The Community Guide Certificate Training Program is a competency-based instructional program in which participants learn the basic roles and responsibilities of supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and/or their representatives in the self-direction responsibilities of their Medicaid Waiver services.

What is a Community Guide?

Self–Direction allows people with developmental disabilities to choose their own employees to provide necessary services and supports to live full lives in the community.  This enables people to have more choice and direction in how, when, and who provides their services and supports. When people with disabilities self-direct their Medicaid services, they hire people to 
support them in their home, to help find a job, to provide transportation, or to help connect them to community places, groups, associations, and neighborhoods in meaningful ways. They may seek other types of programs and services too, all designed to help individuals live as part of the community of their choosing. There are many responsibilities when someone chooses to self-direct, including recruiting, hiring, training, and supervising employees, locating generic community resources, managing timesheets, and other tasks.

The Community Guide can assist people with developmental disabilities and representatives with these various responsibilities of Self-Direction.  Community Guide Services are a component in the Georgia NOW and COMP Medicaid Waivers for people with developmental disabilities.   Community Guides are hired by and become employees of people with developmental disabilities and/or their representatives.

The purpose of the Community Guide Certificate Training Program is to ensure well trained and qualified Community Guides are available to Georgians with developmental disabilities and their families/representatives with the necessary skills and abilities to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. The program provides three days of classroom instruction, field-based assignments, and the completion of a portfolio of work that demonstrates the ability to complete major duties of Community Guide Services. A certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of all program components.


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A limited number of scholarships will be made available for all individuals who are accepted to the program. To receive a scholarship, you must meet the requirements established by the Georgia Medicaid Waiver program to provide this service, and must agree to complete all assignments of the program for certification. 

Who should apply?

Individuals are encouraged to review the eligibility requirements of a Community Guide. Go to and locate the Medicaid Manuals for the NOW and COMP  Waivers.  Review the qualifications required of a Community Guide contained within these manuals to determine if you meet the qualifications prior to submitting an application to attend the program.  The Community Guide is expected to be an experienced individual who is skilled in Person Centered Planning, understands how to support Self-Determination, is knowledgeable about the general resources of a specific community, has experience supporting people with developmental disabilities in typical community places (not disability centers or programs), and is competent in budget management.  It is expected that individuals who complete the program will meet all qualifications and eligibility to be hired as Community Guides immediately upon completion of the program.

All graduates from the certificate program will be included in a UGA on-line Community Guide Registry (on-line registry) which contains contact information and professional bios to assist individuals with disabilities/families/representatives to connect with Certified Community Guides.