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Focus Areas

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

HSRI has been involved in the field of developmental disabilities since the organization’s inception in 1976.  Our work has tracked the important and historic changes that have taken place during that time including the movement of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities out of public institutions, the use of Medicaid waiver funds to leverage that transition, the creation of community supports, the growth of the family support movement, the expansion of quality assurance and improvement systems, the blossoming of the self-advocacy movement, and the press for self-determination.

HSRI has supported each of these reforms.  Specifically, we conducted a five year longitudinal study of the court ordered closure of Pennhurst State Center as well as other follow up studies in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  We worked with states around the country to help them explore creative funding approaches to the creation and expansion of community services.  HSRI also worked with family groups around the country initially to help them to improve family support policy and more recently to provide information and support on a national basis.   Since the inception of the Institute, we have worked with public managers to assist them in the creation of responsive and outcome oriented quality assurance and improvement systems.  In addition, we have also worked directly with self advocacy organizations to assist them to expand and improve their reach and develop outreach programs in health and wellness.  Finally, we have an ongoing commitment to assisting states to expand opportunities for self determination and have recently developed resource allocation strategies that can facilitate individual budgeting and choice.

Our recent work has included working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as part of the National Quality Enterprise – a TA collaborative available to states to assist with quality improvement in Home and Community Based waivers.  We also support the National Core Indicators, a multistate performance measurement system with the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services.  We are also helping states to take the final steps toward institution free service systems.  We publish an “ezine” for and by self-advocates called The Riot.  We are also working with numerous states to assist them to develop more needs based and equitable funding mechanisms.  Finally, we continue our commitment to ensure that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have the opportunity to live lives rich with promise in their own communities.