Promoting independence, community integration, and access to quality non-paid and paid community supports and services is the focus of a new Indiana Institute on Disability and Community initiative. In early winter, 2019, the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS) contracted with the Indiana Institute to evaluate Indiana’s current system for monitoring the safety, health, and well-being of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Indiana Institute’s evaluation work will provide support to guide project management and logistics for project related activities as well as content expertise in the design, implementation, and evaluation of the community monitoring approach.
The Living Well project design engages self-advocates, families, and key stakeholders to ensure full involvement in the development of practices, policies, and procedures to improve Home and Community- Based Services (HCBS). Through these collaboratives, the project aims to develop and implement an improved process for analyzing data from HCBS providers to influence practices, policies, and procedures for increasing the quality of, and access to, services and reduce risk factors for abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Living Well utilizes the LifeCourse framework, developed at the Institute for Human Development, University of Missouri – Kansas City, to increase the capacity and competency of the workforce serving those with I/DD by expanding person-centered planning principals and provides for waiver service improvements and leadership opportunities between DDRS and self-advocates, families, and stakeholders. Five stakeholder meetings have been held to date utilizing the LifeCourse framework to develop and prioritize outcomes.
Guardianship and Supported Decision Making
In April of 2019, the Indiana legislature passed Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 380, legislation that prioritizes alternatives to guardianship. Indiana is the eighth state to enact legislation that requires consideration of Less Restrictive Alternatives (LRA) to guardianship and recognizes Supported Decision-Making Agreements. In winter, 2019, the Indiana Institute conducted a state-wide survey to understand guardians’ knowledge and practices around less restrictive alternatives to guardianship and to make comparisons among family guardians and those in professional guardianship roles. A total of 237 people participated in the survey including 167 family members and 70 professionals. Comparisons between guardians who are family members and professionals found differences across a number of areas including personal and professional characteristics, practice behaviors, and knowledge. Nine recommendations to inform policymakers and professionals were made and include training on Less Restrictive Alternatives to guardianship, the creation of a resource and technical assistance center, and a recommendation that oversight and regulation occur ensuring the rights of individuals under guardianship and/or supported decision-making agreements are maintained.
Library Resources on Disability
Indiana Institute Library offers more than 6,000 books, kits, and DVDs that are available to borrow by anyone in Indiana on important topics like aging and health.
Hoosiers with disabilities, their families, and those who work with and for them need access to appropriate, quality information and resources. The Library at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community offers more than 6,000 books, kits, and DVDs that are available to borrow by anyone in Indiana. Library materials cover issues impacting the lives of people with disabilities from birth through the aging process, and information is available on topics such as diagnosis, daily living, assistive technology, disability rights, education, employment, community living, early intervention, child care and a special collection of standardized speech-language pathology assessments.
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Oral Health for Hoosiers with Disabilities
In a report by the Institute of Medicine (2011), “vulnerable and underserved populations, including people with special health care needs, have great disparities in access to quality oral health care.” “People with disabilities have greater difficulty accessing ongoing care” (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2014). The Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities contracted with the Center for Health Equity (CHE) to collect comprehensive data about the oral health needs of Hoosiers with disabilities as well as the needs of dentists in Indiana. The project employs key informant interviews and electronic surveys to identify oral health needs and experiences in dental health care access. A brief about practice and policy recommendations to improve access to dental and oral care services will also be developed.
Learn more about oral health
Since 1991, ADA-Indiana has served as a centralized, statewide resource for individuals interested in promoting the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As part of the work within the Center for Health Equity (CHE), ADA-Indiana provides support to individuals, organizations, and local communities. Through ADA-Indiana’s Coros ADA Community Grants program, four grants to local community organizations to address local ADA issues were awarded. Additional funding and support from ADA-Indiana included three workshops on the employment provisions of the ADA reaching 186 individuals; an Employment First and ADA workshop series reaching 83 participants; and two trainings focused on the expansion of transportation and mobility options for people with disabilities and older adults reaching 80 participants. Other activities included intake of over 180 requests for technical assistance by individuals and organizations and resources disseminated via conference exhibitions, a website, a monthly newsletter, and social media.
Learn more about ADA-Indiana