Community Living and Self Determination

Community Supports

The Council believes that people with developmental disabilities should have the supports and services needed to live and thrive in their own homes and communities.

Much of the Council's efforts are focused on ensuring the availability of individualized, home and community-based supports and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The Council, in collaboration with LaCAN members and the regional Families Helping Families Centers, advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families  having access to services in the community, including formal and informal community supports, that improve their quality of life. 

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Current Initiatives


LaCAN is the Council's statewide grassroots network advocating for systems change in home and community-based services, education, and employment to improve the quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Families Helping Families

Families Helping Families are one-stop resource centers that provide information and referral, education and training, and peer support to individuals with disabilities and their families. Regional resource centers are unique in that they are staffed by parents or family members of people with disabilities to offer help and understanding from people who have been there.

Direct Support Professionals

The Council acknowledges the valuable work done by direct support professionals across the State of Louisiana.  A direct support professional (DSP) is a person who assists an individual with a developmental disability to lead a self-directed life and become an active, contributing member of their community.  DSPs assist in may ways, such as, helping with activities of daily living, presenting opportunities to learn and develop new skills, empowering individuals to exercise their independence, and encouraging attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion.

Community Support Advocacy Initiatives

The Council promotes the expansion of individual and family supports for people with developmental disabilities in their own homes in order for them to be active participants in the life of their communities.

Community and Family Support System

The Developmental Disabilities Council oversees the implementation of the Community and Family Support (CFS) System Plan developed in accordance with Act 378 of the 1989 Legislative session. The plan called for a system of supports and services to be available for families of children and adults with disabilities in their own homes based on their individual needs in order to avoid out-of-home placement. 

End The Wait!

Over 14,400 people with developmental disabilities in Louisiana are waiting over twelve years for the waiver services they need now. Join the movement to End the Wait!

Natural Supports

More and more states are pushing to increase utilization of natural supports by people with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately natural supports are not available to every individual with a developmental disability and many individuals with developmental disabilities, families and paid workers do not know how to identify and develop natural supports. 

Past Initiatives

Supported Living Program

 This Act 378 state funded program is now administered by the Office of Aging and Adult Services.