A supportive community is critical to a good life for people at every stage of life.

Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services works to empower people with disabilities to create a vision and develop communities that can help them achieve their best life.


Supporting Families

Hamilton County DD Services believes families play a key role in creating a vision for the best life for their family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We recognize “family” is a broad term and can include parents, siblings, grandparents, extended families and others. Hamilton County DD Services also supports family-led efforts to build inclusive communities, offers family trainings like the Future is Now, conducts outreach to underserved communities, and engages with families through critical times and life stages.

Our goal is to create real opportunities to regularly engage with family and friends, contribute to and be part of the community, get a job and an education, and live a life reflective of a person’s individual choices.

Looking for information on summer camps? compiles a list of many local summer camps. 


A Focus on Empowerment

We work to bridge the gap between disability-based supports and natural supports in the community. This includes sharing information, skill building and expanding the circle of support. We provide tools needed to visualize a meaningful life and put steps in place to build it, emphasizing activities and opportunities that already exist in the community. We also work with partners, businesses and organizations to build a welcoming community so people with DD can pursue their passions and interests. Our focus is empowering people with disabilities to more fully join their neighborhoods and communities as genuine, engaged citizens. 


Our Community Navigators have compiled a list of local activities where you can get involved and build connections with others who have similar interests. You can find the local activity resources here

Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities does not have a program for external volunteers. If you want to volunteer with people with disabilities, reach out to one of our community partners. See a list of potential volunteer opportunities here.

If you’re a provider looking for ways to better promote community inclusion in your services, Hamilton County DD Services is available to consult with you. 


Hamilton County has an active advocacy community working on inclusion, accessibility, voting rights, housing and a variety of other issues. Many individuals and family members serve on boards or committees and are active in efforts to make the community better. Advocates with developmental disabilities share their unique gifts, traits, opinions, contributions and needs with the community. 

Hamilton County DD Services has two advocacy support advisers: Diana Mairose and Robert Shuemak. They are a resource to provide quality information, training, encouragement and additional tools so families and individuals can effectively advocate for themselves or others.

Advocacy means letting others know what is important to and for you. You can take part in what’s important in your life, either on your own or with people you choose to help you. You don’t need special talents or permission to advocate for yourself or others


This starts with getting to know what you need and want in life, and helping others get to know you. It's important to find ways to let others know how we think and feel and work out our differences.


Whatever your disability, you have so much to offer! As you learn to use your voice and make choices to improve your life, you may want to share your gifts and talents to help others have a good life, too.


As you figure out what issues are important in your life, you may want to work together to improve rules, laws, and how others are treated. You can work with organizations and people to improve lives.

If you have a developmental disability and are interested in an individualized advocacy education, contact Advocacy Coordinator Amber Cowart.