Developmental Disabilities

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is responsible for planning, funding and overseeing a community system of services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities.

We believe that all Rhode Islanders deserve to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. Our work supports efforts across the state to expand opportunity and provide high-quality services for all Rhode Islanders.

What we do:

  • Fund a statewide network of community services and supports for Rhode Islanders living with developmental disabilities. These services are available through community provider agencies. Individuals and families may also receive self-directed services.
  • Ensure access to available resources in response to the unique needs of each person receiving services.
  • Support opportunities for meaningful roles in the community for people living with developmental disabilities. This includes opportunities for jobs at competitive wages.
  • Work to achieve the terms of a 2014 federal consent decree and provide integrated employment and day services for individuals living with developmental disabilities.
  • Support person-centered planning. This type of planning helps each person receiving services create a service plan matched to their unique interests and goals.
  • Promote human rights and protect the health and safety of individuals living with developmental disabilities. We do this in part through quality improvement initiatives and the licensing and oversight of service providers.

START Opportunities -- We want to hear from you!

START stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment. This model will help assess our resources and strengths in RI’s system of care and make recommendations for improvements. There three ways for you to participate in this program:

Survey – Deadline 12/13/2019

Phone Interview

Focus Group

  • Individuals and families can attend a one-hour focus group with START team members. Please notify your local provider or contact Ann E. Klein, MA, Director of Outcomes and Evaluation, The Center for START Services Institute on Disability/UCED, University of New Hampshire at (513) 377-1464 or