be informed of an opportunity to participate in the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Program. If you agree to participate in the DD Home and Community Based Waiver Program, then you will be assisted by a Service Coordinator for Waiver Services to go through a Waiver eligibility and certification process which takes approximately 90 days. Upon your approval for the DD Home and Community Based Waiver, then you meet with your Service Coordinator for Waiver Services to develop your Person Centered Team and develop your Comprehensive Plan of Support. Your Comprehensive Plan of Support is reviewed by JPHSA and State OCDD in order to finalize the waiver services and number of service hours you are authorized and approved to receive.

For more information call 504-838-5357, Monday thru Friday, from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In case of emergency, please call the JPHSA/DD Administrative Team at 504-838-5357:

  • Nicole Sullivan-Green, Division Director
  • Dr. Marc Hendler, Psychologist, Services Administration

To access the Developmental Disabilities Community Services Handbook, click on the following link:

Developmental Disabilities Community Services Handbook - English

Developmental Disabilities Community Services Handbook - Spanish