DHHS Undertaking System-Wide Transformation to Improve Access to Services for Nebraskans with Disabilities

News Release
For Immediate Release: 11/30/2022

Jeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,

Lincoln – To further succeed in its mission of helping people live better lives, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is beginning a system-wide transformation to improve access to government-provided services for Nebraskans with disabilities.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides protection from discrimination based on disability. These protections include being granted access to government services and programs to individuals with disabilities, including those with serious mental illness (SMI).

To better serve Nebraskans living with mental and behavioral health issues, DHHS is working to align focus areas to improve access to services cross-divisionally within DHHS. The four focus areas where DHHS will begin include:

  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs)
    • The CCBHC model supports comprehensive coordinated care for individuals with an SMI or substance abuse disorder.
  • Congregate Healthcare Settings
    • DHHS is proposing new process changes to better improve oversight of congregate healthcare settings to help improve the quality of care for individuals with SMI who live in these settings.
  • Lincoln Regional Center (LRC) Assessment
    • The LRC will work to implement a standardized assessment to identify community-based support to assist DHHS in developing a person-centered approach for individuals housed at the LRC with the goal of decreasing their length of stay and facilitating their reentry into the community.
  • Level 1 Screen Addition
    • Level 1 screenings are standardized screening tools to document an individual's potential disabilities or needs. This collection of important data should improve the accessibility, and services for those in need of services.

“As CEO of DHHS I have taken seriously Governor Ricketts's call for continuous internal improvements to ensure we are serving Nebraskans in the most effective way possible," said CEO Dannette R. Smith. “This work will ensure that the Department helps Nebraskans in need to better receive vital services."

DHHS is committed to continually improving access to programs and services for all Nebraskans. This effort is just the first step in an ongoing commitment to ensure the protections guaranteed through the ADA are embedded throughout all DHHS divisions, policies, and procedures.

Go to
All News Releases