We are not professional administrators or paid consultants, but we have a great deal of experience regarding the nuts and bolts of self-direction. Please engage in a dialogue with us. Although SDS participants represent a minority of DDA participants, they have led the way for people with developmental disabilities, demonstrating that purposeful activities and community integration are achievable goals –even for people with severe disabilities. We assert that overlaying a web of regulations designed to fix the flaws in traditional programs on a thriving SDS program is nonsensical—and inherently wrong.

We request that DDA form a new workgroup dedicated to self-directed services. This workgroup should include a majority of authentic SDS stakeholders– participants, family members and advocates. The workgroup should consider several alternatives to DDA’s current Waiver proposal. Possible solutions include the following:

1. Make no changes to SDS services.  Any future changes to SDS would be  after careful consideration from the workgroup and input from SDS participants and families.

2. Returning the SDS service model to its own separate Waiver which would be rewritten by the workgroup and reviewed by SDS participants and families.

We applaud DDA’s move to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities. However, we want to ensure that in the  DDA surge to improve traditional services, the outstanding programs of people in SDS don’t wind up as  acceptable collateral damage.