Mission: The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) partners with individual with intellectual disabilities and their families to plan for a good life that focuses on living and participating in their communities. Employment can lead to more independent and productive lives. DDS supports people of working age to achieve competitive integrated employment.
Philosophy: Oklahoma is one of the highest performing states in the nation for supporting people with intellectual disabilities in employment. As an employment first state, Oklahoma believes all citizens, including those with significant disabilities, are capable of employment and full participation in community life. Working is good for our health and well-being. It contributes to our happiness, helps us to build confidence, self-esteem, and rewards us financially.
Person-Centered approach: With this goal in mind, DDS takes a person-centered approach to employment, believing that each person is different, and that their employment pathway should center on that person's wants, needs, and desires when in pursuit of their goals. This pathway looks different for each person.
To best support the employment pathway, DDS provides several services to support people, regardless of where they are on their path to competitive integrated employment. These services are provided in a variety of community settings. Services include assessment, job development and placement, as well as on the job training and supports. Individuals can be supported in more than one type of employment service.
Frequently asked questions
Where do I start?
If you are a current waiver recipient and you are interested in employment services, contact your case manager. They are available to walk you through the process of identifying and provider and begin services.
If you are currently on the waiting list, you can begin by visiting providers in your area.
If I don't like my provider, can I change?
Yes. If at any time you would like to change your provider, you are welcome to do so. If you are a waiver recipient, please be sure and contact your case manager to inform them that a change is needed. On the waiting list, please communicate with your current provider and let them know.
I heard that I will lose my social security benefits if I go to work.Is that true?
No. It is true that your benefits may change over time, but only after you your pay exceeds your monthly social security benefit. For more information about this and support in evaluating your situation, please reach out to the Oklahoma Work Incentives and Assistance Project https://ncdet.ou.edu/en/work-incentives-planning/.
How do I become a provider?
Contact Regina Chace at Regina.Chace@okdhs.org
Provider Enrollment Trainings are conducted quarterly.