UCEDD and CDD Supporting Families

Disabled man with supportive family members

Families play a significant role in the support of their members with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities across the lifespan. However, that role is not fully recognized and supported in disability policy and practice. Over 75 percent of Americans with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities live in their communities without the benefit of publicly funded disability services, relying on their families for support. Over half of those who do receive services still live with their families and Iowa has many aging parents currently assisting their family members with disabilities. CDD is involved in the following initiatives focused on enhancing supports and services families may need to support their loved one.

Iowa Initiatives Assisted by CDD

  • Family to Family Iowa – A network of trained family mentors and navigators assist families of children with developmental disabilities.
  • Mental Health and Disability Services Redesign – Input from family members and disability advocates is needed as Iowa’s system transforms from a county based to regional system. Follow the redesign process and learn about opportunities to provide your input.
  • Money Follows the Person – A program that provides individualized assistance to families and guardians when their loved one wants to move from facility based settings to community based services.

Programs Run by CDD with Funding from State or Federal Partners

Applied behavior analysis therapy session

  • Applied Behavior Analysis Telehealth Research Project – Provides training and assistance to help families and their service providers to implement Applied Behavioral Assistance techniques to an individual on the autism spectrum.
  • Assistive Technology Legal Project – Provides legal guidance for individuals having difficulty finding funding sources for assistive technology you need or experiencing problems repairing/replacing an existing device.
  • Challenging Behavior Training Service – In partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, the Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) has formed the Challenging Behavior Training Service. The service is designed to increase expertise in functional behavior assessments across the state of Iowa to improve services to students engaging in challenging behaviors in the school setting.
  • Disability Resource Library – Families gain knowledge about disabilities through collections focused on information for, by, and about people with disabilities. Materials come in a variety of formats - books, DVDs, training curricula, software, and assistive technology. About 60 percent of the materials in the DRL are not found in any other State of Iowa Library Organization library. Families can borrow materials in person or by mail.
  • Iowa Compass – Families use this statewide resource to locate disability services, supports, assisted technology devices, and used equipment.
  • Iowa Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program – A statewide initiative to assure every child’s hearing loss is discovered early and they receive the necessary interventions.
  • Iowa Program for Assistive Technology – Learn about assistive device loan lending libraries, in addition to information about various devices that improve an individual’s ability to live learn and recreate in the community.
  • Living Well Iowa - Emergency Preparedness – Families can learn how to develop an emergency preparedness plan that encompasses the needs of their loved one with disabilities.
  • Used Equipment Referral Service – A free statewide resource to sell or purchase used assistive devices, accessible vehicles or home modifications.