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Department of Disabilities and Special Needs 



Welcome to the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) Website. We are currently working to enhance our website by making it easier for you to navigate.

SCDDSN is the state agency that plans, develops, oversees and funds services for South Carolinians with severe, lifelong disabilities of intellectual disability, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury and conditions related to each of these four disabilities. Our mission is to assist people with disabilities and their families in meeting needs, pursuing possibilities and achieving life goals, and to minimize the occurrence and reduce the severity of disabilities through prevention.

Share your suggestions on how we can enhance the value or quality of this site.

Special Information

Governor's Proclamation 2016 Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week


The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) is currently implementing a new strategic plan for increasing and improving delivery of high quality services and supports to individuals eligible for services and their families.

One of the key strategic issues is the recruitment and retention of qualified employees. Direct care professionals and supervisors are extremely vital to the care and supervision of DDSN consumers. Reducing staff turnover, reducing the number of vacancies and reducing the length of time it takes to fill vacancies are all broad goals we need to achieve.

Participation in this survey will help us achieve our goals.

Responses will be confidential, and answers cannot be traced back participants or the employer.

Please complete the survey now!

The survey will be available until September 23, 2016.

Thank you for your time, and participation!

Should you have any questions, please email Brittany Bush at

SURVEY: The State of Autism in South Carolina
SURVEY: The State of Autism in South Carolina

The South Carolina Autism Society is conducting a survey to assess The State of Autism in South Carolina. This is our most comprehensive evaluation to-date, and will help us determine areas of need statewide. This survey is designed for Self-Advocates, Family Members, Caregivers, Professionals, and the Community.

Responses will help us determine where to focus our efforts for new projects in the months to come. We would appreciate if you could share this with your staff and families you serve. Your views make a difference! Data will be compiled and may be used as evidence of need when applying for grants or other funding.

No information identifying any individual will be tracked or shared. The SC Autism Society does not sell any data, personal or otherwise.

Please complete the survey now!

Should you have any questions, please email Susan Leiby at

SC HCBS Statewide Transition Plan- Revised - PUBLIC NOTICE

SCDHHS will hold a live online webinar to discuss the revised Statewide Transition Plan draft for public input.

Date: Aug. 23, 2016
Time: Noon (will also be recorded for later viewing)

SCDHHS will also conduct nine regional public meetings to discuss the Statewide Transition Plan for public input. All meetings will be from 6-7 p.m. The schedule is in the attached Public Notice document.

Please feel free to also go to the DHHS website: for information on the HCBS Rule, the public notice, and the Statewide Transition Plan.

public notice statewide transition plan-draft

Autism - Parent to Parent Support Program Study

Voting Rights for People with Disabilities in SC

The Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Division of South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) announces anticipated state funding for projects that will increase evidence-based ThinkFirst injury prevention efforts in our state. State and local non-profit organizations, consumer groups, and/or local DSN Boards are eligible and encouraged to apply.

Applications must be received by Friday, July 29, 2016. Faxed or E-mailed copies will not be accepted. One (1) original and three (3) copies of applications must be mailed or delivered to:

Melissa Ritter, Interim Director
Head and Spinal Cord Injury Division
SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
3440 Harden Street Extension, Suite 240
Post Office Box 4706
Columbia, South Carolina 29240

Thinkfirst Injury Prevention Projects

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

South Carolina is requesting comment on The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified State Plan. The review and public comment period will close on Friday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Information on how and where to submit comments is listed within the file. Please see the link below.

WIOA Unified State Plan: Request for Public Comment (PDF)

Governor's Proclamation 2016 Disabilities Awareness Month

SC Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Statewide Transition Plan

The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has now published the Public Notice of the SC HCBS Statewide Transition Plan CMS Submission along with a copy of the SC HCBS Statewide Transition Plan as revised and submitted to CMS on March 31, 2016.

Public Notice Link

Statewide Transition Plan - Final Submission

In June 2015, DDSN released a Request for Proposal (RFP) focusing on the development of new service models for semi-independent community living. This is part of DDSN’s ongoing effort to promote opportunities for individuals to experience greater levels of autonomy, responsibility and decision-making. Two proposals were received and DDSN recently issued an Intent to Award.

DDSN is anxious to receive more proposals to bolster its pledge to offer and provide alternative residential options for people we support. Your participation is welcomed. Please review the proposal by clicking on the link below. If you should have any questions about the solicitation, or would like to discuss ideas you have for new service models, please contact Ben Orner at (803) 898-3520.

CIRIS Residential Service Model Contract Solicitation

SCDHHS Public Notice ID/RD HCBS Proposal

Public Notice Proposal Draft

Webinar on the HCB Settings Quality Review

DHHS Link to the Proposal

SCDHHS Seeks Community Input on Residential and Day Programs

DHHS has received an extension for the submission of the proposal through December 2015.

Autism Services Guidance

New CMS Final Rule

SCDHHS MCAC Update to the Home and Community-Based Waiver programs

The latest information on how to protect your Identity following the Cyber Attack of the South Carolina Department of Revenue.

Under the new law, the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" will be stripped from DDSN policy, procedures, standards, and the like. "Intellectual disability" and "individual with an intellectual disability" will be inserted in their place. Likewise, the combination of "mental retardation or a related disability" (aka MR/RD) will be replaced with "intellectual disability or a related disability" (aka ID/RD). In addition to these language changes, the following term will be stripped from DDSN policy, procedures, standards, and the like: "Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Mental Retardation" (aka "ICF/MR"). "Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities" (aka ICF/ID) will be inserted in their place. These changes will occur as laws and documents come up for revision over these next several years. The language swap will not alter the rights of individuals with disabilities nor will it alter the diagnostic criteria or conditions required for DDSN eligibility or for federal or state benefits.

Please use the link below if you would like to view the DDSN website in Spanish:

(This translation is provided as an unofficial, non-binding aid only. The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs does not in any way guarantee the accuracy, completeness, appropriateness, appearance, function or any other aspect of the translated result.

Por favor haga clic aquí para ver el sitio web DDSN en español. Gracias