need help


Find CCDC programs to help assist in advocating for you or someone you know with a disability.



Keep up to date with disability rights activities you care about. Choose a few topics or sign up for all of them!



Find the most common issues people with disabilities face and how CCDC can help.


Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (Part 1)

Submitted by The Arc of Adams County, January 29, 2018

Coloradans using the Supported Living Services (SLS) Waiver will have the option to consumer or self-direct some of their services.  People using some other Colorado waivers have had this opportunity since 2002. Until now those options have not been available in services specifically designed for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

This article is Part 1 of an introduction to Consumer Direction in Colorado. It is a three (3) part information mini-series written primarily to help families of people with I/DD to understand consumer direction in Colorado and decide if you want to use this option for your son or daughter. This 3 part mini-series will be sent over the next 2 weeks. It is not intended to give detailed information.

Consumer-directed services are one way to get your services. You can continue having an agency provide all of your services. If you have a family caregiver working for an agency you can also continue to use that option.

CDASS will be available in the Supported Living Services (SLS) Waiver in 2018. There has been no defined date for availability, click here for more information.

These are the Core Principles of consumer-directed services:


A person-centered system sees each person as multi-faceted rather than defined solely by the age or disability he or she happens to have.

As a tool to support system-wide person-centeredness, person-centered planning should be interactive and proactive, building upon a consumer’s preferences, strengths, and goals to create an individualized support system.

It should also be culturally responsive – written in the individual’s preferred language, using person-first language and examples that reflect the individual’s sense of cultural identity.

Your services in SLS are always supposed to be person-centered even if you do not want to use consumer-directed services.


Self-determination is the value that should shape all services in a consumer’s person-centered plan.

The view of self-determination we have adopted here has six components:

  1. The freedom to decide how a person wants to live his or her life
  2. Authority over an individual budget
  3. The supports necessary to organize one’s life in a meaningful way
  4. A responsibility to use public dollars wisely
  5. A recognition that individuals with a wide range of disabilities can contribute in meaningful ways to their communities
  6. A confirmation that individuals have important roles to play in a reformed Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) system

Consumer Direction

Consumer direction emphasizes the power of people with disabilities to assess their own needs and make choices about the services that would best meet those needs.

In a consumer-directed system, individuals have the option to choose their services providers; to manage how, when and where their services are delivered, and to monitor the quality of those services. Consumers have control over whether they direct their own services at all. If they choose to direct their services, they control the extent of that direction.

Programs should thus be designed so that consumers can elect the traditional agency model for some or all of their services. When consumers exercise full self-direction, they (or their representatives) manage all aspects of service delivery, including the use of individual budgets.

CDASS is Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services

What is it?

  • It is a service delivery option or the way you get your services delivered.
  • There are rules covering the CDASS option.
  • What does it let me do?
  •  You can choose who you want to work for you.
  • You are the employer for your staff & have employer responsibilities.
  • You hire your support staff and decide what to pay them (within the guidelines of CDASS).
  • Manage your CDASS service budget.
  • Decide where you want your services to be delivered.

Am I eligible?

  • If you are enrolled in SLS you can use the CDASS option.
  • If you are going to enroll in SLS, you can use the CDASS option once you are in SLS.
  • CDASS clients must be in Stable Health as indicated by their physician.
  • What services can I use with the CDASS option?
  • The only services you can use under the CDASS option are:
    • Personal care
    • Homemaker
    • Enhanced homemaker
    • Health maintenance activities

What are Health Maintenance Activities (HMA)?

Home Health Agencies provide skilled nursing services often using a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA).  HMA offer the same skilled services but under CDASS they do not have to be provided by a CNA.  The Nurse Practice Act is waived.  You hire and teach the staff to provide those services for you.  This doesn’t prevent you from using a CNA, Licensed Practical Nurse or an RN to provide this service.  You are just not required to do so.

Your current services in the SLS waiver are defined in your Service Plan. All SLS Service Plans have a funding limit based on your SPAL (Service Plan Authorization Limit).  This amount is different for everyone.

If you choose to use the CDASS service delivery option, the homemaker, enhanced homemaker, and personal care services you consumer direct along with your other SLS services must be within your SLS Plan Limit.

The funds for Health Maintenance Activities are outside of your SLS Plan.

Think about if you are interested.

  • Are you are currently receiving home health services (health maintenance activities)?
  • Do you have personal care, homemaker services and/or enhanced homemaker services in your SLS plan?
  • If you want to consumer direct any of those services in your plan, you will have to consumer direct all of them with the CDASS option.

Next week – Part 2: How does CDASS work and who will help me?

From the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance:

In preparation for expansion of Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (CDASS) into the Supported Living Services (SLS) waiver, Consumer Direct of Colorado will be hosting three information sessions for people interested in using this option. The sessions are available to be attended in-person or call in/webinar option to receive more information about participant directed options. In-person space is limited, and registration in advance is required. Click here for dates times and registration.

You may contact Consumer Direct Colorado at any time for more information about CDASS (844-381-4433) or email at

*If you are interested in Consumer Directing your Services & need help, you can appoint someone to help. Learn more in Part 3.

**Your Case Manager/Resource Coordinator still needs to receive training before they can actively help you with CDASS.

Do not call your Case Manager/Resource Coordinator yet – there will be an announcement in this mini-series after they have been trained.

For additional information, contact The Arc of Adams County at 303-428-0310 or

Important Notice
CCDC’s employees and/or volunteers are NOT acting as your attorney. Responses you receive via electronic mail, phone, or in any other manner DO NOT create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition (CCDC), or any employee of, or other person associated with, CCDC. The only way an attorney-client relationship is established is if you have a signed retainer agreement with one of the CCDC Legal Program attorneys.

Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

Verified by ExactMetrics
A+ A-