Developmental Disability Programs and Information

Wisconsin has many programs designed to improve the lives of children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This page is designed to help those with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their caregivers find programs that meet their needs.

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Adults

Adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities should reach out to their local aging and disabilities resource center (ADRC) to receive information about program options. Enrollment for all adult programs must be done through your local ADRC.

Find information about adult programs on our Programs for Adults with Developmental or Intellectual Disabilities page.

Federal Definition

Federal definition, a person is considered to have mental retardation if he or she has - (i) A level of retardation described in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disability (AAIDD) on Classification in Mental Retardation, or (ii) A related condition as defined by 42 CFR 435.1009 which states, "Person with related conditions" means individuals who have a severe, chronic disability that meets all of the following conditions:

  1. It is attributable to:
    1. Cerebral palsy or epilepsy or
    2. Any other condition, other than mental illness, found to be closely related to mental retardation because this condition results in impairment of general intellectual functioning or adaptive behavior similar to that of mentally retarded persons, and requires treatment or services similar to those required for these persons.
  2. It is manifested before the person reaches age 22
  3. It is likely to continue indefinitely
  4. It results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: Self-care; Understanding and use of language; learning; mobility; self-direction; or capacity for independent living.

Wisconsin's definition of DD is broader than the Federal definition, in that it does not include the restrictive clauses "b" (onset before age 22) and "d" (substantial functional limitations) of the Federal definition. In order to be eligible for the home and community-based waivers for DD persons; the consumer must meet the Federal definition of DD.

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Children

The programs listed below assist families in caring for a child with developmental and intellectual disabilities at home and in the community.

Find information about these programs and instructions about how to apply on our Programs for Children page.

 

 

 
Wisconsin's definition of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities  

(Wis Stat. 51.01 (5) (a)-(b))

"Developmental disability" means a disability attributable to brain injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome, intellectual disability, or another neurological condition closely related to an intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for individuals with an intellectual disability, which has continued or can be expected to continue indefinitely and constitutes a substantial handicap to the afflicted individual.

"Developmental disability" does not include dementia that is primarily caused by degenerative brain disorder.

Last Revised: January 9, 2017