Self-Directed Services

A man in a wheelchair is a part of a team in a meeting.

A Self-Directed Life

Traditionally people with disabilities did not have the say or control over their lives. From choosing who they lived with, deciding how they spent their day, participating in the community in ways they wanted to, and spending time with people important to them, were often not the foundation to them receiving services. One’s deficits, funding restrictions, and a “cookie cutter” approach was the norm for developing service plans.

Self-Directed Services flips the way service plans are developed upside down. People with disabilities are now saying: what makes a good day for them, if they want to live with others and with whom, deciding what participating in the community means to them, and saying who is important for them to spend time with. These factors are now the foundation to service plans. Person Centered planning is replacing the “cookie cutter” approach to ensure people receives services to support them have the life they choose. Instead of looking at people’s deficits, skills that they want to improve on are looked at. Equally important, while paid supports are part of one’s plan, natural support are part of the plan as well.

Are you wondering if Self-Direction is right for YOU?

  • Have you ever wondered if there was a way you could make more decisions about your life?
  • Have you ever wanted to hire your own staff or decided how your budget is used?
  • Have you ever wanted to be more involved in the community and not just "go to" the community?

If so, there is a program that may fit your needs. It’s called Self-Directed Services. Self-Directed Services are based upon the principles of Self Determination, which are:

  • Freedom to make choices in your life that will impact your life goals and desires.
  • Authority to gain control over your life so you are able to choose what makes your life meaningful.
  • Support that is natural and offers community experience and opportunities.
  • Responsibility to develop your own unique gifts and talents so that you have meaningful ways to contribute to your community.
  • Confirmation which happens when your community learns to respect you for your abilities and accomplishments.

Self-Directed Services

The Community Pathways Waiver offers the option of self-directed services. This is service delivery for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or designated representatives who wish to exercise more choice, control, and authority over their supports. Self-direction gives waiver participants and families greater control over the services they receive, how they receive them, and who provides them. At the same time, people who self-direct must be willing to take on the responsibility of managing their services. For services you choose to self-direct, you have additional responsibility including:

  • You will be in control of your budget which is a fixed dollar amount for the purchase of services and supports available under the waiver;
  • You select and arrange for the services and supports in your individual plan;
  • You are accountable for using your budget to more effectively meet your needs and more efficiently use public dollars; You are the employer of record; and
  • You can hire, train, and fire employees.

A self-directed service delivery system provides an opportunity for you to explore new ways of receiving support services. To assist individuals who choose to self-direct their services, a support broker and a fiscal management service will also be provided in addition to the Coordinator of Community Services.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Self-Direction