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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.

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 aqui para ver el sitio web DDSN en español. Gracias

Special Information

Hurricane and Case Managers Emergency Plans

On September 6th, Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and, along with the S.C. Emergency Management Division, has urged South Carolinians to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Irma impacting the state. The SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) is preparing accordingly. Case Managers are encouraged to stay informed about local emergency resources including shelters, specifically special needs shelters. Please consider those on caseloads who may need assistance in implementing the Emergency Plans developed at the time of annual planning. DDSN advises case managers to reach out to these individuals. The link to the SC Emergency Management Division Hurricane Resource Guide for your information: SC Hurricane Guide.

Thank you for your efforts and dedication in assuring the safety of the individuals we serve.

DDSN state partners have also shared the following shareable links and additional resources:
  1. Free Workplace Emergencies and Natural Disasters: Hurricanes Relias Course

    With Hurricane Irma rapidly approaching Florida and looking to make her way up to South and North Carolina, Relias has decided to make its Workplace Emergencies and Natural Disasters: Hurricanes Relias Course available for free to the general population. Media at the national, regional and local levels that this course is available to anyone at no cost. If you have family or friends who will potentially be affected by Irma, please feel free to pass this course along to them.

    By going to Irma Prep, people can add the course to their cart, sign in or sign up on the site, and at check out, the course will register as free. The course is available in both Spanish and English.

    This course is designed to help people know how to:
    • Take appropriate protective actions to prepare your workplace and gather supplies when a Hurricane Watch or Hurricane Warning is issued.
    • Choose the safest place to shelter during a hurricane.
    • Avoid hazards found in the aftermath of a hurricane.

    The course includes information on what to do before a storm (Emergency Kit, Go Bag, etc.), during a storm and after a storm.

  2. Please take a look at several of the resources that can be on found on the webpage of the US Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, under Disaster Preparedness: DHS Antidiscrimination. Please feel free to share this information.
    1. Tips for Effectively Communicating with the Whole Community- This link discusses practices regarding effective communication which can help jurisdictions meet their obligations to carry out their disaster related activities in a non-discriminatory manner.
    2. Guide to Interacting with People Who Have Disabilities- Information on disability sensitivity and access.
    3. Notice for Recipients on Nondiscrimination in Disasters- Facts on entities that receive federal financial assistance that are engaged in emergency management (e.g., state and local emergency management agencies, other recipients) and their sub-recipients of federal funds, of their obligations to ensure that individuals and communities affected by disasters do not face unlawful discrimination in the provision of federally assisted services to disaster survivors.
    4. Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities in the Provision of Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services- This document focuses on the equal access requirements for people with disabilities that apply to the points-of-service that address human needs, specifically the functions and activities comprising Emergency Support Function 6 (Disaster Mass Care, Housing, and Human Services).

DDSN FY 2018-2019 Budget Request Stakeholder Forum

Thinkfirst Injury Prevention Projects

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 Monday, July 31, 2017. 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, 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

DDSN Provider Partners and Stakeholders Notification

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is pleased to announce they have updated their website to include information regarding the PCG site visits. Please take a moment to review at If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Eifert at

New Online Self-Serve Screening

Beginning December 1, 2016, SCDDSN will offer two (2) entry points for beginning the eligibility process.

  1. New: Online access to self-serve screening available at
  2. Continued Toll Free Access (1-800-289-7012)
    8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Public Reporting of Provider Data

DHHS has received Initial Approval of their HCBS Statewide Transition Plan effective November 4, 2016.

**SC Statewide Transition Plan**       **CMS Approval Letter**

A copy of the Initial Approval is available on the CMS website at:

Please find 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 October 28, 2016.

PUBLIC NOTICE       SC Satewide Transition Plan

This information is also available on the SCDHHS HCBS website at:

Autism - Parent to Parent Support Program Study

Voting Rights for People with Disabilities in SC

Autism Services Guidance

New CMS Final Rule