The Case for Inclusion Report, 2013
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Last week, theUnited Cerebral Palsy Association (UCP) released its 2013 The Case for Inclusion report. The UCP, a group which “educates advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities[i]” has released The Case for Inclusion report annually since 2006. It provides a snapshot of the performance of individual states in regards to the Medicaid programs/services offered to Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The report “examines data and outcomes for all 50 states and D.C., ranking each on a set of key indicators, including how people with disabilities live and participate in their communities, if they are satisfied with their lives, and how easily the services and supports they need are accessed.[ii]” It also ranks individual states based on their performance and in comparison to the performance of other states. Those states which have performed particularly well are identified in the hopes that their policies and practices are replicated.
The results of this year’s The Case for Inclusion report are mixed; according to the report’s website, all states have room to improve, however there are states that remain consistently at the bottom of the rankings. They do note that despite economic restraints, many states have improved in terms of the services they offer individuals with disabilities.
For example, although 38 states now meet the “80/80” rule (UCP identifies this as a community standard meaning that 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in the community, and 80% of all resources spent on those with ID/DD are for community support), the number of states which have at least one third of the population with intellectual and developmental disabilities employed in competitive positions has dropped to 10 (down from last year’s count of 17). Arizona was ranked as the top performing state for 2013, followed by New Hampshire and Oregon. Mississippi was ranked last at 51, with Arkansas being ranked at 50, and Texas at 49.
The UCP highlights the following “significant takeaways” from the 2013 Report[iii]:
- All states still have room for improvement, but some states have consistently remained at the bottom since 2007, including Arkansas (#50), Illinois (#48), Mississippi (#51) and Texas (#49). While these states need real attention, they are not reflective of the real improvement in Inclusion for the vast majority of states, as highlighted below.
- As of 2011, 13 states have no state institutions to seclude those with ID/DD, including Alabama (new this year), Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota (which closed its last remaining institution in June 2011), New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and DC.
- 21 states now meet the 80% Home-like Setting standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in settings such as their own home, a family home, family foster care or small group settings like shared apartments with fewer than three residents.
- 34 states participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) model a comprehensive quality assurance program that includes standard measures to assess outcomes of services (nationalcoreindicators.org).
- Only 15 states were supporting a large share of families through family support (at least 200 families per 100,000 of population).
- Waiting lists for residential and community services are high and show the unmet need.
How can I use this report?
The UCP has organized the data it used to compile the Case for Inclusion report in a searchable index on the report’s website. Those wishing to find out information on individual states can visit the State Scorecards while others who wish to see how well each state performed in relation to each other can have a look at the state ranking map. Visitors to this website can also compare state and national data, advocate for areas needing improvement, and download the reports from previous years.
Overall, the organization urges people to use the report and its findings in their own, individual advocacy efforts. According to the organization, advocates “should use this information to educate other advocates, providers, families and individuals, policymakers and state administrations on key achievements and areas needing improvement within each state. The facts and figures can support policy reforms and frame debates about resource allocation for the ID/DD population. Advocates can also use the information to prioritize those areas that need the most immediate attention. Lastly, advocates can use the facts to support adequate and ongoing funding to maintain high quality outcomes, eliminate waiting lists and close large institutions.[iv]”
If you have any questions on this or any other topic pertaining to special needs planning, please do not hesitate to contact us. We love to meet new people, and are always happy to help. As well, stay tuned to our website over the next couple of weeks for the launch our very own Housing Report! This report, a database of various independent living/housing programs available nationwide to individuals with disabilities, will be hosted on our website and will be available to users via subscription. If you are interested in using this database, send us an email and we will notify you when we launch.
From the staff of M&L Special Needs Planning, LLC thanks for visiting our website today – happy Thursday!
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