• Driving Innovation in Public 
    Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    The NASDDDS mission is to assist member state agencies in building person-centered systems of services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. 


  • Helping States Improve Quality

    National Core Indicators (NCI) facilitates the sharing of information with the public to strengthen policy, improve quality, and compare performance with national norms. 


  • Helping States Increase Employment

    When people work in their communities and earn good wages, opportunities multiply. Jobs provide people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to earn an income, build a nest egg, make friends, and increase self-confidence.


  • Helping States Broaden Supports to Families

    Stronger supports for families leads to better lives for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


NASDDDS Announcements

Registration is Open!

2015 Directors Forum & Annual Conference
National Vision for Strong Communities

Alexandria Virginia WaterfrontNovember 18 – 20, 2015
The Westin Alexandria Hotel
400 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, Virginia

Statement from Mary Lee Fay, NASDDDS Executive Director, regarding the opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the case of Home Care Association v. David Weil

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of the Obama administration, upholding the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) rule that narrows the companionship exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The three-judge panel on the federal court of appeals reversed the district court’s decision, affirming both the third party prohibition and the new definition of companionship.

 NASDDDS commends the Obama administration’s efforts to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to direct care workers. These workers are the backbone of state systems that provide supports to individuals with developmental disabilities and are entitled to be fairly and adequately compensated for their important work.

 We remain concerned that the rule and its implementation deadline present policy and operational challenges that may lead to adverse outcomes for these workers and the people they support. We recognize that almost all state legislative sessions took place during the time that the rule was vacated by the district court, and that FY 2016 budgets have been adopted in all but two states.

 Prior to the district court decision vacating the Home Care Rule, DOL, recognizing the need to account for state legislative processes, announced a non-enforcement policy for the first six months of 2015 and the intention to use prosecutorial discretion during the last six months of 2015. We hope DOL will recognize the impact that the timing of the two court decisions has had on states’ ability to adequately address the changes necessary to implement the rule, and will continue to work closely with states, and refrain from prosecutorial action, to achieve smooth implementation of this major policy change.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Labor and our state members to ensure that implementation occurs in a manner that does not negatively impact beneficiaries or direct care workers.

Mary Lee Fay Named New NASDDDS Executive Director

 The Board of Directors of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services has named Mary Lee Fay to replace Nancy Mary Lee Fay, NASDDDS Executive DirectorThaler as the association’s Executive Director. Mary Lee has been with NASDDDS since 2012 as the Director of National Core Indicators and Coordinator of the Supporting Families Community of Practice.  Mary Lee begins her new duties immediately.  Nancy Thaler left the organization on June 26 to become the Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs in Pennsylvania.

"I am honored that the members of the NASDDDS Board of Directors have selected me to serve as the Executive Director,” Ms. Fay said. “I consider myself very lucky to be able to work at something I love and believe in.  NASDDDS plays a very important role in supporting state agencies responsible for designing and administering large service systems and working with other national groups to promote best practices. As a state director,  I experienced the benefits of membership in NASDDDS and I hope to maintain and expand on the extraordinary organization that NASDDDS has become."

25 Years
of the Americans with Disabilities Act

"A Message from the NASDDDS Director Mary Lee Fay"

 Across the nation we are celebrating 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  On July 26, 1990, when President George H. W. Bush signed the ADA into law, he welcomed Americans with disabilities into the mainstream of life. "We embrace you for your abilities and for your disabilities, for our similarities and indeed for our differences, for your past courage and your future dreams," he said.

 Though much has changed in 25 years, the ADA has been our north star to assure that the rights for people with disabilities are upheld. And yet there is so much work to do to continue to assure those rights are available to everyone in their day to day lives.   At NASDDDS we are committed to working with all states as they implement policies and practices that embrace the tenants of the ADA and focus on assuring that all people with disabilities are living fully engaged in their communities.   Think what can be accomplished in the next 25 years!


NASDDDS Issues First Position Statement on the use of Positive Behavior Supports and Rejecting the use of Aversive Interventions!

Press Release

Position Statement

New Sarah Taub NCI Webinar:
Self-Determination Are We There Yet?  

September 10, 2015 from 3:00-4:00 PM EASTERN

Access webinar information here

State News

Mississippi Adopts Employment Executive Order

Mississippi Governor Bryant's executive order will enable persons with disabilities to have the same opportunities as the general public as they seek employment and will assist in efforts to move towards a system of self-sufficiency where individuals with disabilities feel included, productive, and able to contribute to the lives of others and their communities.  

Read more 

Pennsylvania Takes Steps to Improve its Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) System 

Pennsylvania announced the Department will take the following steps to improve its Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) System:  

  • Doubling the number of staff who work on Nursing Home Transition (NHT), Creating an advisory committee with at least 50 percent representation by participants and caregivers,

  • Restructuring existing contracts to provide more choice for participants,

  • Issuing a Procurement for a Home Modification Quality Improvement Program, and;

  • Financial Management Services Procurement.

Read more

Oregon Launches I Work, We Succeed Campaign

Oregon Department of Human Services just launched its “I Work, We Succeed campaign” as part of their Employment First initiative.  This initiative is a catalyst for state agencies to work together to improve community job outcomes for people with I/DD.

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New Jersey Launches New Supports Program

The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) launched its new Supports Program designed to better support adults with developmental disabilities, significantly reduce the number of individuals waiting for supports and services, and enhance the State’s ability to receive a federal “match” for services currently expensed using state-only funding.”     

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DC Focusing on Improving Health and Wellness Outcomes

The District of Columbia (DC) is implementing a health and wellness initiative with a goal of improving health outcomes for adults with intellectual disabilities by addressing policies, practices, and resources for workforce development that affect change in the system of community-based services and supports.  DC is partnering with the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Read More                                             

Federal News

Court Upholds Home Care Rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) rule that narrows the companionship exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The three-judge panel affirmed both the third party prohibition and the new definition of companionship.

Read More

CMS Guidance on Heightened Scrutiny Indicates States can Create Tiered Standards for HCBS Settings

CMS has issued a FAQ regarding heightened scrutiny for settings that are subject to the HCBS rule. The document also indicates states can use their transition plans to create a “tiered standard” for settings within their HCBS programs, and addresses provisions in the rule regarding respite, provider-controlled settings lease agreements, and 1915(b)(3) services. 

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Bill Would Incentivize States to Increase Integrated Work

A bipartisan bill would create a demonstration project to provide bonus payments to states that increase the number of individuals with disabilities they support to work and spend their days in the community.

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CMS Proposes New Medicaid Managed Care Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a long-awaited proposal to update its Medicaid managed care regulations, including a significant section on Long Term Supports and Services.

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CMS Revises Waiver Technical Guide

CMS has posted a revision (click the link in the left hand column called 1915(c) Waiver Application and Accompanying Materials) of the “Instructions, Technical Guide and Review Criteria” for the 1915(c) waiver application (click the link in the left hand column called 1915(c) Waiver Application and Accompanying Materials) on the Waiver Management System (WMS) home page, along with updates to Resource Attachments to the guide.  A summary prepared by Truven for CMS is also available.  

Read more