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1422 Decoy Ct. Woodbridge, VA 22191 (703) 497-1580 Fax (866) 542-3601     























The mission of Ability Unleashed is activism, advocacy, training, and education to ensure equality of opportunity and true access to freedom for Americans with disabilities and their families.


The Company is focused on three primary areas; the first is services to people with disabilities under Virginia's Medicaid Waiver Programs.  Ability Unleashed has a second focus on providing information, support, and services to active duty members of the United States Armed Forces and their family members who have disabilities.  Finally, Ability Unleashed focuses on monitoring policy and participating advocacy and activism.






What is ("The DD Waiver")?


A "Waiver" is a Medicaid program that provides a range of home and companion care services to individuals found eligible under the Waiver guidelines.  Those eligible for Waiver services are individuals who would be unable to continue in their home setting without those services. The goal of Waivers is to provide families with the flexibility to develop and implement alternatives to institutionalization and to provide necessary services to allow individuals to remain in their communities and out of institutions (more specifically defined by Medicaid as ICF/MRs or Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded).  Waivers are a federal program administered by the states under the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), the agency that administrates Medicaid.  Each state develops its own waivers and allocates funding for them, which is matched dollar for dollar by the federal government.  Virginia currently has six Medicaid Waivers: Assistive Technology, AIDS, Consumer-Directed Personal Attendant Services, Elderly and Disabled, Mental Retardation (MR) and the newest Developmental Disabilities Waiver.


What are the eligibility requirements for the DD Waiver?


The DD Waiver is Virginia's newest Waiver program, effective July 1, 2000.  It's important to note that eligibility for Medicaid Waivers differs from that of eligibility for “regular”, or State Plan Medicaid services.  However, once an individual applies for a Medicaid Waiver and is approved for Medicaid eligibility, the individual can receive Medicaid Waiver and all other “regular” Medicaid services, such as prescription drugs,  medical coverage.  Eligibility requirements for the DD Waiver are as follows:


1.  Must be six years old or older (children under six years old must receive services under 

     the MR Waiver until their sixth birthday, at which time they can apply for the DD Waiver)


2.  Must be diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy or any other developmental

     disability other than MR evident before age 22.  (Any diagnosis of MR disallows eligibility

     for the DD Waiver).


3.  The Disability results in a substantial limitation in three or more of these


     Self care

     Communication (verbal or nonverbal)




     Capacity for independent living


4.  Parental income is NOT considered when determining eligibility, regardless of the

     individual's age.





  • Case Management

  • Adult Habilitation

  • Supported Employment

  • Residential Services

  • Personal Care

  • Respite

  • Nursing

  • Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

  • Behavioral Therapy

  • Nutritional Counseling






 Links :


Virginia DMAS Review of DOJ-VA Agreement

US Department of Homeland Security Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities


United Cerebral Palsy (National Office)


Learning & Leadership in Families, Inc.


United Cerebral Palsy of DC and Northern Virginia


Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services


The World Association of People with Disabilities (WAPD)


Autism Society of America


Virginia Information Technologies Agency


Virginia Statewide I&R System


A Guide to Disability Rights Laws


Medicaid at a Glance


Knights of Kindness
















Max Allowed DD Waiver Services & Descriptions
No Max
Day support is training in intellectual, sensory, motor, and affective social development including awareness skills, sensory stimulation, use of appropriate behaviors and social skills, learning and problem solving, communication and self care, physical development, transportation to and from training sites, services and support activities, and prevocational services aimed at preparing an individual for paid or unpaid employment.

No Max
Supported employment will consist of training in specific skills related to paid employment and provision of ongoing or intermittent assistance and specialized supervision to enable an individual to maintain paid employment provided to developmentally delayed individuals.

No Max
In-home residential support is support provided in the developmentally disabled individual's home which includes training, assistance, and supervision in enabling the individual to maintain or improve his health, assistance in performing individual care tasks, training in activities of daily living, training and use of community resources, providing life skills training, and adapting behavior to community and home-like environments.

1 consult per month per discipline
Therapeutic consultation is provided by members of psychology, social work, behavioral analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, physical therapy disciplines or behavior consultation to assist individuals, parents and family members, residential support, day support and any other providers of support services in implementing a plan of care.

No Max
Personal care services include assistance with personal hygiene, nutritional support, and the environmental maintenance necessary for individuals to remain in their homes and in the community.

720 hours per year
Respite care (agency and consumer-directed) is a services provided to eligible individuals who are unable to care for themselves that is provided on an episodic or routine basis because of the absence of or need for relief of those persons residing with the individual who normally provide the care.

No Max PRN
Skilled nursing services will be provided for individuals with serious medical conditions and complex health care needs who require specific skilled nursing services that cannot be provided by non-nursing personnel. Skilled nursing may be provided in the individual's home or other community setting on a regularly scheduled or intermittent need basis.

PRN, but not 24 hours per day
Attendant care is long-term maintenance or support services necessary to enable the mentally alert and competent individual to remain at or return home. The individual will be responsible for hiring, training, supervising and firing the personal attendant. For individuals 18 years of age and older, they must be able to manage their own affairs without help, be mentally alert and have no cognitive impairments and not have a legal guardian. If individuals receiving services are under 18 years of age, the legal guardian or parent will act on behalf of the minor.

70 hours per year
Family and caregiver training will training and counseling services provided to families of individuals receiving services in the DD Waiver.

No Max PRN
Crisis stabilization will provide intervention to persons with developmental disabilities who are experiencing serious psychiatric or behavioral problems, or both, that jeopardize their current community living situation.

$5,000 per year
Environmental modifications are physical adaptations to a house, place of residence, vehicle or work site, when the modification exceeds reasonable accommodation requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, necessary to ensure individuals' health and safety or enable functioning with greater independence when the adaptation is not being used to bring a substandard dwelling up to minimum habitation standards and is of direct medical or remedial benefit to individuals.

$5,000 per year, $1,500 can be a computer
Assistive technology consists of specialized medical equipment and supplies including those devices, controls, or appliances specified in the plan of care, but not available under the State Plan for Medical Assistance, which enable individuals to increase their abilities to perform activities of daily living, or to perceive, control, or communicate with the environment in which they live or which is necessary to the proper functioning of such items.

Personal emergency response system (PERS) is an electronic device that enables certain individuals at high risk of institutionalization to secure help in an emergency.

1 telephone visit per month, minimum
Support Coordination (A form of case management) is the assessment, planning, linking, and monitoring for individuals referred for the IFDDS Community-Based Care Waiver. Support coordination (i) ensures the development, coordination, implementation, monitoring, and modification of consumer service plans; (ii) links individuals with appropriate community resources and supports; (iii) coordinates service providers; and (iv) monitors quality of care.









Jill Jacobs, President and CEO        

The President & CEO of Ability Unleashed, Inc., Jill Jacobs founded the company in 1996 and incorporated in 2001. Jill’s background includes both a personal and professional history with disability and health issues. 


Jill has a great deal of personal experience with disability; she is the mother of three children, two of whom have Cerebral Palsy. Jill was raised
by a person with a disability; her father had quadriplegia as a result of a spinal cord injury. In addition, as a college student at the University of Arizona, Jill roomed with, and worked as a personal care attendant for, a young woman with a disability.


Professionally, Jill has been working in the disability community since 1994. Jill spent two years as the Director of Development and Public Relations for

United Cerebral Palsy of Washington and Northern Virginia, and has acted in a consultant capacity for many organizations. These include;

TASH, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association of America, the National Organization on Disability, On A Roll Radio, Ability Magazine,
JobAccess, United Cerebral Palsy (National), and United Cerebral Palsy of North Carolina.



Amongst Jill’s awards and accomplishments, she finds those that come from her work in two categories to be most rewarding; those related to achieving freedom, independence, and recognition for people with disabilities, and those related to her support of members of the United States Army and their families. Jill’s awards and recognitions include: 

·       The Commonwealth of Virginia Parent Education, Advocacy & Training Center (PEATC) recognized Jill’s efforts as a parent advocate in 1998 by honoring her  

       with the ‘Making a Difference Award’. The award was given specifically to honor Jill for the key advocacy role she played in campaign to ensure a statue 

        depicting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) seated in his wheelchair was included at his memorial in  Washington,  DC.

·       The United States Department of the Army awarded Jill the Dr. Mary E. Walker Medal in 2002 for her work with military dependents with disabilities.

·       The American Business Women’s Association awarded Jill two scholarships (1991 & 1992) that assisted her in obtaining her degree in Social Work.

·       The University of Central Texas Social Work Association awarded Jill a scholarship (January 1991) that assisted her in obtaining her degree in
        Social Work. In appreciation for the support, Jill subsequently served as President of that association (September 1991 – August 1992)


Jill has been appointed to numerous committees and has served on the Board of Directors of a variety of agencies, to include:

  • Mobility International USA - American Delegate to Germany, 1998
  • National Organization on Disability - United Parcel Service National Community Awards Selection Committee, 1998
  • The World Association of People with Disabilities - Board of Directors – 1998-present
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Washington & Northern Virginia - Board of Directors – 1998
  • University of Central Texas Social Work Association - President – September 1991 – August 1992





  Cheryl "Cheri" Dyer


Cheryl Dyer is a Virginia Board Certified Registered Nurse who possesses the multi-state nursing privilege.

Ms. Dyer has many years of nursing experience in combat, clinical, social service, and community based care settings. Ms. Dyer worked in clinical and combat settings while on duty with the United States Army where she attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In her civilian career, Ms. Dyer has held many nursing positions. Among her most rewarding are those in which she had the opportunity to provide direct respite care to support military families whose children have disabilities. Ms Dyer also held the position of Nurse Case Management Supervisor for a TriCare-approved Home Health agency where she was responsible for coordinating and monitoring home based care provided to children with disabilities under the US Army’s Exceptional Family Member Program and Program for Persons with Disabilities.

Ms. Dyer has worked with Ability Unleashed in one capacity or another since 1999.




Andy Iwanski


Andy Iwanski has been a consultant for Ability Unleashed since 2000 and currently works for the Valley of the Sun YMCA in the greater Phoenix Area as Regional
Director for Youth Sports.   He has worked for the YMCA since 1987 where he has dedicated himself to the Human Services Field. 


His experience is vast developing many skills in the past 20 years in organization & planning, budget management, supervision of staffand a true

passion for working with people. Andy is a strong leader who knows how to get things done in an efficient, precise manner. 


Some of Andy’s major accomplishments include securing a $190,000 community development block grant for the construction of an outdoor hockey rink for the YMCA of Tucson as well as securing donations and grants from the City of Phoenix, United Way, and the Arizona
Cardinals to provide funding for programs. Currently Andy works in conjunction with the Phoenix Suns to deliver the YMCA Jr. Suns
program to over 6000 kids annually.

In closing, Andy has many years experience working with people and has a long track record of success building programs and developing relationships in the community.  Andy’s skill set will always fit very well in an environment dedicated to serving people.





Dana Heino


Dana’s involvement in disability issues is multi-faceted. In her professional life, she has provided community based support services to people with disabilities since January 2003, when she took a job providing personal care and community integration support to a child with a Developmental Disability.


In that role Dana learned not only the specifics of hand-on care, but also became extremely well-versed in accessibility, resources, and service delivery systems for people with disabilities and their families, particularly in the Virginia, Washington, DC and Maryland region.

Dana has worked as a para-professional, facilitating the inclusion of a middle school student in a special education setting and has provided support and guidance to ensure appropriate inclusion in parks and recreation programs.
Dana has become familiar with the concepts of human and civil rights via hands-on participation in policy and civil rights efforts that impact Ability Unleashed clientele.


Dana obtained her Bachelors of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been accepted to nursing school. She will begin classes in Autumn 2007.





Sarah Jacobs


Sarah has been involved with people with disabilities and disability issues for most of her life. In her professional life, she has provided community based support services to people with disabilities since 2005, when she began providing respite and attendant care to a number of families in the Northern Virginia area.


As a personal care attendant Sarah practiced hands-on care and became well-versed in accessibility, resources, and service delivery systems
for people with disabilities. Managing the logistics of care and day to day living is a specialty of Sarah's with a wealth of knowledge on setting up and maintaining resources and services. Sarah has advocated for disabled students to have equal rights and to be represented fairly in order to achieve all educational and social goals.

she has advocated in other capacities for people with disabilities and their interests via participation in policy and civil rights efforts that impact Ability Unleashed clientele.

From 2004-2007 Sarah provided Case Management services as well as general support at Ability Unleashed. Since then she worked to obtain a degree and
started a family. She is now back as a Case Management Specialist.







Mindy J. Miller


Mindy J. Miller, MSW, LCSW holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration, from Missouri Southern State University. She worked as a Deputy Juvenile Officer in

Jasper County, Missouri for over ten years. While working in this capacity, she spent a great deal of time working with abuse and neglect as well as juvenile offenders and their families. Desiring to work in a more preventative role, she sought and received a Masters of Social Work from Missouri State University in 2003 with an emphasis in family health.


Mindy has served as the Director of Social Work at Heartland Hospital, which is an adolescent psychiatric and residential treatment facility in Nevada, Missouri. She developed, marketed, and eventually staffed a program for adolescent females with mental retardation or developmental disabilities.

The majority of these clients had been originally removed from homes in  innercity St. Louis and had previously been unsuccessful in other placements

due to their personal struggles. Many had been removed from their families of origin due to a lack of parenting skills and/or resources within their communities. Prior to Mindy leaving the facility, many of these young women were able to be placed in less restrictive environments or back with

their families due to independence they had gained in this program.


Mindy has been in private practice since 2004 at Applied Psychological Services. She has worked extensively with clients who have developmental disabilities, mental illness, and behavioral difficulties. She is a strong advocate for these individuals and their families and has a desire for them to succeed in all areas of their lives.


Mindy’s desire to advocate for families and individuals with disabilities stemmed from very personal experiences. She was raised with her younger brother who has cerebral palsy and saw first hand the commitment that her family made in order to locate resources and provide the best services

that were available at the time. Due to her experiences, she understands the importance of community supports in maintaining balance in the family system in order to promote healthy development of all members.


The concepts of freedom and independence are the heart and soul of Ability Unleashed. Mindy’s focus is to ensure our team members embody these concepts by utilizing person-centered, independence-driven service delivery models in every facet of our operations, whether clinical or administrative.





Joshua Wilson


Joshua Wilson is an experienced web page designer in Richmond, Virginia. He has cerebral palsy, a developmental disability that affects muscle control. Joshua has limited use of his hands but is able to master technology through the assistance of a head pointer. 

In 1997, Joshua began his career as an Internet Technician at Virginia Commonwealth University. He provided technical support to faculty and staff by developing web pages with audio and visual effects, virtual chat rooms for long distance teaching, and links to relevant web sites. He also explored and reviewed websites to determine accessibility for individuals with significant disabilities.








If you would like to see if the Developmental Disabilities Waiver is for you
please download and print out the screening form.



Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the screening from.
You can download your free copy at







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