Developmental Disabilities Specialist

Program Overview

Developmental disabilities specialists work in residential, employment and educational facilities with persons with developmental disabilities. Specialists help clients learn new skills and strategies for independent living. They may teach life skills or skills related to work, including job-specific skills, appropriate work behaviors and working with others. Developmental disabilities specialist who work in group homes care for clients' emotional needs and physical needs. Therefore, they make sure clients take their medications or adhere to diet plans. If they notice any problems, they set up medical appointments and escort clients to them. In addition, they keep daily records of their clients' activities. Developmental disabilities specialists are often key members in client-focused teams, which often include the client, social workers, psychologists and state agency representatives.

General Program Information

The program prepares students for employment in a variety of settings serving clients with developmental disabilities. The coursework combines theory and application. Academic preparation focuses on the physical and emotional elements of developmental disability. The students also gain actual work experience in settings with persons with developmental disability.

For more information please visit the Psychology department page.


  • residential care facilities
  • social services agencies
  • local and state agencies
  • supported employment settings
  • vocational rehabilitation organizations

Job Titles

  • group home worker
  • integration specialist
  • recreation assistant
  • job coach
  • habilitation technician
  • independent living specialist
  • direct-support provider
  • caregiver