Our Services

We enjoy working with our consumers!

See a brief overview of our services below.

At the Richland/Lexington Disabilities and Special Needs Board we are committed to providing quality services to people with disabilities. We strive to help people reach their maximum potential.

Services are based on need and availability of resources. Sometimes our consumers need a service or support; however, it may not be possible to receive the service or support because of waiting lists or funding constraints.

Our Services 

Step Ahead (Early Intervention)

Step Ahead is our Early Intervention program.  It is a family directed program that provides services designed to intervene at the early stages of an infant or toddler’s development to help them to reach their developmental potential.  Early Intervention is designed to provider intervention at the earliest stages of development to help children to overcome a wide range of delays and problems.  There is no cost for early intervention – regardless of income.  In South Carolina, BabyNet is the program that determines who is eligible for early intervention based on federal guidelines.  If you have questions about Early Intervention our Step Ahead EI’s will be glad to talk with you.  Please feel free to call us at 1-800-809-1475 or locally at 803-252-5179.

The Lead Agency for South Carolina’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C program, known as “BabyNet,” will be transferred from SC Firsteps to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services effective July 1, 2017.

Case Management

Case Management assists people with disabilities and special needs to access the full array of services and supports needed.  Our Case Managers will work with you to complete a comprehensive assessment to be used in developing your individualized Support Plan.  Your Case Manager will work with you to identify resources to meet your needs based on your preferences and choices.  You have a choice of Case Management Providers.  If you have questions about Case Management we will be glad to talk with you.  Feel free to call us toll-free at 1-800-809-1475 or locally at 803-252-5179.


Respite can be provided to consumers unable to care for themselves.  It is provided on a short-term basis because of the absence or need for relief of those people normally providing care. Respite can be used to prevent or relieve stress or to help families resolve a crisis.

Family Support Stipend

Family Support Funding is to provide, when needed, “financial assistance to families who care for an individual” who is eligible for DDSN services.  Family Support is intended to: “provide relief from the responsibilities of direct, hands-on caregiving and supervision; or Improve an unsafe, risky or dangerous situation.”  It is to be used for “those families who incur additional expenses” because of a DDSN eligible consumer’s disability.  “It is not intended to be used for typical expenses that are routinely incurred by families such as rent, utilities, childcare/babysitting for children under age 12, etc.”  This funding “is not an entitlement program or a general public assistance benefit. … it is intended to be limited, one-time or short term; it is not intended to be ongoing.”  For more information please see DDSN Directive 734-01-DD Individual and Family Support and Respite – State Funding.

Medicaid Waivers

A Medicaid Waiver is a vehicle that states can use to test new or existing ways to deliver and pay for health care services in Medicaid.  In 1981 the Social Security Act was amended to allow states to choose to offer Medicaid funding for long-term care services to be received in people’s homes as opposed to an institution.  The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) administers several waivers for the SC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS):  Intellectual Disability and Related Disabilities (ID/RD) Waiver, Community Supports (CS) Waiver, Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Waiver, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) Waiver (link for more information).  DHHS also operates several other waivers such as:  Community Choices, HIV/AIDS, Mechanical Ventilator, Medically Complex Children’s Waivers.  Your Case Manager or Step Ahead Early Interventionist can provide you with additional information about these great resources.

Community Training Home I (CTH I)

A CTH I is first and foremost a home.  A CTH I is a specialized, community-based residential option that provides a safe living environment for people of all ages.   CTH I’s are private homes in the community in which a person with a disability lives with a trained caregiver.  Each CTH I must pass an extensive series of safety and licensing inspections in order to ensure health, safety, and welfare of participants.  Our consumers living in these homes receive Residential Habilitation which includes skills training and supervision based on individualized needs..

Referral and Linkage

Our Case Managers and Step Ahead Early Interventionists will work with you and your family to develop a comprehensive, person-centered plan.  This plan will help to identify your individualized service needs.  We will then help you to identify services and service providers based on your choices and preferences.  Services may include but not be limited to genetic services, residential options, supported employment assistance and services, day program services, career preparation, adult day health services, Medicaid Waiver services, and more based on your specific situation and needs.

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