Connections for Adults
Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress (CTDSC) The Mission of CTDSC is to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome, by promoting equity, opportunities, inclusion, and by empowering them and their families in all aspects of life. CTDSC provides support to new parents through the First Call Program. CTDSC provide workshops on topics of importance, sponsor social activities for members, their families and friends and sponsors an annual statewide convention. CTDSC awards scholarships to people with and without Down syndrome who are pursuing higher education. CTDSC support legal and legislative initiatives to benefit those with intellectual disabilities and maintain an extensive internet-based communication system, allowing them to notify members of federal and state legislative initiatives that affect our families, They also provide printed updates of activities to those who do not have internet access.   Email:,    


Connecticut Cross Disability Lifespan Alliance (CTCDA) advocates for the full inclusion and participation in community of people with all disabilities.  The goals of CT CDA are to increase society’s view of people with disabilities as valuable contributors to their communities and to Influence the difficult decisions that need to be made regarding CT’s current limited resources. The Alliance ensure that decisions made each year by CT legislators, business leaders and other policy-makers are designed in a manner that results in greater access, inclusion, and support of people with disabilities. 


CT DDS Families First is a grassroots advocacy nonprofit group comprised of families with loved ones who have an intellectual or developmental disability and are clients of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The mission of CT DDS Families First is to secure all opportunities and supports for Connecticut citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) so that they may live full and productive lives in their communities. The goal is to educate the legislature and the public about the challenges facing families of persons with I/DD so that they understand the need to prioritize this population within the state’s budget process.


DDS Regional Advisory and Planning Councils (RAC) are responsible for consulting and advising the Regional Director on the needs of persons with intellectual disability within the region.  The councils engage in education and advocacy and foster communication between advisory groups, individuals, family members, local citizens and organizations.  Members include parents, consumers, a practicing attorney and individuals designated by the local association for persons with intellectual disability.


North Region:  Phone: (860) 263-2448 Email:
South Region:  Phone: (203) 294-5053 Email:
West Region:  Phone: (203) 805-7401 Email:


DDS Self-Advocates Consumer Corner: Self advocacy means speaking or acting for oneself. It means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of getting what you want. It means standing up for your rights as a person. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) believes that all of the people we provide services to can benefit from learning and using self-advocacy skills. The Self-Advocate Coordinators are responsible for providing leadership, coordination, role modeling and mentoring of self-advocacy to individuals in their assigned geographic area. They do this by supporting existing self-advocacy groups and helping start new self-advocacy groups; by providing self-advocacy and self-determination training to consumers, staff and families; by creating self-advocacy and self-determination materials.


DDS Southbury Training School Board of Trustees:
Sec. 17a-271 (Formerly Sec.19a-446).
(a) The board of trustees of the training school shall consist of seven members, who shall serve without compensation except for reimbursement for necessary expenses incurred in performing their duties. On the expiration of the term of each member, the Governor shall appoint a member for a term of four years. The board of trustees shall establish rules of procedure for the conduct of its business.
(b) The board of trustees shall recommend to the council such matters as it deems necessary, shall advise the director of the institution on general policies concerning the operation and administration of the institution and shall inspect such institution annually.


Keep the Promise Coalition (KTP) is a Connecticut Coalition of advocates (people living with mental illness, family members, mental health professionals and interested community members) dedicated to ensuring that a comprehensive, community mental health system is created and sustained across the lifespan (children, young people, adults, older adults and families in Connecticut). Facebook:


“Our Families Can’t Wait” (OFCW) is a group of citizens concerned about the future care of their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). OFCW is organized by the SEIU/1199 Healthcare Workers Union and include parents, grandparents, family members and caregivers working together to build advocacy for more state funding and support services from the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Facebook:


The Arc Connecticut is an advocacy organization committed to protecting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to promoting opportunities for their full inclusion in the life of their communities. 


The Council on Developmental Services was established to advise and consult on issues affecting the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and its programs and services for Connecticut residents with intellectual disability and their families. In consultation with the Commissioner of Developmental Services, the Council recommends to the Governor and the Connecticut General Assembly legislation that would enhance and improve the quality of the programs and services provided by the department. 
The Council, with input from the public, advocates for all persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities in Connecticut.


The Creative Housing Workgroup (CHW) is a group of proactive parents, caregivers and self-advocates who are working together to find supports, and create solutions for life in the community for individuals with disabilities.  For more information please contact April Dipollina,, Phone: 860-2714371.
The CHW is sponsored by the CT Family Support Network.


The Family Empowerment Task Force (FETF) is an informal, unincorporated, organization of parents, siblings, guardians, caregivers and self-advocates. The FETF works to sustain, enhance and grow the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) that are offered by DDS through its private provider network and self-directed plans by developing a supportive network of families and individuals who receive services, educating families about DDS services and educating legislators and public officials about the needs of families. Facebook:


Grandparents as Parents Support Network (GAPS)
The State Department on Aging, with support from agencies throughout Connecticut, developed the Grandparents as Parents Support network (GAPS). Today the main focus of the GAPS network is to share information amongst the network of over 200 agencies, individuals and community organizations.  GAPS focus in the past was to help provide assistance in establishing grandparent support groups for grandparents and relatives raising children. GAPS support groups were started in all five regions of the state under the auspices of the Brookdale Foundation Group’s national program, Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP). Today there are over 70 support groups in the state of CT.
CT Grandparent/Kin Support Groups:


CT Sibling Network: The mission of the CT Sibling Network is to support siblings of individuals with disabilities in the State of Connecticut by providing the information, tools, and community to enrich their lives and the lives of their siblings. They connect siblings throughout the State of Connecticut, share stories and offer support. Provide a platform for advocacy for and with individuals with disabilities.  Organize meetings and seminars to share information and education regarding sibling issues, disability laws, and legal responsibility. They organize and facilitate Sibshops to provide support for child siblings throughout the state.  860-402-1730, Email, or, Facebook:


The United Way of Connecticut, 2-1-1 provides a wealth of information.  In Connecticut, dial 211 or visit  2-1-1 Infoline is a great resource to locate local parent advocacy and family support groups and other resources for people with disabilities and their families. Information about these groups may also be available from your physician, school, or local provider agency.