Intellectual Disabilities Services

Intellectual Disabilities Services

The intellectual and developmental disability service system is evolving from one focused on providing service in large institutions – often far from a person’s home and community — to one based on a flexible and dynamic system of supports and services close to home and community. The new system is tailored to the needs of persons living in their home community which include community residential and day support services.

Community residential options include group homes, single apartments with a roommate, or a family living setting. People are provided supports in their family home or their own home. Day services, such as supported employment, training and recreation are provided to people who live in residential settings and at home. A wide array of services and supports are also available to families caring for a child or adult sibling with an intellectual disability. Services include case management, mobility training, employment training and opportunities and adult day care.

Who Can I Contact for Help?

Intellectual and developmental disability services are administered through county Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MH/MR) program offices. The county MH/MR offices serve as a referral source and most services are delivered by local agencies under contract with the county office. The county MH/MR office determines a person’s eligibility for service funding and if found eligible a person will receive a supports coordinator. The supports coordinator will:

  • Talk with you about what kinds of supports and services would be helpful to you.
  • Offer you an opportunity to complete an application for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Program.
  • Enroll you in services which require completing applications.
  • Help you develop your individual plan.
  • Help you talk with individuals or agencies in the community that could support you.
  • Coordinate and monitor supports and services.

The Department of Public Welfare, the Office of Development Programs toll-free Intellectual Disabilities Customer Service Line: 1-888-565-9435. Toll Free TTY Number (Telephone for Hearing Impaired Only) 1-866-388-1114. Local telephone: 717-265-7427. A Customer Service member will answer calls during normal business hours, which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through Friday.

Publications

The fundamental concept of Everyday Lives is that with the support of family and friends, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities decide; how to live their lives; what supports they need; and how they want to spend the money in their individual budgets. It also means that they are responsible for their decisions and actions.

The intellectual and developmental disabilities system in Pennsylvania was established to provide services for individuals and their families. It is a system that may, at times, seem complicated and difficult to navigate. People using the system have continually pressed for the need for current and accurate information. The Office of Developmental Programs is pleased to endorse The Gold Book 2010 – Understanding the Office of Developmental Programs in Pennsylvania: Mental Retardation and Autism Services.

For Adults