Services and supports for people with disabilities

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Service and supports for people with disabilities are those government or other institutional services and supports specifically provided to enable people who have disabilities to participate in society and community life. Some such services and supports are mandated or required by law, some are assisted by technologies that have made it easier to provide the service or support and others are commercially available not only to persons with disabilities, but to everyone who might make use of them.

Services for developmentaly disabled people[edit]

Developmental disabilities, as defined by the Agency for Developmental Disabilities website, are "severe, life-long disabilities attributable to mental and/or physical impairments which manifest themselves before the age of 22 years and are likely to continue indefinitely. They result in substantial limitations in three or more of the following areas: self-care, comprehension and language, skills (receptive and expressive language), learning, mobility, self-direction, capacity for independent living, economic self-sufficiency, or ability to function independently without coordinated services (continuous need for individually planned and coordinated services). Persons with developmental disabilities use individually planned and coordinated services and supports of their choosing (e.g., housing, employment, education, civil and human rights protection, health care) to live in and to participate in activities in the community." These services and supports are different in every state and there is currently no portability for many of these services state to state.

The mission of The Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), as quoted from their website "ensures that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally-competent needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life." Though many supports and services for people with developmental disabilities are offered through other federal and state agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and for profit endeavors, some of ADD Programs/Partners are:

  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities
  • State Protection and Advocacy Systems
  • National Network of University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services
    • Minority Partnership
    • National Training Initiatives
  • Projects of National Significance
    • Emergency Preparedness Special Initiatives
    • Family Support 360
    • Family Support and Community Access Demonstration Projects
    • Independent Evaluation Information
    • Medicaid Reference Desk
    • National Autism Resource and Information Center
    • State of the States in Developmental Disabilities
    • Access to Integrated Employment
    • The National Residential Information System Project (RISP)
    • Voting Project
    • Youth Information, Training and Resource Center.

Services for the blind[edit]

  • Guide dogs being admitted to buildings, buses, trains and other locations that pets are not allowed.
  • Reserving the use of a white cane to blind individuals only.
  • Using mobile phone cameras to take pictures of change after a transaction, so that it can be counted by a sighted person who verifies by tone or voice that the change is correct.
  • Translation of new works into braille or talking books, or the use of text-to-speech translators.
  • Availability of these in a public library and other public institutions, and in a boot image configured for use for a disabled person.

Services for the visually impaired[edit]

Services for the hearing impaired[edit]

Services for the mobility-impaired[edit]

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was a landmark U.S. federal government move towards providing services for the persons with disabilities in a uniform way all across the country. That legislation has been widely copied in other countries.

Accessing services for disabled people[edit]

In the United States, services for disabled people varies by state and sometimes by location within a state. While Medicaid and Social Security income, both SSI and SSDI, are federally mandated, each state is responsible for administering these programs in their state, as part of their services and supports for disabled people. Each state designs its service delivery system differently and as a result, the portals for entry vary for each state. Some states administer services through a state government agency with subordinate offices throughout the state. Some states contract services out (privatize) and maintain a skeleton state government staff. Being a good advocate or self advocate is necessary to maximize services and supports.

See also[edit]