A key component of the DDS mission includes the vision statement that “Individuals have families who feel supported from the earliest years and throughout their lifetimes”.
Families are the core unit in our society, serving as a source of support for all of its members. For individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), the role of family is unique and often central in the support and care provided across the lifespan. It is the mission of DDS to ensure that families of the people served by the department feel supported from the earliest years and throughout their lifetimes.
A central role of DDS and its provider community is to support family members to play key roles in identifying and securing opportunities for their family members to participate in meaningful ways within their community and ensuring access to self-determined lives. To do this DDS staff and its provider communities must listen to, respect, and value family members as a key support in the lives of people with disabilities.
DDS has always worked in partnership with families to develop the supports needed to better serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Today, the department recognizes the need to begin developing positive relationships with families from their child’s earliest years. We know that assisting families to help their child learn and use self advocacy and self-determination skills from the earliest age is the best way to help ensure that individuals and their families are well positioned to create the community-based supports and services they will need as adults.
Ideas to help families feel supported across the lifespan.
Birth to 3
Early School Years 4-14
Transition from School to Work (age 15-21)
Senior Years (63 and onward)
Self Advocacy and Self Determination (All ages)