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Supports

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The government provides and funds a wide array of supports and services available to people with disabilities that are designed to provide them with what they need to achieve independence and employment in their communities. The specific types of supports and services and the corresponding application and eligibility processes vary from government agency to government agency.

Examples of types of government supports and services include:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Independent Living Services
  • Clinical Supports
  • Behavioral Health Supports and Services
  • Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Much More!

Some of the services are more targeted to a specific outcome, such as employment, and are short-term services. Other services provide long-term support that spans the lifetime.

It is important to explore and understand your interests, strengths, and abilities so that you are able to identify the types of supports and services you need, who provides these services in your community, and how you can access them.

DC has many government agencies that are here to provide and connect you to these services. For example, the DC Department on Disability Services (DDS) provides the residents of DC with information, oversight, and coordination of services for people with disabilities and those who support them, such as service providers and employers. DDS has two Administrations ( Rehabilitation Services Administration & Developmental Disabilities Administration ) that oversee and coordinate services for residents with disabilities through a network of private and non-profit providers.

REHABILITATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION (RSA) - focuses on employment, ensuring that persons with disabilities achieve a greater quality of life by obtaining and sustaining employment, economic self-sufficiency and independence. RSA’s program is designed to assess, plan, develop, and provide vocational rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities, consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choice, in order to prepare for and engage in gainful employment 34 C.F.R. § 361.1

  • The RSA Youth in Transition Services Units provide transition services, as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 amended, to coordinate a set of activities for students designed around an outcome-oriented process that supports their movement from school to post-school activities including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, and independent living. Vocational rehabilitation transition services link students with disabilities, while still in school, with the vocational rehabilitation program to create a continuum of services leading to long-term employment outcomes for eligible students.
  • To learn more about RSA’s vocational rehabilitation process for youth with disabilities, refer to the RSA Youth in Transition Toolkit: “Explore the World of Work, Discover Your Career”. It provides the specific steps and activities that youth, schools, and parents need to understand to apply for services and work through the RSA process to receive services and find employment.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES ADMINISTRATION (DDA) - public agency responsible for the oversight and coordination of all services and supports provided to qualified persons with intellectual disabilities in the District of Columbia.

  • DDA supports individuals with intellectual disabilities to have the most independence and choice and control over their own lives through person-centered service planning and delivery and increased provider capacity. DDA coordinates home and community services for over 2,000 individuals so each person can live and work in the neighborhood of his or her choosing, and promotes health, wellness and a high quality of life through service coordination and monitoring, clinical supports, and a robust quality management program.


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