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.
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.
DIRECT SUPPORT PROVIDER COMPLEX NEEDS TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PARTNERSHIP
The Complex Needs Training and Technical Assistance Partnership with the Louisiana Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities works with a small number of home- and community-based providers to increase capacity and improve outcomes for the people they support through in-class training and provider- and individual-specific ongoing technical support.
SELF-DIRECTION ADVOCACY ACTIVITIES
Self-Direction gives waiver participants the control to choose the people that they want to provide supports for them and in some cases, the ability to provide higher wages for their Direct Support Professional (DSP).
One self-advocate and four parents who are enrolled in the self-direction waiver option hold workshops across the state in which they share their experiences with self-direction and serve as mentors to other individuals with disabilities and parents new to or considering enrolling in self-direction.
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.
SUPPORTED INDEPENDENT LIVING OMBUDSMAN PILOT PROGRAM
In collaboration with the Advocacy Center, the Council supported a pilot ombudsman program for people with developmental disabilities receiving Supported Independent Living (SIL) services in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes.