Advocacy Center

Public Hearing – Vocational Rehabilitation Services Request to Implement Order of Selection.

The Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS), Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) will hold public hearings April 24 and April 25 for the public to share comments regarding the Draft Amendment to the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services portion of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified State Plan regarding Order of Selection.

The full announcement of the public hearings can be viewed at


FINDS Survey has been extended to April 30, 2017

The Arc of U.S. is seeking your participation for the 2017 Family & Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Survey. To participate, the individual must be 18 years of age or older and provide primary unpaid and frequent support to a person with an intellectual or developmental disability living in the United States. Participants may also take the survey anytime between now and April 30, 2017 by visiting


Caregiver Support Services

Starting July 1st families may apply or renew their applications for Caregiver Support Services. Limited funds are available and on a first come, first serve basis. Contact your local Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services today for more information.

What does this service offer?

  •  Short-term relief period for the primary caregiver provided in the primary caregiver’s and individual’s home or a non-private residential setting (i.e., a “respite home”).
  • Providers must be selected from an approved CGS picklist.
  • The provider will provide the trained staff to supervise the eligible individual(s).
  • Staff can do the following activities:
    • assistance with toileting and feeding
    • assistance with daily living skills, including accessing the community and community activities
    • assistance with grooming and personal hygiene
    • meal preparation, serving and clean up
    • medication administration
  • Staff cannot do the following activities:
    • completion of routine household chores
    • caring for non-CGS approved persons
  • Staff cannot be the parent, spouse or primary caregiver of the individual receiving CGS.
  • Staff cannot be an adult that also resides in the same residence as the individual receiving services.
  • Staff cannot be used while the primary caregiver is at work.
  • Staff cannot use his/her own home as the place to provide CGS.
  • CGS cannot pay for the cost of registration fees or the cost of recreational activities, such as camp, etc.
  • CGS cannot be used to pay for rent, food or other household costs.


BDDS Notice on Informed Choice for Group Home Residents

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) issued a notice on February 28 regarding the rights of residents of group homes to have informed choice in choosing their day service provider. The notice reads in part, ““Informed Choice” means a consumer has a right to determine, to the maximum extent possible, the services the consumer wants and the provider the consumer wants to deliver those services … individuals are entitled to be given choice regarding their day services options and vocational prospects. The interdisciplinary team is responsible for assuring informed choice including providing information, evaluating the capacity to understand the information, and obtaining a decision from the individual. The full notice can be read at:  Individual Informed Choice and Day Service Options

     Group Home Report

There are currently 3,141 people receiving services in Supervised Group Living (group homes) in Indiana. The occupancy rate, as of the end of February, 2017, is 93%.  Statewide there are a total of 236 vacancies.

     Notice of Part C State Plan Public Comment Period

The State of Indiana is accepting public comment on the Part C State Plan, Indiana’s First Steps program.  Interested persons and organizations may submit written comments for State review until April 20, 2017.   Part C State Application FFY 2017 – Notice of Comment Period

Every Student Succeeds Act Public Meetings

The Indiana Department of Education is scheduling meetings around the state to receive feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  At these meetings, DOE will share an overview of what ESSA requires and their strategy to address those requirements. After the presentation, participants will be asked to share input on specific areas of the plan. It is important for parents and advocates of students receiving special education services to be part of the process.   View Meeting Dates & Locations