Community First

When it comes to providing services for individuals with developmental disabilities, Rhode Island is a “community first” State. We believe that people with developmental disabilities are an important part of their communities. They deserve the opportunity to live, work, and receive services in the community, alongside individuals without disabilities, whenever possible.

This policy reflects the final rule for home and community-based services issued by the federal government. These rules provide opportunities for individuals to receive services in their own home or community, rather than institutions or other isolated settings. States must comply with these rules by 2019 for all services provided with Medicaid funding.

What this means for you and your family

In Rhode Island, this means that by 2019, anyone receiving developmental disability services must receive those services in the least restrictive setting appropriate to his or her needs.

When new applicants apply to receive services, we’ll look first at how we can deliver those services in the most community-based, independent setting possible. Some people may require more intensive services, depending on their needs. But we will always look first at community-based options.

We can also work individuals and families to transition their services to home- and community-based settings. For more information, call or speak with your social case worker.