The state supported living centers (SSLC) provide round-the-clock residential treatment and training services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. SSLC volunteers are required to undergo a criminal background check and additional training.

Each living center has its own volunteer and internship program that provides opportunities and activities that help enhance residents' quality of life.

You can make a difference as an individual, with family, friends, coworkers or members of an organization. Volunteer for a one-day project or get involved for a longer period. It's up to you.

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Helping with holiday observations
  • Improving the campus through landscaping, painting or interior decorating
  • Helping with events, such as music festivals or dances
  • Teaching art or music
  • Helping with recreational activities

Application and training

To begin volunteering at a living center, you first must complete the DADS volunteer application. The minimum age to volunteer is 14; however, a living center may specify a minimum age above 14 for specific assignments.

Volunteers at SSLC's must undergo a criminal background check. Convictions of criminal offenses that bar being accepted as a volunteer can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 40, Part 1 , Chapter 4, Subchapter K, Rule §4.505.

Required training

All state supported living center volunteers are required to take the Volunteer Orientation Web-based Training. The material is designed to help you learn about Texas Health and Human Services and better understand the people it serves. It should take about 20 minutes or less to complete each module.

There is a short test at the end of most of the module that reviews the course materials. But don't worry — you can refer to the material in the module if you need to do so when answering the questions.

The Volunteer Orientation CBT contains the following modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction and Overview
  • Module 2: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Module 3: Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation
  • Module 4: Emergency Response Training
  • Module 5: Infection Control
  • Module 6: Rights of Individuals

Click here to start the Volunteer Orientation CBT

At the end "Rights of Individuals" module you will be given instructions to create a certificate of completion as proof you completed orientation. A copy must be provided to the volunteer supervisor or emailed to

Depending on your assignment, you may also need to take the following courses:

Note: You may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker for the course to work properly. (Some browsers call this "enabling" pop-ups.) You may have more than one pop-up blocker on your computer. Check for additional pop-up blockers on your "Tools" menu and on any additional toolbars, such as Google or Yahoo. ALL pop-up blockers must be disabled for this course to work. If disabling all your pop-up blockers doesn't work, try holding down the control key and clicking on your browser's refresh/reload icon to refresh your computer.