Changing Lives Today specializes in finding out how the individual wants their life and their future to look.  Input comes from the person themselves, their family members, friends and other circle of supports in the person’s life. We take that information, and with our expert team, develop a plan to assist the person in obtaining those goals, the delivery of person-centered supports.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that may help you find the help your loved one needs.

You or your loved one needs to have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. (See “What is the definition of a developmental/Intellectual disability”.) To apply for a medicaid waiver you must complete a Developmental Disabilities Service Application.

The term “Developmental Disabilities” is an umbrella term that includes intellectual disability but also includes other disabilities that are apparent during childhood.

Developmental disabilities are severe chronic disabilities that can be cognitive or physical or both. The disabilities appear before the age of 22 and are likely to be lifelong. Some developmental disabilities are largely physical issues, such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy. Some individuals may have a condition that includes a physical and intellectual disability, for example Down syndrome or fetal alcohol syndrome.

Intellectual disability encompasses the “cognitive” part of this definition, that is, a disability that is broadly related to thought processes. Because intellectual and other developmental disabilities often co-occur, intellectual disability professionals often work with people who have both types of disabilities. (

We now tailor supports for each individual with intellectual/developmental in the form of a set of strategies and services provided over a sustained period.

Our goal is to enhance people’s functioning within their own community in order to lead a more successful and satisfying life. This enhancement is thought of in terms of self-worth, subjective well-being, pride, involvement in societal issues, and other principles of self-identity.

The term intellectual disability covers the same population of individuals who were diagnosed previously with mental retardation in number, kind, level, type, duration of disability, and the need of people with this disability for individualized services and supports. Furthermore, every individual who is or was eligible for a diagnosis of mental retardation is eligible for a diagnosis of intellectual disability.
While intellectual disability is the preferred term, it takes time for language that is used in legislation, regulation, and even for the names of organizations, to change. (Georgia §37-1-1.)

A CLA home is the person’s home and offers the same benefits associated with your home for instance.  It is not a “group home” as is often characterized or a personal care home but a home where each person can enjoy things such as gardening, decorating, or just relaxing in the family room.  The home is licensed by Health Care Facility Regulation Division, Department Of Community Health to provide placement for special needs participants in a small setting, no more than 4 or fewer participants to live.

The home folds into the community as a family model. The participants are 18 years or older and receive services, supports, care, or treatment.  The staff will provide personal services on a daily basis, providing assistance with ADL (activities of daily living), to include eating, bathing, grooming, dressing and toileting, additionally, supervision of medications, ambulation and transfer.   Only 4 participants or less may reside in a CLA Home.  The Community Residential Alternative (CRA) Program will provide the oversight under the guidance of Department of Behavior Health and Disability (DBHDD).

Person-Centered Planning (PCP) is a set of approaches designed to assist someone to plan their life and supports. It is used most often as a life planning model to enable individuals with disabilities requiring support to increase their personal self-determination and improve their own independence.

Person Centered Planning is a discovery process used to search out what is truly important to and about a person and what capacities and skills that individual possesses.

A Medicaid Waiver is money that can pay for services for people with developmental disabilities. These services can take place in the person’s home or in the community. Both children and adults can be supported by Medicaid Waiver services.

Medicaid usually pays for doctor appointments, hospital expenses, medicine, therapy and some adaptive equipment. The Medicaid Waiver allows for Medicaid to be used to pay for additional services.


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