Update from the Department on Disability Services (DDS)

AJE is happy to share this information with our families who use DDS’ services.  

March 20, 2020

Dear Community Member:

At the Department on Disability Services (DDS), we are committed to maintaining our people-centered principles while implementing appropriate safeguards for the residents we support and our staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

DDS remains open during the ongoing, public health event and is operating on a partial telework schedule to support people with disabilities. While staff is onsite to address emergency issues and assist potential walk-ins, there are changes to how some services are provided.

Intake Procedures for Vocational Rehabilitation Services – DC Residents with disabilities can file an on-line application for vocational rehabilitation services at https://tinyurl.com/ddsrsavr. We will schedule an intake appointment and advise residents of the next steps via telephone.

Disability Determination – Disability Determination staff are teleworking and will communicate with residents about pending eligibility determinations for SSI and SSDI via telephone and U.S. Mail.

Intake Procedures for People with Intellectual Disabilities – DC Residents with disabilities wishing to apply for service coordination services from the Developmental Disabilities Administration should call 202-730-1700. The community liaison will reach out via telephone to begin the intake application process and schedule an in-person appointment for a later date.

DDS has also posted all guidance issued to our provider agencies on our website, https://dds.dc.gov/. Our guidance and actions taken regarding our operating status align with current public health guidelines regarding appropriate social distancing for all people, especially for people who may be at higher risk (i.e., people over age 60, people with underlying health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease and people who are immunocompromised).

To this end, we have recommended that people not attend facility-based day programs. For people receiving community-based day or employment services from DDA or RSA, service coordinators and VR counselors are consulting with the person and their supports to discuss whether the current community-based services are being provided in a manner that facilitates appropriate social distancing. Where this is not the case, services may be suspended or new services authorized.

As this health event continues to develop, one thing remains constant: the safety and well-being of the people we support and our staff is our priority. Your continued support is appreciated. For the latest information on the District Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit coronavirus.dc.gov. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at dds@dc.gov or 202-442-8686.

Andrew Reese

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