Thousands of New Mexicans with developmental disabilities make valuable contributions in their community

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) joins state and national partners in recognizing and celebrating March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and uses this year’s commemoration to promote respect for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to build awareness and understanding of the opportunities, challenges and needs they face. 

“We are dedicated to enabling persons with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential and live independent, self-sufficient and productive lives,” said NMDOH Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “We take this opportunity to highlight the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life and share the stories of those living with developmental disabilities to show that a successful life is possible.”

The Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Supports Division (DDSD) administers essential programs and services to nearly 22,000 New Mexicans and their families that sustain the quality of life for individuals with development disabilities, including residential supports, community inclusion, employment, case management, behavior supports, respite, early intervention, nursing and many other supports. 

Administered by NMDOH, the Developmental Disabilities Waiver, the Mi Via Waiver and the Medically Fragile Waiver are also supported by the New Mexico Department of Human Services and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Legislature have prioritized funding for services to individuals with developmental disabilities during the 2019 Legislative Session. A proposed $7 million in the Executive and Legislative budgets is targeted to remove individuals from the wait list to be served by the current traditional or Mi Via waivers, and will allow NMDOH to provide critical services to a greater number of families. In addition, both Executive and Legislative budgets set aside $1.5 million to create a new Supports Waiver with a different array of services.

NMDOH works in collaboration with the New Mexico Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Center for Development and Disability at the University of New Mexico and other advocacy and provider groups to improve services and supports for New Mexicans with developmental disabilities and their families. 

For more information about DDSD services in New Mexico, visit https://nmhealth.org/about/ddsd/. 

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