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Developmental Disabilities Program – Montana Developmental Services Division (DSD)
Department of Public Health and Human Services
"The Developmental Disabilities Program supports choices and opportunities for people with developmental disabilities in their communities." Over the years, our view of people with disabilities and the help society offers to these individuals and their families has changed dramatically from one of paternal institutionalization to one of supported self-determination. An emphasis on human dignity and a conviction that each person is unique and capable of growth are the cornerstone beliefs of Montana's Developmental Disabilities Program. But developmental disabilities such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism place significant obstacles in the way of individual growth and development. Montana's focus for providing services to persons with developmental disabilities calls for self-determination and individual participation in life's decisions about where to work, how to play, and where to live. It also calls for community settings and integration with non-disabled people. These changes in service philosophy are a result of many factors including a growing concern for the rights of individuals, the effectiveness of advocacy groups, and the notable successes of people with developmental disabilities living and working in Montana's communities.