NACDD believes that families can be a crucial part of ensuring that people with disabilities live happy and healthy lives and that family members with a disability should have the same expectations for their life in the community as all others. By reframing expectations for life in the community, we will be better equipped to understand and support individuals with disabilities, their parents, children, siblings and other relatives, whether full-time, part-time or supplemental caregivers, to live in their community
In October 2012, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) funded the “Community of Practice: Focusing on Life Span Supports for Self-Advocates and Their Families” project for 5 years through a Projects of National Significance (PNS) grant. The project is facilitated by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) in partnership with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and Human Resource Services Institute (HSRI).During the first year of this project six states were chosen to participate in the development of ideas and strategies to enhance family-related services and policies of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). In each of the six states, the DD Council and State Developmental Disabilities Services agency were tasked with taking the lead to create a state team and begin assessing, building and reshaping the current systems of support for families, both organically and structurally within the states.