OCDD Information for Individuals and Families

What is a Developmental Disability?

OCDD Information for Individuals and Families

According to statute reference - LA R.S. 28:451.2 "Developmental Disability" means either:

a.) A severe, chronic disability of an individual that:

i. Is attributable to an intellectual or physical impairment or combination of intellectual and physical impairments.

ii. Is manifested before the individual reaches age 22.

iii. Is likely to continue indefinitely.

iv. Results in substantial functional limitations in three (3) or more of the following areas of major life activity:

aa) Self-care.

bb) Receptive and expressive language.

cc) Learning.

dd) Mobility.

ee) Self-direction.

ff) Capacity for independent living.

gg) Economic self-sufficiency.

v. Is not attributed solely to mental illness.

vi. Reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services which are lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

b.) A substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition in a person from birth through age 9, which without services or support, has a high probability of resulting in those criteria in Subparagraph (a) of this paragraph later in life that may be considered to be a developmental disability.

Learn More About OCDD

The Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities is responsible for providing services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities in Louisiana. To learn more about the office’s leadership, mission, guiding principles and how to report a complaint or fraud, click here.

Learn more about System Transformation, click here.


Explore EarlySteps


Find out what services are available through the EarlySteps program, for families with infants and toddlers aged birth to three years (36 months) who have a medical condition like to result in a developmental delay, or who have developmental delays. To explore the process, click here.


Discover OCDD Programs and Services


Find out which OCDD programs and services can be of benefit to you, click here.  


Apply/Locate Services in Your Area


In order for OCDD to determine whether a person is eligible for services, the person or someone acting on their behalf must complete an application for services. For more details on the application process, including how to apply and the face-to-face interview, please contact a human services district or authority in your local area. To locate services, click here.


Find a Provider

Freedom of Choice is the process whereby OCDD assures that each person and/or their family has the right to choose the service provider most qualified to meet their needs. It is important to learn as much as possible about a prospective provider in order to make an informed decision regarding, which agency will be best suited to meet you or your family member's needs. To begin the process of locating a provider, use the Freedom of Choice provider listing map found here

Gain Employment

Common Acronyms and Terms

To view the list of acronyms commonly used in OCDD policies, operational instructions, manuals and by staff, click here.

What is People First Language?

Disability etiquette, which is commonly known as People First Language, is preferred terminology that refers to the individual first and the disability second. People with disabilities constitute our nation's largest minority group, roughly 54 million Americans have a disability, which is simultaneously the most inclusive and the most diverse. People with disabilities are moms, dads, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and students. Every individual regardless of sex, age, race or ability deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. As part of the effort to end discrimination and segregation toward individuals with disabilities, please take an opportunity to discover ways to avoid negative terms that stereotype, devalue or discriminate, and appropriate ways to communicate and use People First Language, click here.

Advocacy Information

Advocates are trained individuals who help consumers, families and professionals understand the rights of individuals with developmental disabilities. They provide education, training and advisory services.

Other Helpful LDH Information


Get more helpful information or apply for Healthy Louisiana, which was previously known as Medicaid and LaChip, please click here.


Louisiana Partners in Policymaking


Learn about this national leadership training program offered in Louisiana for people with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities through Partners in Policymaking.