The challenges we face

Poor Access

Housing Shortages

Rising Cost of Care


Fragmented Service Systems

Broken Families

Isolation and Loneliness


Food Insecurity

Chronic Neglect

Aging Alone







Are we on the path to inclusion? 

Americans with developmental disabilities face a housing crisis, with over 70% of affected adults living in family homes with aging parent-care providers--a tenuous circumstance.  Housing available to and designed for adults with disabilities is often situated in neighborhoods largely unprepared to understand, support and share life with people with developmental or intellectual differences. Without these essential social ingredients, even the most densely populated and diverse communities can be isolating and restrictive. 

In theory, community-based residential opportunities increase independence and access.  But real engagement within communities is not accomplished by location alone.  Our ability to thrive always depends upon the relationships we build, and the extent to which we can participate in and contribute to the lives of others.  

To become truly inclusive, communities must change, and be supported in those changes toward a readiness to embrace the mutual benefits and responsibilities of living with one another.  An integrated, intentional community of support is a model for and commitment to that change. 






Did you know?


  • Approximately 3.5 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) currently live with a family caregiver.

  • Almost 1 million family caregivers are over the age of 60.1

  • A 25% increase in housing is required to meet the current residential waitlist needs. Housing placements are currently growing at a rate of 5% a year.

  • The population of individuals with disabilities under 65 in nursing homes has increased between 2008 and 2012. There are still more than 200,000 individuals younger than 65 in nursing homes—almost 16% of the total nursing home population.

  • The housing supply NOT Increasing with the rate of demand

  • Funding for long term support services has been on the decline since 2003, and went into negative growth in 2011, the first time in over 33 years.

  • In 2011 The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported to Congress that worst case needs among non-elderly adult households with disabilities increased by 32% between 2009  and 2011.

  • The national average to rent a one bedroom apartment is $758/month--104% of the average Supplemental Security Income (SSI) income,--making it impossible for most individuals with I/DD to rent their own home without permanent rental subsidies. 

  • Overall demand for direct-care workers is projected to increase by 48% over the next decade, adding 1.6 million new positions by 2020. At the same time, the number of women aged 25–54—the main labor pool from which direct-care workers are drawn—is projected to increase by only one percent.

  • Turnover rates are high and the median hourly wage for a personal care assistant was only $9.67 hr in 2013.

  • Individuals with Autism and I/DD do not want restricted housing options.

  • The Autism Speaks National Housing and Residential Supports Survey reports that 35% of autistic adults will need 24-hour support, and 58% will need support in walking safely outdoors.

  • Of respondents who are on the autism spectrum, 37% want to live in their own home and 58% want their own home with a roommate.

  • Of those who wanted a roommate, 25% preferred to live with someone who had a disability.

  • Only 22% want to live in their family home.

  • Almost 30% choose a planned community as their top home types, and almost 20% want to live in a rural or farm community.



1 University of Colorado. (2013). State of the States in Developmental Disabilities. Boulder, CO: David Braddock.

2 University of Minnesota. (2012) Residential Information Systems Project. Minneapolis

3United States Senate, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. (2013). Separate and unequal: states fail to fulfill the community living promise of the americans with disabilities act. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

4 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2013). Worst case housing needs 2011: report to congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

5 Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. (2013). Priced out in 2012. Boston, MA.

6Paraprofessional Health-Care Institute. (2013). Occupational projections for direct-care workers 2010–2020. New York, NY.

7Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute. (2014, DATE). United States: Median hourly wages for direct care workers, 2013. Retreived from

8Autism Speaks. (2013). National housing and residential supports survey. New York, NY. Prepared May 2014



Is there a place here for me?  Will I be known?  WIll you respond if I need you?  May I participate, help to decide?  Will you value my contributions?


I have much to offer to you...I will help to lead the way!