Projects / Programs

NASDDDS projects are multi-state endeavors to improve services and supports through learning collaboratives. As Justice Louis Brandeis said, "states may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments..."

State I/DD agencies have always been the laboratory for new ideas including person-centered practices, family support services, supported employment services and self-determination. To take new ideas to scale however, states must often redesign policies, develop new practices and implement system-wide change initiatives.

Working together with the support of experts in the field, not only state-wide but nation-wide change is possible.

  • National Core Indicators (NCI)

    The National Core Indicators (NCI) is a joint venture between NASDDDS and the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), of Cambridge, Mass was established in 1997. Performance data collected by NCI helps states answer fundamental questions such as

    • Are we providing quality service?
    • Are people healthy and safe?
    • Do services enable people to participate in family and community life?

    Today, NCI measures everything from whether individuals with development disabilities have jobs, have choices about where they live, have access to health care and if they feel services are accessible and coordinated.

    For information about state roles and costs, view NCI Overview and Costs.

    For information on federal fund participation for these costs, view Proper and Efficient Claiming for Federal Participation.

    For information about NCI participation contact Mary Lee Fay, Director of National Core Indicators at or 703-683-4202 or see the website for National Core Indicators.

    National Core Indicators (NCI) >>
  • State Employment Leadership Network

    State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) is a partnership of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) and the Institute of Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston (ICI).

    The SELN provides technical assistance and guidance to state I/DD agencies to develop more effective employment systems. The network is a place where states can connect, collaborate, problem solve and share resources that address the pressing employment-related issues that states face.

    Membership is open to state developmental disabilities agencies by entering into an annual agreement with NASDDDS.

    For more information on how to participate in State Employment Leadership Networkis available at the SELN website or contact either Rie Kennedy-Lizotte, Director of SELN; at or 703-683-4202 or Jeanine Zlockie, SELN Project Specialist at or 570-868-6320.

    State Employment Leadership Network >>
  • Community of Practice for Supporting Families

    The Supporting Families Project involves working with six states to develop systems of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    The Community of Practice (CoP) involves self-advocates and families in each of the six states. As learning and new practice models evolve, information will be made available to all states

    The Supporting Families Project is operated under a five year grant awarded to NASDDDS by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) beginning October 2012. Grant partners include University of Missouri Kansas City – Institute on Human Development (UMKC-IHD), Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) and the National Association of Councils of Developmental Disabilities (NACDD).

    For more information about the Community of Practice contact Mary Lee Fay, Director of National Core Indicators at or 703-683-4202 or the CoP website.

    Community of Practice for Supporting Families >>
  • Evidence-Based Policy

    Evidence Based Policy, a joint a partnership between NASDDDS and the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD), was established in 2010. The collaboration brings state policymakers together with university researchers to develop a research-based foundation for public policy and practice.

    Evidence Based Policy provides states with research information documenting effective policies, services and practices. For more information see the Evidence Based Policy Initiative website.

    Evidence-Based Policy >>