Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Rhode Island College, Providence, RI 02908, 401-456-8072
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Self-Directed Supports for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
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Andrew used an agency for his services for his first three years after turning 21. He enjoyed his time there, made some friends, and was given some opportunity to work, which netted him anywhere from $80/monthly to the occasional $200 monthly, depending on how much work was available. A situation arose at the agency that prompted Andrew and his mother to pursue self-directed supports. Within six months of having his plan approved, Andrew had two part-time jobs in the community, made friends he is able to connect with on his own and plan outings with independently.
Read complete profile 270 kb (PDF)

Alex and his family chose a self-directed program because Alex wants to be involved in a variety of work, volunteer, community, and recreational activities though the week. With self-directed supports, they are able to hire and train their own staff to follow Alex's program and schedule. Staff get him where he needs to be and support his work, learning and continued growth. Alex is a hard worker and enjoys what he is doing.
"We knew early on that a regular day program would have been somewhat stifling for Alex. He likes to be active."  Donna Theriault, Parent


Zach graduated from Lincoln High School in 2011. Zach has some significant medical needs and requires one-on-one care. His family made a decision to utilize self-directed supports about six months before graduation. By June, a plan was written and staff were being interviewed. A variety of nurses and nursing assistants support Zach's activities and address his medical needs. When Zach feels good, he goes to the park, movies, bowling, the mall, the library, and bike path. When he is not well, they sit quietly, tend to his medical needs, and listen to calming music.
"I was able to hand pick the team to help me with my son in our home and that is the biggest advantage to the Self-Directed Program."  Lee Ann Brigido, Parent


Hannah uses self-directed supports to engage in a variety of ways in her own community. With supports, she holds a paid job and she also volunteers in several places where her cheerful personality brightens the lives of those who see her each week. With self-directed supports, Hannah gets the one-on-one support she needs and her support staff can earn wages a little closer to what they are worth.


"Love Letters by Emily" is a line of handmade greeting cards and other items based on American Sign Language. Emily inspired its creation in 2012 to share her knowledge of American Sign Language and to promote a greater understanding of deaf awareness. "Love Letters by Emily" provides an opportunity for Emily to continue to learn and participate in her own community and develop job skills in a business with a real global reach. Emily is the ASL signer for all the photographs used to create "Love Letters by Emily" designs. Emily helps in the production of the ASL prints and cards as much as she is able. She enjoys shopping for ink and paper, picture frames, and all the craft supplies needed for the business.

Read Emily's
complete profile. 440 kb (PDF)

Watch Emily's video on YouTube.

Personal Stories

Are you using Self-Directed Supports in RI?
If you would like to share your experience and a picture on this website, contact:

Claire Rosenbaum, Adult Supports Coordinator
Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities

Phone: 401-456-4732
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As of 2014, fiscal intermediaries report that 375 people are using self-directed supports in Rhode Island.
Questions/Comments contact Mary Anne Pallack | Rhode Island College | ©2016 Sherlock Center on Disabilities

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