Frequently Asked Questions


What is a developmental disability?

In Washington State a Developmental Disability is defined as:

  • Being attributable to an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, another neurological or other condition found by the department to be closely related to an intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for individuals with an intellectual disability which:   

               - Originates prior to age eighteen
               - Is expected to continue indefinitely and
               - Results in substantial limitations to an individual's  cognitive and/or adaptive functioning

  • Children age 6 through 9: May be determined eligible due to developmental delays applicable to children under age 6 or other eligible conditions applicable to person age 10 and older.


  • Applicants age 10 and older: Must meet eligibility criteria for intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, another neurological or other condition similar to an intellectual disability with an IQ of 69 or below. 

How do you access services?

Call the Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities at 360.418.6108;

What resources are available?

Services for children and families include: early intervention, parent education, family resource coordination, parent to parent support, and family support.

Service for adults include: benefits analysis, competitive and supported employment programs.

Other services include: recreation and leisure, education, self-advocacy, and residential services.

What is Self Determination?

Throughout the country there are efforts to implement the principles of self-determination: freedom, control of resources, support, and responsibility. These are basic American values and rights that have often been denied people with developmental disabilities. During the last five-year plan, Clark County began a systems change to a self-directed system. This effort is expected to continue and expand during the next five years. Self-determination/self-directed services change the nature of the relationship between people with disabilities and those who provide services and run service systems. It requires an increased level of partnership and communication between families, agencies and system managers.

What is Clark County's role in providing developmental disabilities services?

Clark County is under legal mandate (RCW 71.A) to coordinate and provide services to people with developmental disabilities and their families and provide the following indirect services to the community.

  • Serve as an information and referral agency within the community for persons with developmental disabilities and their families;
  • Coordinate all local services for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to insure the maximum utilization of all available services;
  • Prepare comprehensive plans for present and future development of services and for reasonable progress toward the coordination of all local services to persons with developmental disabilities.