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Media Release: DIDD Achieves Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 11:10am

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

CONTACT: Cara Kumari
OFFICE: 615-613-1017

DIDD Achieves Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation

Four-year reaccreditation plan focuses on improving quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities

NASHVILLE—Four years after becoming the first state disabilities service delivery system in the nation to receive accreditation, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) achieved reaccreditation for Person-Centered Excellence Network Accreditation from CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership.

The reaccreditation extends through 2023 and recognizes the strides made over the past four years to support people receiving DIDD services to exercise their rights, make choices, and live the lives they envision for themselves.

CQL is a national leader in working with human service organizations to define, measure and improve the quality of life for people receiving supports and services.

“The accreditation process with CQL has placed the entire DIDD network’s focus on the areas that truly matter to people with disabilities,” DIDD Commissioner Debra K. Payne said. “The heart of the process is encouraging people with disabilities to advocate for themselves to ensure services are about what the person wants to achieve, not what others think they need.”

Accreditation focuses on how DIDD embraces and implements numerous best practices, person-centered approaches and proprietary tools, including the Basic Assurances. In the first two years alone, from 2014 to 2016, data collected shows DIDD made significant progress, with the largest gains coming in recognizing emerging support networks, developing plans that led to person-centered services, and providing meaningful work and/or activity choices for persons supported.

In addition, DIDD has tripled the number of self-advocate mentors in DIDD services. Self-Advocate mentors are providing support to their peers through training and education to advocate for and exercise their rights to live, work and engage with their communities as they desire.

“This accreditation demonstrates a deep commitment to person-centered practices by DIDD, provider organizations, people receiving services, families, and other stakeholders across Tennessee,” says Mary Kay Rizzolo, CQL President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re extremely proud to partner with them on their journey, and commend them for this tremendous accomplishment.”

DIDD’s Accreditation plan for the next four years will continue its focus on rights education and promotion, while strengthening internal approaches and practices in person-directed and person-centered planning, developing community partnerships, and integrated quality improvement. In addition, the department will continue to collect data on the Basic Assurances and Personal Outcome Measures to measure and track progress on the key quality of life indicators.


About the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is the state agency responsible for administration and oversight of community-based services for approximately 8,000 people with intellectual disabilities as well as 4,000 people through the Family Support Program. Every day, the department strives to support people to live rewarding and fulfilling lives. It does so by ensuring people are free to exercise rights, engage with their broader communities and experience optimal health. DIDD is the first state service delivery system in the nation to receive Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. It has also been recognized as a national leader in its efforts to increase competitive, community-based employment outcomes for people with disabilities.