Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908, 401-456-8072
self directed supports for individuals with developmental disabilities

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Who's using Self-Directed Supports in RI?


Are you eligible for supports through Rhode Island's Division of Developmental Disabilities?
Do you know about Self-Directed Supports?

Self-Directed Supports (SDS) give you a way to have more choice and control over the services and supports you need to live a full life at home and in the community. With Self-Directed Supports, you, along with your family or people you know and trust, decide how to spend your Medicaid Long-term care dollars in ways that work best for you.

Compared to traditional agency-based services, the self-directed model allows for more flexibility, individualization and direct control, and allows more money to go towards direct support. However, it also involves more responsibility for the individual and/or their family or circle of support.

With Traditional Agency-Based Supports:

  • The person, with their family or trusted allies, chooses a provider agency
  • Agency hires and trains employees
  • Agency provides services based on the person's needs and funding levels
  • Person has many choices and opportunities, but services cannot always be individualized

With Self-Directed Supports:

  • The person, with their trusted allies, chooses a 'fiscal intermediary'
  • The person develops an individualized plan of support (professional plan writers are also available to assist)
  • The person (with assistance of family and others) becomes the employer
  • The person recruits, hires and trains their own employees
  • The person establishes pay and benefit packages
  • The person determines what supports are needed, when and where, and how to best spend their approved plan dollars

Click here to access the Sherlock Center's latest publication, "What You need to Know about Self-Directed Supports."

"I pick who I want to work with me and I am not afraid to say anything. I trust people I work with. I can go more places and where I want to. I take the bus when I don't need staff. I feel free." Kelly, User of SDS.

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