Monkeypox: Get the Facts COVID-19 Updates

Community Life Engagement

Community Life Engagement (CLE) refers to supporting people in their communities in non-work activities. Examples of CLE activities may include participating in clubs, classes or recreational activities in the community, learning new skills to become more independent, volunteering or retirement activities.

ThinkWork Pilot Project

New Mexico was engaged in a Community Life Engagement Research Project though ThinkWork! The Developmental Disabilities Supports Division worked with 4 partner agencies in New Mexico to develop a Community Life Engagement Toolkit with best practices related to CLE. Our partner agencies included All Individuals First in Los Alamos, the ARCA ACES program in Albuquerque, Benchmark Human Services in Santa Fe and Collins Lake Ranch in Cleveland, NM.

The CLE project has developed four guideposts quality services. They are:

  1. Individualize supports for each person.
  2. Promote community membership and contribution.
  3. Use human and social capital to decrease dependence on paid supports.
  4. Ensure that supports are outcome-oriented and regularly monitored.

DDSD then worked with our partner agencies to determine methodology to support each guidepost.

Shining Stars Project

The Shining Star Project is designed to lift up the accomplishments of people working together toward a common purpose. This project was originally started by Beth Mount, a national consultant, in 2014. Along with regional and statewide DDSD staff, family members and direct support staff and friends, she guided participants through a process of describing their lives while producing their portrait and telling their stories, including sharing their accomplishments and their dreams for the future. DDSD has continued the tradition and operates Shining Stars events in each region on an annual basis.

For more information, please contact a community inclusion coordinator in any of our Regional Offices.

Current Policies, Procedures and Director’s Releases

Person-Centered Assessment

Please see the following release regarding Person-Centered Assessments and guidance.


Please see the Community Inclusion Definitions document for a list of common terms and their meanings.

Learn More

Training and Technical Assistance

DDSD Community Inclusion Coordinators at the DDSD Regional Offices are available to assist with developing new ideas and break down barriers for individuals with developmental disabilities to engage with communities. They are available to provide consultation on an array of topic areas related to community life engagement.

Meaningful Day Idea Book

The Meaningful Day Idea Book was developed by DDSD. It is a collection of ideas and suggestions for supporting people in a meaningful way in New Mexico. This book will be updated in 2017.

Waiver Services

Developmental Disabilities Waiver

The DD Developmental Disabilities Waiver program provides an array of residential, in home, community, employment, therapeutic and family support services for children and adults. DD Waiver services are intended to add to, not replace, other supports a person has like medical services through New Mexico’s Medicaid State Plan, natural supports and other community services. You can also learn more about customized Community Supports and Employment through the DD Waiver program.

Mi Via Self-Directed Waiver

Mi Via, which means “my path,” “my way” or “my road,” is designed for participants who have disabilities to manage their own services and supports. The Mi Via Self-Directed Waiver is about choosing to self-direct home and community-based services, supports and goods within an approved plan and budget. With the assistance of a Consultant, participants develop their own Service and Support Plan (SSP) to meet their functional, medical, and social needs. Participants decide what services they need and how to spend their Mi Via budget.