Celebrating 40 Years Serving People with Developmental Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the legal definition of a developmental disability?

Developmental disability means a severe chronic disability of an individual which:

  • Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental or physical impairments;
  • Manifests before age 22;
  • Is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • Results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life skills;
    • Self-care;
    • Receptive and expressive language;
    • Learning;
    • Mobility;
    • Self-direction; and/or
    • Capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency; and
  • Reflects the need for a combination and sequence of special interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated; and
  • Developmental disabilities include but are not limited to severe disabilities attributable to autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida and other neurological impairments where the above criteria are met.

Q. How does a person become eligible for services?

An individual must be determined eligible for services under the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) before the Division can provide services. Application for determination of eligibility to individuals with developmental disabilities is based on established guidelines and criteria.

Q. Once a person is determined eligible, what types of services are provided?

An individual can be provided community residential placement, respite, recreation, family support or receive state funding to serve as his/her own broker for self-directed services to meet personal needs. It should be noted that individuals determined eligible for community residential services are placed on a waiting list and placement opportunity is typically prioritized on the basis of “urgency”.

In addition, there are also Medicaid and other services not funded by the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

Q. How do individuals transition into SFL programs?

Individuals referred by the Division for program placement (day or residential) undergo an assessment process to evaluate their personal needs and our ability to meet such needs accordingly. If an individuals’ needs can be properly met, Spectrum will notify the Division of placement approval and begin the individual’s transition into the program under a time arrangement (typically less than 30 days) that is comfortable for the consumer. Program visits, participation in social leisure activities, and in some cases, overnight visits is a proactive approach to ease an individual’s anxiety and ensure a smooth transition.

Q. Does Spectrum for Living participate in Real Life Choices?

Spectrum for Living is a Real Life Choices and Self Directed Services vendor.

Q. Is SFL accredited and by what agency?

Spectrum’s Intermediate Care Facility is certified by the Department of Human Services, Department of Health and Senior Services and is based on an annual facility inspection survey of client care and related services. Program services under the funding of the Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities are inspected annually for licensure.

About Spectrum For Living

Spectrum for Living is a non-profit organization dedicated to the philosophy that persons with developmental disabilities have the same rights as others to a fulfilling and meaningful life. Our programs and services support dignity, independence and encourage each person to reach their personal potential.



Mission and Values

To enable individuals who have developmental and/or physical disabilities to have the opportunity to attain their highest level of skills, purpose and independence with dignity through an ongoing commitment to comprehensive quality services, advocacy and family partnership.



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