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Interim committee studying North Dakota's developmental disabilities services

Chris Jones Informal Portrait
Poppy Mills/NDDOT
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In element portrait of Human Services Director Chris Jones

A Legislative interim committee is studying the state’s developmental disabilities services and autism spectrum disorder programs.

The interim Human Services committee is hiring a consultant to look at what services are provided and where any gaps are.

"Our number one goal is to make sure that people can live within the community, can participate in the community, can lead successful lives in the community, and let them define their success," said North Dakota Human Services director Chris Jones. "We're making sure we provide them the right level of support, based on what they want to be in each of their communities."

Jones said the study will also take a look at workforce issues.

"As we all know, the workforce is becoming more difficult to come by," Jones said. "But we have an obligation to serve those individuals with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities, helping them to be the best they can be."

Jones said the state has come a long way in moving people out of institutions, and into community settings.

"I think we're doing okay, but we can always do better," Jones said. "If you go back to the 1980s, we had a whole lot of individuals warehoused. Now we have fewer and fewer people in institutions today then we did even four years ago."

Results of the study by the consultant are expected in mid-2022.

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