How to Prepare for a DDA Assessment

Here are tips for getting ready for an assessment with the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), which is managed by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Be sure to send information to the DDA case manager ahead of time and keep a copy. If you save the assessment electronically in Word/Google Documents, it can be easily reviewed and updated any time.


  • Take notes on last year’s assessment and email a list of your concerns to the DDA case manager. This provides the case manager time to prepare answers and check with a supervisor or central office staff if further information is needed to answer questions.


  • If the individual receiving DDA support is working or is looking for work, invite a job coach to the meeting. Provide details about the meeting day, time and location, with plenty of time for planning.
  • Notify personal care providers about the meeting so they can share information with the case manager about supports being provided.


  • Include full name, address and phone number for the individual with a disability
  • Other Contacts: name, phone, address, and email
    • Close family members, friends, siblings, grandparents.
    • Medicaid Personal Care provider.
    • Employment Vendor
    • Medical doctors and specialists
    • Dentist
  • List of all medications
    • Name, dose, reason: include vitamins and over-the-counter medicines
    • For prescriptions, include the name of the doctor or other prescriber
  • List all diagnoses
    • For example: autism, cerebral palsy, paraplegia, specific cardiac problems, hydrocephalus, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), depression, seizure disorder
    • A primary doctor at the annual checkup can describe diagnoses in a clinic note, required by some DDA case managers
  • Record the dates of the most recent doctor and dentist appointments
    • Include emergency room and hospital visits with or without an overnight
  • Therapies
    • Describe the kind of therapy, frequency of sessions and full contact information for each therapist.
  • The assessment will review what happened over the past seven days, so a journal, whiteboard or note file on a phone can help track events for the week prior to the assessment. The case manager will want to know everything caregivers do for or with the individual with the disability.
    • Note with detail each time you provide verbal prompting, physical guidance, weight-bearing assistance, monitoring for safety, etc. Include things like tying shoes and zipping jackets or advising about the weather and what to wear.
    • Think of everything for an accurate CARE Assessment that details what care was provided to the individual throughout the time period being reviewed,

This information can be printed in PDF form – How To Prepare for a DDA Assessment
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We explain this document in Video form! Training Overview of DDA Assessments