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Deinstitutionalization: Unfinished Business (Companion Paper to Policy Toolkit)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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In 2011, the National Council on Disability (NCD) took a position on the evolving definition of an institution. NCD focused on the importance of the number of people who live in the same home and defined institutional settings as housing situations in which more than four people with ID/DD disabilities live in the same housing unit. This position reflects the belief that a smaller housing situation offers an opportunity for a higher quality of life.

This paper discusses the lessons learned regarding how to close large institutions, but it focuses on the movement to smaller community living settings that meet NCD’s new definition. Regardless of the size of the institution, bringing people back into the community is only the beginning of the quest to help them achieve the highest possible quality of life. The paper examines some of the factors that advocates and self-advocates believe are important in defining “community living” and looks at how quality of life in the community can be and is being measured.

An official website of the National Council on Disability