Intellectual/developmental disabilities are severe, chronic conditions that occur before the age of 22 and are attributable to physical and/or mental impairments.

Examples of intellectual/developmental disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism. Intellectual/developmental disability may result in limited functioning in:

  • Self-care
  • Speech and language
  • Learning
  • Mobility
  • Self-direction
  • Ability to live independently or to support oneself financially
A young man with a developmental disabilities coloring in a book with markers.
A large group of adults of different ages and different disabilities smiling at the camera.

What is Self-Determination?

Self-determination is a process that assists the person in designing and exercising control over their own life and directs a fixed amount of  Medicaid dollars that will be spent on authorized supports and services, often referred to as an “individual budget.”

Self-direction is a method for moving away from professionally managed models of supports and services. It is the act of selecting, directing, and managing one’s services and supports. People who self-direct their services are able to decide how to spend their CMH services budget with support, as desired.

Methods of self-direction are built upon the five principles of self-determination:

1. Freedom: Deciding how to live a good life
2. Authority: Controlling a targeted amount of dollars
3. Support: Organizing resources in ways that are life-enhancing and meaningful
4. Responsibility: Using public funds wisely
5. Confirmation: Having a role in redesigning the service system

Available Services

  • Supported Employment
  • Community Living Support
  • Individualized Assessment & Treatment Planning
  • Family Education & Support
  • Respite Care
  • Skill-Building
  • Case Management

NOTE: For a full list of services and definitions, please see the updated Customer Handbook on Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health’s website:

  1. Click here for the Documents & Resources webpage.
  2. Scroll down to Member Documents and click on it.
  3. Select and download the Customer Handbook (in English or Spanish).

How do I receive services?

The first step to receiving services is to contact our Access Center. The staff at the Access Center will do an initial screening to determine what services you qualify for and connect you to those services.

Cost for services

Services are available through Medicaid insurance.