It’s Natural to Belong


It’s Natural to Belong was a workshop presented by the Community Guides from Total Living Concept  to help in creating community opportunities for people with disabilities.   These services are available to anyone (paid or not paid) on the DDD caseload who are not receiving residential services.

These two women who presented were dynamic and had a seemingly endless wealth of information on finding community opportunities.  I would highly recommend a call to them to inquire to see if they may help you or your family in making connections in the community.

See below for the information from the Division of Developmental Disabilities Webpage about the Community Guide program.  This is FREE to those who are eligible – Take advantage of these wonderful services!



Community Guide

A Community Guide is a support person whose role is to help your family become more connected to resources in your community. Working with your family on a short-term basis, the Guide will focus on specific concerns that you have identified on your Family Support Opportunity plan. Guides are knowledgeable about developmental disabilities, community resources, family concerns and problem solving.

How can a community guide assist my family?

Depending on your family’s needs, the role of the Community Guide can vary. Some of the ways a Community Guide can assist your family are:

  • Providing information about parent support groups
  • Linking you to recreational resources in your community
  • Providing you with additional information about your son or daughter’s disability
  • Helping you locate equipment, or coordinate household modifications for your son or daughter
  • Connecting you to counselors, therapists, doctors
A pencil illustration by Martha Penske of a man talking with a woman in a wheelchair. Read success stories about Community Guides.

read success stories
Sometimes a Community Guide will directly access services for you. In other instances, the Guide will give you information that will support you in accessing resources on your own.

How do I get connected to a community guide?

Your family support case manager will help connect to a community guide. As part of the Family Support Opportunity, you may be offered the following services: Medicaid Personal Care/CAP, Short-term Intervention Funding, and a Community Guide. If you choose the services of a Community Guide, your case manager will link you with a guide in your area who is personally suited for your family.

You have the option of requesting a different guide if you feel the connection is not suitable. No explanation is needed. Call your case manager to request a change.

How much time will a community guide work with me?

Your Community Guide is assigned to work with you for approximately eight (8) hours annually. Generally the Guide will provide this service within a one to three month period. At the beginning of your renewal year, you can request Guide services again.

What can I expect working with a guide?

Initially, the Guide will meet with you in person and help you prioritize the area in which he/she will assist you. The guide may link you directly to resources or may provide you with detailed information. At the conclusion of your time together, the guide will meet with you in your home for a final review of your plan.