To be eligible for supports funded through the Division of Developmental Disabilities individuals must meet the following definition of developmental disability, as stated in RI State Law:
"The term 'developmental disability adult' means a person, eighteen (18) years or older who is either intellectually developmental disabled adult or a person with a severe, chronic disability which:
The Division updated its application materials in December 2016. The updated materials are posted here.
If you have any recommendations on how to improve the updated application materials, please submit your ideas to BHDDH.AskDD@bhddh.ri.gov.
Eligibility by 17
BHDDH has an "Eligibility Determination by 17" Policy that establishes a referral process at age 16 with eligibility determination by age 17. Our goal is that individuals with disabilities enrolled in Rhode Island schools will be identified as eligible for adult services before their exit from school or transition programs. School districts will be guided to inform families that they have a right to file an application for BHDDH adult services at the age of 16 for youth who are categorized under IDEA as having an intellectual disability, autism, or multiple disabilities, or are believed to have a developmental disability and be eligible for BHDDH services. It is solely the family's decision whether to submit an application for services at this age.
The policy of determining students eligible by 17 is to make sure students are receiving the right transition services at the right time. By determining eligibility at 17 it provides the schools, Office Rehabilitative Services (ORS) and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) information on who will be eligible to receive certain services. School districts work with ORS to provide students with job skills, development and training, and then ORS and DDD will work to together to further enhance job skills and assist in finding employment or help with job retention. As an Employment First state we emphasize building employment skills for the youth who will be entering the adult Developmental Disabilities system.