The Medisked I/DD Data Digest 2015: A Summary

 January 22, 2016
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome back this week!

As you all know, the staff at M&L wear many hats; we are professionals in the special needs financial and life planning fields, president & participating family members of our community building non-profit ILO, parents of individuals with special needs, and contributing members of our special needs community.

The common thread that runs through all of these roles – besides the desire to help individuals with disabilities build and lead full lives – is that the decisions we make as we act in each role can have long lasting ramifications, both personally and professionally. That is why we emphasize (loudly, and often) the importance of having access to relevant, reliable, accurate information.  The right information leads to the right choice. It’s as simple as that.

It is because we feel information is so important that we decided to use today’s post to focus the spotlight on a very useful report that was recently released: Medisked I/DD Data Digest 2015, “a time-saving compilation of some of the most significant national statistics in the world of I/DD services, all presented in one document of easy-to-read infographics with hyperlinked references.”

Please read on to learn more about this report, including a brief discussion of why it is important and which key statistics we feel readers should take away from the Data Digest.

I/DD Data Digest: What is it, and why is it important?

In a nutshell, the Medisked I/DD Data Digest is an easily accessible report, or, “compilation” of the most current statistics in regards to the services and supports available and utilized by individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the United States. Here are M&L, we feel that this is also an incredibly important report for individuals with disabilities and their families.  Why, you may ask? Well, we have identified three reasons – it is accessible (cost), it is user-friendly (easy to understand content) and it is relevant.

Accessibility: The Data Digest, which is the product of a partnership between The Arc & Medisked, is incredibly easy to access. To begin, it is free – easily obtained by visiting the Medisked website, the report costs nothing except the answers to a few simple questions. Secondly, it literally “easy to access” – once the questions have been answered, the report can be downloaded onto your device and is viewable through the website or a pdf. As well, a quick google of “Medisked Data Digest” will allow users to access the data already downloaded and displayed on a number of different websites.

User-friendly: Perhaps the most important feature of this report is that it is easy to understand. The report was intentionally designed to deliver the information in an “easy to read infographic”, an accessible format that ensures information is available to individuals with varying levels of literacy, and doesn’t bury relevant and important information in formal, stilted, inaccessible language.

Relevancy: Lastly, the report is important because it is relevant. It contains information on housing, living, employment, health, relationships; the information is at times provided by the individuals with disabilities themselves, other times from the caregivers. It provides both a national and a state perspective, and at the end of the report is an interactive worksheet that individuals can fill out for their own state, with links to websites containing the data needed to complete the worksheet. The information in this report is very important in helping individuals with disabilities understand the different issues facing the disability community both in their own state, and the nation as a whole – and that can only help us advocate successfully for the issues that affect us the most.

Data Digest Snapshot: Important Statistics to Take Away from Report

As mentioned, this report is a series of infographics that provides important statistical information in regards to the population & demographics, living, housing and employment situation, support services situation, etc. of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the US. Below is a selection of the statistics that we found to be the most revealing and important (note: please visit the Medisked website for reference information):

  • 53 million Americans reported having a disability in the US in 2013; that equals 1 in 5 non-institutionalized individuals over the age of 18.
  • In 2012, 1.1 million individuals with I/DD received formal services from an I/DD agency, and 45% of people with I/DD lived in a residential setting other than the family home.
  • For recipients over the age of 22. HCBS waiver funding is lower for family home settings than for non-family settings; 32% of caregivers responded that their family member with I/DD is on a waiting list for government funded services.
  • 40% of family caregivers responded that their family member with I/DD had unmet support needs, and 62% indicated that they had paid someone outside the home for support during the previous month.
  • Between 1989 and 2012, the number of people with I/DD that lived in a home that they owned or rented nearly doubled.
  • 28% of respondents believed that the ideal living situation for their family member with I/DD is an apartment or house owned by the individual.
  • 85% of Caregiver respondents reported that the adult with I/DD for whom they provided support did not have a job; 62% of respondents indicated a preference that people with I/DD work at a job in the community.
  • 62% of respondents to The Arc’s FINDS survey indicated that they did not have a plan in place should the caregiver no longer be able to provide care.

Would You Like More Information?

Thank you all for taking the time to visit our blog today; we hope that you were able to read through the Data Digest, and took away some information that useful to your special needs journey. If you would like more information on how to financially plan for the future of your family with special needs, please contact us! We would to speak with you about the hopes and dreams you have for the future of your family member with special needs.

You may also wish to browse through our Services webpage, and register to attend one of our Workshops – and, don’t forget to have a look through our blog archive, a comprehensive resource that contains posts on topics such as the special needs letter of intent, ABLE account info, housing info, etc.

Please join us next week for a look at a new and innovative independent living solution for adults with disabilities – life sharing!

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