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Getting Services

Are you looking for support services but don’t know where to start? While we’re always happy to discuss the process over the phone, here’s an outline of the steps to take. 

Developmentally Disabled Qualifications

To receive services through the State of Alaska, a person must first be determined developmentally disabled according to state law. The state defines this as a “severe, chronic disability that is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments, which manifests before the individual attains age 22 and is likely to continue indefinitely.” With this, the individual must also have substantial limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living (applicable to individuals 16 years and older), or economic self-sufficiency (applicable to individuals 16 years and older who aren’t enrolled in an education program).

Apply for Eligibility

An application for eligibility can be done with the help of the STAR coordinator at Southeast Alaska Independent Living. REACH partners with SAIL, to help guide you through the application process.

Complete Developmental Disabilities Registration and Review Paperwork

If an individual is determined eligible the next step is to complete the Developmental Disabilities Registration and Review paperwork. STAR coordinators at SAIL can help. This paperwork will provide the individual with a score based on their functional needs and current life situation. The score is driven by their level of need. It is important to update the individual’s DDRR if there is a significant life change and an increase or decrease in care needs. The individual’s score will place them on a list of people who are waiting for services provided through Medicaid.

State of Alaska Approves Application

A certified letter will arrive from the State inviting the individual to apply for an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Waiver or an Individualized Supports Waiver (ISW). This letter may take some time to arrive and the speed at which the individual is invited to apply for a Medicaid waiver is based on their DDRR score. Once the individual is invited to apply for either waiver, they will need to select a care coordinator.

Apply for REACH Services

Every individual who wishes to receive services from REACH must apply for an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Waiver or an Individualized Supports Waiver from the State of Alaska. Currently, there is a waitlist to apply for an IDD and ISW waiver.

REACH Creates a Plan of Care

REACH’s Waiver Services team partners with individuals, their families, guardians, care coordinators and the State of Alaska to build sustainable and personalized goals that encourage growth and independence. This goal building process is created using a Person-Centered approach. According to the Alaska Division of Senior and Disabilities Services, “Person-Centeredness is an approach in which the participant defines what is important to them. A participant who is accessing services is a whole person with resources and experiences that influence who they are today. Within this approach, individuals have real choices for daily life and life direction rather than just from ‘the menu’ of waiver services.” Ultimately, once the goals have been agreed upon by everyone, they are turned into an official document called a Plan of Care.

REACH Services Begin

Once REACH receives the final Plan of Care, a one-on-one intake appointment will be scheduled between our quality assurance director, a support services manager, the individual, their guardian and the care coordinator to finish final paperwork. The REACH team will also assign an available direct service professional to help the individual meet their goals and live meaningful lives in their community.

Have more questions? Please reach out to:

For Group Home & Assisted Living Program Information:

Hannah Ashenfelter, Director of Operations



For all other Waiver Services Information:

Paul Spaulding, Support Services Director



For Supported Employment Information:

Laurel Stafford, Supported Employment Director


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Man with Down Syndrome Playing Violin
Enjoying the Woods
Tending Plants
Reading Braille
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