Community Inclusion Resources

According the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Disability affects approximate 61 million, or nearly 1 in 4 (26%) people in the United States living in communities. Disability affects more than one billion people worldwide.1,2 According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people “. . . with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory [such as hearing or vision] impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

While the road has made great strives in community integration, we still have a long way to go until full inclusion is met worldwide.  For some people with disabilities, participation may be only defined as being physically present in a community but without any connection such as going to a shopping store or attending an event. The next level includes encounters at a nail salon, bowling, shopping, etc and full integration includes connecting with others in the community such as hanging out with people at a sports bar with and without disabilities or attending religious services including becoming a part of the choir or serving as an usher.

The following questions created by the Council on Quality and Leaderships serves as a great barometer in  measuring the quality of community inclusion:

  1. Who do you know in your community?
  2. Who do you spend most of your time with?
  3. When you go places, who do you meet with?
  4. What kind of interactions do you have with people?
  5. What kinds of things do you do with other people?
The following are articles on the importance of community inclusion among individuals with disabilities and the definition:

5 ways to make community inclusion work– White Hawk Advocacy

A sharing of ideas on community inclusion for people with disabilities– University of Connecticut Center for Developmental Disabilities.

Community barrier to participation experienced by people with disabilities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ) CDC

Community Inclusion– newfdn.org

What does community inclusion look like? – National Disability Insurance Scheme

What is community inclusion all about and why does it matter?– Pioneer Center for Human Services

What Is Community Inclusion & Why Is It a Win-Win Scenario?– Community Mainstreaming

What We Mean When We Talk About Inclusion– Institute for Community Inclusion

The following are community inclusion ideas and suggestions.

11 Ways to Promote Community Support for Students with Disabilities– Brooks Publishing

13 ideas for making your community more inclusive – Union for Reform Judaism

Training Resources
The following includes a staff training module on community inclusion.

Community Inclusion Module– Illinois Department of Human Services

10 Easy Steps of Audit and Survey Readiness

Annual audits and surveys can be very intimidating. A group of state surveyors showing up at the residence or day program to review services given to individuals with developmental disabilities.

What is the purpose of the audit?

In each state, Immediate Care Facilities (ICF), Immediate Residential Alternatives (IRAs), Waiver services or privately operated programs are funded through Medicaid Assistance Annually State agencies. Annual surveys serve the purpose of recertifying facilities and to make any further recommendations. Overall, the goal is to ensure the quality of for the individuals receiving services.

What are surveyors looking for?

In recent years, the focus is more on ensuring facilities that provide services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are providing opportunities for individual choices including person-centered planning, community inclusion and choice-making. Typically, State auditors will review the Individualized service Plan (ISP) document to determine it the ISP is both current and accurate.

Audit Preparation

State Auditors generally spend some time talking to staff. They may ask you questions relating to the person’s plan. The questions are often generated after they have read the individual’s ISP plan. The questions that are asked are more than likely things that you do well everyday. here are 10 easy steps as you prepare for the auditing process:

  1. Knowledge of Individuals. know each person’s plan including person-centered planning plan, medical needs, preferences and habilitation plan.
  2. Cleanliness. Make sure the environment is neat and orderly.
  3. Privacy. Remember to give the person privacy when needed.
  4. Choice. Offer choices throughout activities whenever possible. The auditors may ask you how do you teach choice-making.
  5. Tone. Always speak in a positive and appropriate tone of voice.
  6. Small groups. Work in small groups whenever possible. Incorporate variety  of choice during activities.
  7. Community activities. Ensure individuals are able to make choices in activities in the community and community inclusion opportunities are available.
  8. Universal Precaution Guidelines. Know the precautions and follow them. Remember to change gloves when moving from one individual to the next.
  9. Active Programming. The auditors may ask questions related to what they have read in the individuals ISP or CFA (Comprehensive Functional Assessment).
  10. Safeguards. make sure you are able to describe the individual’s supervision needs.

Remember: Demonstrate your self-confidence, because you are good at what you do!