State Developmental Disabilities Programs and Information

Address: PO Box 7851
Madison, WI 53707-7851
Phone: (608) 267-5139 Email: Website:

By 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: (a) 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,  (b) It is manifested before the person reaches age 2, (c) It is likely to continue indefinitely, (d) 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.  The state offers the following services: Children's Long-Term Support Waivers; Community Integration Program (CIP I); Developmental Disability Centers; Disability Benefits Counseling; Employment Services; Family Care and Family Care Partnership; Independent Living Centers; IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct); Long-Term Care and Support Resources; Relocation Initiative; Residential Options; Voting Rights and Resources.

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