What is STEP? 
STEP is a new DDS initiative that stands for Supporting Transformation to Empower People.  DDS has a variety of service and support options that can help meet a person’s support needs by assisting them in reaching their goals. 

Our system has historically relied upon more traditional models of support, which will continue to exist and may still be the best fit for some individuals.  However, STEP emphasizes seven more progressive supports that focus on independence, integration, and empowerment. 

STEP is at the heart of DDS’s work to help individuals experience the DDS mission and live the most inclusive and independent life they can. 

Enabling people to take more control of their lives and ensuring that they feel valued and respected in the process is a critical first STEP toward this goal.  Some of these seven core support options, like community companion homes, supportive housing and individualized home supports, have been part of DDS for a long time and we’re now highlighting them in a different way. Some options, like assistive technology and remote supports, are newer.  All of the STEP core support options require DDS funding.

Individuals, families and support teams who are interested in STEP should talk to your DDS Case Manager. Your Case Manager will help you figure out how to use your current funding in a creative way to access STEP supports. For more information about DDS services and supports and the funding requirements associated for each support, please contact your Case Manager. If you do not have a Case Manager or if you do not currently receive DDS funding, please contact your region’s help line here.

We are excited to share more with you about these core supports as we continue our STEP journey together!

STEP’s seven core supports:

STEP Information for Individuals & Families:

STEP Newsletters

STEP Fact Sheet (click here for Spanish)

How do I take the next STEP?

All individuals eligible for DDS services and their families can take the next STEP and start talking with their Provider Staff and Case Managers about STEP’s core supports for promoting and enhancing independence.
Any changes to your current supports will be made carefully in a person-centered manner, with team discussion, agreement and with a detailed transition plan. Talk to your Case Manager or a member of your Provider Staff to get started.  If you do not have a Case Manager or if you do not currently receive DDS funding, please contact your region’s help line here.
You can also use 2-1-1 Connecticut to speak with someone about more information on essential supports/services within the community. Inside of Connecticut? Dial 211. Outside of Connecticut? Dial 1-800-203-1234 Hearing Impaired? Dial 711


STEP Reminders:

The STEP core supports are the above defined supports and services DDS offers. An individual interested in learning more about these supports should discuss with their Case Manager about how to use your DDS funding. If you do not have DDS funding and want to learn more, please contact the help line in your region.


STEP Facts: 

STEP is all about empowerment, creating more opportunities and creating a more independent life of your choosing. STEP plans and individual funds are to be used by individuals moving from congregate settings where there are groups of individuals with disabilities into a more independent setting. You and your team will be able to set and achieve these goals by working with providers who want to offer more creative and innovative choices.

STEP promotes creative and innovative technologies and supports and can help you live in more inclusive, community-based environments while leaving safeguards in place to return to previous levels of support if needed. STEP will NOT be closing all group homes and congregate settings or force you to change supports.


Additional Related STEP Resources:

DDS Commissioner's Virtual Community Forums

  • See upcoming forums scheduled and Microsoft Teams information on how to join the forums here

Fourth Tuesday Forums on Innovative Options

  • Join forums about innovative services and supports on the fourth Tuesday of every month here

DDS Calendar

  • Access the DDS Calendar which lists events and meetings from DDS and DDS Community Partners

DDS Legislative Updates

  • Read highlights from the 2023 legislative session and learn more about House Bill 5001 and its impact here

ARPA Initiative

  • Learn more about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and ARPA Committees at DDS

STEP Email Updates
Subscribe to our DDS e-updates to receive important monthly DDS and STEP updates by clicking here.

STEP Text Updates
Sign up to receive quarterly text messages about DDS and STEP updates by clicking here.

Social Media Links