The Case for Inclusion 2015

 March 18, 2016
Posted by M&LAdmin4

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the blog this week! We are so happy that you could join us today, as we are going to focus on a very important report that was recently released by United Cerebral Palsy: The Case for Inclusion 2015.

This report, which is released annually by the UCP, is intended to act as a “snapshot” of individual state performance in terms of Medicaid programs and services offered to Americans with disabilities. It also ranks individual states based on their performance and in comparison to the performance of other states. Those states that have performed particularly well are identified in the hopes that their policies and practices are replicated.

Today, we will be examining the results of this latest Case for Inclusion report, as well as providing a brief description of UCP as well as outline why this report is so important for advocacy for individuals with disabilities.

Interested? Please join us!

About UCP and the Case for Inclusion

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is an international advocate for individuals with disabilities. As is written in the latest Case for Inclusion report, the UCP “educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.” The UCP has been working tirelessly to serve people with disabilities since 1960, and pledges to “continue to push for the social, legal, and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream.”

UCP’s Case for Inclusion report is, as mentioned, an annual report that has been released by UCP since 2006. Over the past decade, this report has become an important measure of how effectively Medicaid serves individuals with disabilities and their families – it achieves this by ranking states based on their outcomes, rather than their spending. It is also important in that is provides essential, concise, and accurate information to individuals, organizations, and the government as to the strengths and weaknesses in the way that the states deliver services to individuals with disabilities.

It should be noted that this report can be utilized in a number of ways. It can be used for education purposes, to help identify where services should be added and where services are working. It can help to shine light on the ways in which funding and support dollars are allocated. It can also be used as a tool to bring about change – in fact, the UCP urges people to use this report and its findings in their own individual and group advocacy efforts.

To learn more about this report and the UCP, please visit the organization’s website.

2015 Results

This year, as in past years, the results are somewhat mixed; again, as in past years, the report opens by stating that all states have room for improvement, but some states have been consistently at the bottom of the ranking since 2007. These states include Arkansas (49), Illinois (47), Mississippi (51), and Texas (50). The bottom ten is rounded off with North Dakota (42), Oklahoma (43), Iowa (44), Wyoming (45), Idaho (46), and Montana (48).

The top ten rankings are as follows (with Ohio being #10 and Arizona being #1): Ohio, South Carolina, Dist. Of Columbia, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii, New York, Missouri, Maryland, and Arizona.

Important Takeaways (as identified in the report):

  • 32 States, down from 38, meet the 80/80 Home and Community Standard, meaning that 80% of individuals with disabilities are served in the community, and 80% of all resources spend on those with disabilities are for home.
  • As of 2013, 14 States report having no State institutions to seclude those with ID/DD; another 10 states have only one institution each. 5 of these institutions have been closed in the last year alone.
  • 26 States, up from 18, now report meeting the 80 percent Home-Like Setting Standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with disabilities are served in settings such as their own home, family home, foster home, etc.
  • Just 8 States, down from 10 last year, report having at least 33 percent of individuals with ID/DD working in competitive employment.
  • 14 States report successfully placing at least 60 percent of individuals in vocational rehabilitation in jobs.

Perhaps the most important take away from the entire report is this: waiting lists for residential and community services are high and show the unmet need. More than 322,000 people – up by 5000 from 2014 – are on a waiting list for Home and Community-Based Services.

If you would like to read the report in full, please click here.

Spotlight: Washington D.C. and Maryland Rankings

This year, we are very, very pleased to report that both Washington, D.C. and Maryland made it to the top ten in the UCP’s state ranking – both making it to the most improved list.

Maryland, currently ranked as #2, rose 31 spots since the 2007 report. According to the report, MD “substantially increased the portion of resources dedicated to people in the community, dramatically increased the portion of people services in home-like settings, closed the last two State institutions, started participating and reporting outcomes for NCI, and added a Medicaid Buy-In program.”

Washington, D.C. registered an even greater improvement than MD, ranking #8 in this year’s report – an incredible rise from 2007’s ranking of 49. This improvement is due to the “significant increase in the share of individuals and resources dedicated to those receiving home and community-based services. D.C. now reports that 92% of those served are in home-like settings.”

Now, that is something to celebrate!

Conclusion

We hope that you all enjoyed reading this summery of the most recent Case for Inclusion report; we also hope that you are as excited as we are about the improvements shown by Maryland and Washington, D.C. Not only are the improvements shown by both states an indicator that things are moving in the right direction, they also serve as an inspiration to all of those that tirelessly advocate for change and for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, or about the ways in which M&L works to provide integrated, intentional and inclusive communities for adults with disabilities, please contact us. We would love to speak with you, and introduce you to our growing network of participating families.

Thanks again for visiting us – we hope to see you next week!

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