The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is the 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.
The District of Columbia was one of the first in the nation to close its large institution, Forest Haven, and individuals with intellectual disabilities are now living full and active lives throughout the District and in neighboring communities. DDA and its providers offer skill development and support to help people with intellectual disabilities gain employment, start a business, volunteer, attend senior citizens programs or receive support throughout the day. Adults are supported to live full and inclusive lives throughout the community in homes and apartments, and, for families supporting a loved one at home, DDA also provides support services such as temporary relief for the family, in-home and community support, emergency response systems, and home and vehicle modification assistance.
Intellectual disability is characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range of everyday social and practical skills. For eligibility criteria, click HERE.
To contact the DDA on evenings and weekends in an emergency, please call 211 or the DDA Duty Officer at (202) 498-9077, or utilize the DC 311 Smartphone App.
OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR
The Office of the Deputy Director provides daily leadership, vision, budget oversight, policy development, and direction for the Service Coordination Division; Intake and Eligibility Unit, Medicaid Waiver Unit; Provider Resource Management Unit; and the Health and Wellness Unit, to ensure that all of agency is working together to support people with intellectual disabilities. The office also reviews and analyzes management reports, provides program recommendations to the Director and DC Health Care Finance Administration (DHCF), and implements DDA’s long-term strategic planning efforts.
SERVICE PLANNING & COORDINATION DIVISION
The Service Planning and Coordination Division (SPCD) uses a Person-Centering Thinking approach to work with people who have been found eligible for supports through DDA, and their circles of supports. SPCD collaborates to create a person-centered Individual Service Plan (ISP) for each eligible person, and ensures that the person receives all identified supports, and has positive control over his or her own life. Each person in SPCD is charged with being an advocate for each person he or she supports.
INTAKE AND ELIGIBILITY UNIT
The Intake and Eligibility Unit is often the first point of contact with DDA for people with intellectual disabilities. This Unit conducts outreach on supports available through DDA and works with people with intellectual disabilities and their families, to assist people who are interested in applying for supports. This Unit, which is a part of SPCD, is responsible for helping people complete the eligibility application including assisting with gathering any needed documentation. This Unit also makes eligibility determinations, in accordance with DDS’s policies and procedures and applicable District laws. Additionally, the Intake and Eligibility Unit refers people to other District of Columbia and community based agencies.
MEDICAID WAIVER UNIT
Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers are designed to be an alternative to institutionalization in an Intermediate Care Facility for People with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID), or nursing facility, supporting people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community. When a person is interested in receiving supports through the HCBS waiver for People with Intellectual Disabilities, his or her service coordination assists him with the application process. The Medicaid Waiver Unit reviews and approves a person’s application for enrollment into the HCBS waiver program. Once approved, Waiver Unit staff work with the person’s service coordinator, waiver providers, and DHCF to ensure that the person gets all of person gets all of the HCBS waiver supports he or she needs, as identified in his or her ISP. the HCBS waiver supports he or she needs, as identified in his or her ISP. The Unit also ensures program integrity by conducting utilization reviews to ensure that services authorized are delivered, and field audits to verify provider compliance with applicable HCBS waiver rules. The Benefits Unit is also part of the Medicaid Waiver Unit and is responsible for ensuring that people receive their statutory entitlements (i.e. Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare etc.). The Benefits Unit completes the initial application for benefits and the required forms for recertification of benefits. Additionally the Benefits Unit maintains benefit records; and conducts annual finical reviews to ensure providers are in compliance with the DDS/DDA Personal Funds policy.
PROVIDER/RESOURCE MANAGEMEN UNIT (PRMU)
DDA works with a network of community-based providers to support people with intellectual disabilities. PRMU recruits, enrolls, and manages the performance of the providers, assuring that there is an adequate network of providers available to support people with intellectual disabilities. PRMU meets regularly with the providers, offers ongoing technical assistance and ensures that providers are complaint with all the regulatory and programmatic requirements of the HCBS waiver program and or the ICF/ID program. PRMU also leads the residential referral process, helping to match people with intellectual disabilities who need residential supports with providers.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS UNIT
The Health and Wellness Unit works closely with families, provider agencies, and health care facilities to provide the information and tools necessary to advocate for the best possible health care and health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. The Unit conducts regular Health and Wellness assessments of provider agencies to ensure quality clinical services, including monitoring people’s Health Care Management Plans (HCMP), Behavior Support Plans (BSP), mealtime and positioning protocols, and other treatment regimens required to optimize the health status of people receiving supports and services. The Health and Wellness Unit also collaborates with, other government agencies, including DHCF and the Department of Mental Health to reduce barriers for people with intellectual disabilities to receive high quality health care.
QUALITY MANAGEMENT DIVISION (QMD)
The purpose of the Quality Management Division is to protect individuals from harm, safeguard the health and wellness of individuals, conduct provider certification reviews, implement the HCBS quality management plan and guide the DDA Quality Improvement efforts. QMD provides oversight and monitoring through investigations, delivers technical assistance to DDA and provider staff, manages the Mortality Review process and manages data collection and analysis. The office also ensures DDA’s compliance with all federal and District mandates and regulations to promote positive outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Quality Management accomplishes these functions through the following program areas.
OFFICE OF RIGHTS AND ADVOCACY
The Office of Rights and Advocacy provides a forum to advance and protect the rights of individuals with disabilities that are served by the DDA. The office also facilitates the Human Rights and Restrictive Controls Committees and provides training on rights issues.
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT UNIT
This Unit is charged with establishing and evaluating performance against standards for program operations that reflect sound practices and demonstrates program accountability. The Quality Unit also is responsible for establishing procedures by which DDA analyzes, reviews, tracks, and identifies trends in DDA data; engages in continuous quality improvement; provides technical assistance in assuring the health, safety, and protection from harm for all people; and, promotes best practices and positive outcomes for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through provider certification reviews, data analysis and the development of systemic change recommendations.
OFFICE OF INCIDENT MANAGEMENT AND ENFORCEMENT (IMEU)
Incident Management and Enforcement Unit (IMEU) identifies, reports, investigates and enforces recommended remedial actions for serious reportable incidents, including deaths, and reportable incidents. The purpose of incident management and enforcement is to identify factors that may have contributed to the incident, to recommend necessary preventive measures, and to use this information on an individual and aggregate basis to improve care and habilitation supports and services for all persons in the system.