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Supported Living: Making the Difference


Watch our new Supported Living Success Story Videos below:











Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project logoThis initiative is made possible through a collaborative relationship between the NCCDD and North Carolina Money Follows the Person Project (NC MFP), a Medicaid project that assists Medicaid-eligible North Carolinians who live in inpatient facilities to move into their own homes and communities with supports.

Launching this initiative in partnership with the NC Money Follows the Person program (NC MFP) is a natural step for the Council, since it follows an earlier initiative entitled Seeing is Believing (SIB).  From 2008 to 2010, the NCCDD sponsored the Seeing is Believing initiative.  This initiative facilitated a learning collaborative of interested I/DD providers to examine how to better facilitate the practice of individuals with I/DD to live in their own homes. Click here to view the final report for the Seeing is Believing Initiative.

Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?Goal2

  • Many individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) in North Carolina have not had access to one of the most person-centered service options available: receiving supports needed in one’s own home.
  • Services provided to people with I/DD are increasingly shifting to smaller scale settings, including group homes, host families or private homes but still do not provide person-centered, individualized supports.
  • While smaller, congregate settings offer physical integration into the communities, they rarely provide the opportunity for true, inclusive community integration.
  • This initiative supports NCCDD's Goal 2 of the current Five Year Plan: Increase community living for individuals with I/DD.

What are the major goals and objectives?

  • Expand and strengthen North Carolina’s capacity to support people with I/DD to participate in supported living.
  • Launch a stakeholder group known as the Learning Community to support individuals with I/DD and their families, MCO and state staff to build a clarified understanding of supported living concepts and improve their capacity to support individuals to utilize the service.
  • Provide technical assistance to providers and direct support staff on practices that facilitate supported living.

What has taken place since the start of the program? (Activities)

  • Launched a statewide kickoff event to promote the supported living waiver service and provide opportunities for stakeholders to become engaged in the work that will shape the future direction of the service.
  • Partnered with 4 pilot demonstrations agencies to serve up to 24 individuals in models to learn and evaluate the supported living service.
  • Provided opportunities to participate in webinars and workshops to expand the understanding of the supported living service, including meetings focused on better supporting individuals with the highest level of support needs.
  • Developed a supported living guidebook to understand, transition to and evaluate supported living services.

What has been achieved to date?

  • Information about the initiative was shared in the Mountain Xpress on March 15, 2017 reaching an estimated audience of 25,000 readers.
  • Hosted kick-off conference, “Supported Living: A Shared Vision” in Greensboro on March 28 and 29, 2017 attended by 282 people.
  • Keynote presentation and breakout sessions offered to reinforce initiative at NC Training, Instruction, Development, and Education (TIDE) conference in Wilmington on April 24, 2017 and sessions in Asheville on October 24 and 25, 2017.
  • Presentations focused on NCCDD’s Supported Living and Rethinking Guardianship initiatives to Vaya Provider Advisory Council I/DD Subcommittee on May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017.
  • Presentations at state-operated Developmental Centers, including the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center on May 19, 2017 and at the Murdoch Developmental Center on May 24, 2019.
  • Presentation at Provider Summit and Learning Academy on December 13, 2017 to advance initiative.
  • With Community Bridges Consulting Group, launched the on-line Learning Community with “Supported Living 101” webinar on September 25, 2017 and hosted the Health vs. Safety and Risk vs. Liability” webinar on December 11, 2017.
  • Hosted eight Learning Community webinars in 2018-2019: four facilitated by each of the providers and four that focused on topics that impact transitions to supported living: the coordination of healthcare,
  • Supported Decision-Making, Direct Support Professional credentialing, and an examination of survey data.
  • Hosted two stakeholder meetings in April 2018 to discuss individuals with the highest level of needs and developed a list of common issues/challenges and priorities for the initiative to address.
  • Hosted three Virtual Stakeholder Meetings in 2018 and 2019 to give family members and people with I/DD a way to inform the system without needing to travel for a face-to-face meeting.
  • Presented at the 2018 National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) Annual Conference in Maryland on July 11, 2018.
  • Conducted a Beyond Behaviors Workshop led by I/DD behavioral health expert David Pitonyak on July 31, 2018. 199 individuals participated.
  • Developed an initiative page on Vaya Health’s website: https://www.vayahealth.com/learn-more/idd/supportedliving/
  • Made a Learning Journey to Project Transition near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in March 2019.
  • Presented at the NC Providers Council Conference on October 11, 2019.
  • Produced success story video vignettes shared at the “Supported Living: Including Everyone” Conference in Cary on October 29-30, 2019. The conference featured I/DD behavioral health expert David Pitonyak and a panel of 8 individuals with I/DD living in their own homes.
  • Finishing the Supported Living Guidebook/Resource Manual titled “It’s My Home.”
  • 45 people have moved into their own homes, 18 from group living arrangements.

What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?

All activities related to this Supported Living initiative will be that individuals interested in choosing the supported living option have organizational support to do so.

How can I get involved?

This initiative will launch a learning community around the work of the supported living initiative.

What is a Supported Living Learning Community? Stakeholders who meet regularly with the facilitation of the Contractor to learn about supported living concepts and serve as a resource to this initiative to advance the outcomes of this initiative. Learning Community members are comprised of interested stakeholders from, but not limited to, the following organizations:

  • Provider organizations
  • Self-advocates
  • Family members
  • MCO staff
  • State staff
  • Interested community networks and organizations
  • Organizational partners and identified advisory team

If you are interested in participating in the work of this initiative as a member of the Supported Living Learning community, please click here to fill out the form.

Who is the contractor?

vaya health logo

Who can I contact for questions?

Grantee: Jesse Smathers, [email protected]

NCCDD: Philip Woodward, Systems Change Manager, [email protected]

NC Money Follows the Person Demonstration Project: Steve Strom, Project Director, steve.strom@dhhs.nc.gov

Click here to download a pdf of this initiative.

Webinar Series

Additional Resources

Supported Living: Making the Difference: Year 3 Findings and Recommendations Final Report. Access the report (2020)

Supported Living: Making the Difference: Year 2 Findings and Recommendations Final Report. Access the report (2019)

Moving from Crisis to Stabilization: The Case for Professionalizing the Direct Support Workforce through Credentialing, (A blueprint for how a national credentialing standard will positively transform the intellectual and developmental disabilities service delivery system.) - Click here to access the report (February 2019)

Supported Living: Making the Difference: Year 1 Findings and Recommendations Final Report. Access the report (2018)

Supported Living Definition: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs Part II) (October 2017)

NC Innovations Clinical Policy (Supported Living starts on page 108 of the hardcopy version) (Nov 2016)

Developing Roommate Agreements under the NC Innovations Waiver Supported Living Service Definition (Nov 2016)

Supported Living Introductory Presentation by Patti Scott and John O’Brien (April 2016)

A Guide to Supported Living Concepts and NC Innovations’ Supported Living Service Definition: FAQs Part I (Apr 2016)

Presentations from the Supported Living: A Shared Vision Conference             

Click on each presentation title below to download a PDF copy.

The Future is Now (Or Why Staying in the Same Place Isn't an Option), presented by Nancy Weiss,     
University of Delaware, National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities 

Advancing Technology by Megan Roberson, Trillium Health Resources

Housing Options by Maggi Gurling, The Arc of North Carolina

Click here for more Supported Living Resources 


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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

Office Hours: 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday
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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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