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NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) will began in August 2012 the process of becoming the first accredited state system focused on intellectual and developmental disabilities in the United States.
The department signed a contract beginning August 1 with CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership which offers consultation, accreditation, training and certification services to organizations and systems focused on person-centered excellence. Since 1969, CQL has been a leader in the definition, measurement, and improvement of quality of life for persons receiving services and supports.
Department staff and providers will participate in a three-year process of capacity-building, data gathering, and network evaluation before the accreditation is completed in 2015. Through this initiative, DIDD will become an international model for service delivery.
"Accreditation has been a top priority for DIDD since its inception as a stand-alone department in 2011. This process will allow DIDD to remain accountable in its service delivery system. In collaboration with CQL, we are committed to excellence and leading the nation in providing exemplary services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities," DIDD Commissioner Jim Henry said.
The department's initiative, Network Accreditation: Person-Centered Excellence, will provide quality improvement by network members, establish community partnerships and strategic planning, and create a framework of sustainability by training state and regional office staff in data collection and analysis, as well as leadership development for self-advocates.
To initiate network accreditation activities, CQL and DIDD will hosted a series of kickoff events in each grand region during the month of August targeted at providers, families, advocates, and persons- supported. Department officials and executive management from CQL presented on topics such as "Accreditation: Why Now?" and "The Importance of Network Accreditation."
For more information about CQL and their accreditation program, please visit http://www.thecouncil.org/CQLAccreditation/.