Case for Inclusion 2021 Methodology Notes
There is an inevitable lag between people’s experiences on the ground and the availability of data reflecting those experiences. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, data available at the time of publication of the Case for Inclusion 2021 (February 22, 2021) did not yet account for the impact of the pandemic on community-based disability services.
Therefore, UCP and the ANCOR Foundation opted to issue a Case for Inclusion Special Report in 2021, but not to provide updated data on the measures typically tracked by the Case for Inclusion. Given that the 2021 Special Report does not aggregate various data sources, there is no formal methodology to share, but questions about how the report was developed can be directed to Sean Luechtefeld, Senior Director of Communications for ANCOR, via email.
Users interested in exploring the data tools accessible on this website should note that these tools were last updated in February 2020; methodology notes for these data can be found in the section below.
We anticipate publishing updated data in the first quarter of 2022 concurrent with the release of the Case for Inclusion 2022.
Case for Inclusion 2020 Methodology Notes
The Case for Inclusion aggregates data from an array of credible, national sources that collect data from states or from the federal government and make those data available to the public as a service to the broader disability community.
From its inception until 2019, the Case for Inclusion's presenting organizations (UCP from 2006-2016; UCP and the ANCOR Foundation starting in 2019) aggregated these data by assigning weights to various measures to develop an overall score for each state, and then sorted states by score from highest to lowest to develop a ranking for each state. However, as the Case for Inclusion became more widely used and more credible, its presenting organizations sought to add additional data measures. As more and more data measures were added, it became increasingly (and unnecessarily) challenging to aggregate disparate data measures together. Therefore, starting with the Case for Inclusion 2020, the state rankings have been abandoned. Nevertheless, the data itself have been preserved as a resource for advocates.
The Case for Inclusion 2020 thus assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 58 measures across seven different issue areas:
- Addressing a Workforce in Crisis
- Keeping Families Together
- Promoting Independence
- Promoting Productivity
- Reaching Those in Need
- Serving at a Reasonable Cost
- Tracking Health, Safety & Quality of Life
These issue areas are meant to serve only as a sorting mechanism; the vast array of indicators are more easily understood when considered in the context of the broader topic area illuminated by the data. The data for individual indicators are presented as published from their original sources; they have not been altered, nor have calculations been made based on the data.
Because of differences in the cycles on which original data sources collect, publish and disseminate data, there are not new data for every measure in every edition of the annual Case for Inclusion report. Therefore, each edition's Key Findings report focuses primarily on those measures for which there have been new data made available since the publication of the previous Case for Inclusion. For other measures, the most recent data to be included in the Case for Inclusion are preserved on this website for the convenience of its users. For example, if the newest data for Measure X was collected in 2017, published by the original data source in 2018 and included in the Case for Inclusion 2019, the Case for Inclusion 2020 website will include data for Measure X from 2017 because it is the most recent available.
Users of the Case for Inclusion should keep in mind that the data here are the most recent available at the time of publication of the Case for Inclusion. We do not update the Case for Inclusion data throughout the year (though we do occasionally add new accompanying resources). For that reason, depending on the time of year you use the Case for Inclusion, you may find that an original data source has made newer data available that is not captured here. For example, the Case for Inclusion 2020 went to press in late January 2020 and was published on February 6, 2020. Users of this website in July 2020, for instance, may find that one of the original data sources published new findings since the 02/06/2020 publication date of the Case for Inclusion 2020.
A common question we receive is why duplicate the data here when it's available from the original sources. Two reasons come to mind. First, most of the original sources of data focus on a particular issue area (e.g., residential supports, employment opportunities, etc.); we aggregate data about different issue areas together so advocates have a one-stop shop for understanding how well states are supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Second, many of the original data sources track dozens or hundreds of measures. While this makes them a gold mine with different data that are useful for different audiences, the Case for Inclusion presents a select number of measures that hold wide appeal, no matter what motivates your exploration of the data.
For that reason, we are immensely grateful for the organizations that are the sources of the original data, and encourage users of the Case for Inclusion to visit those organizations' websites for new data, data on additional measures, detailed methodology information and more. Typically, the organizations that are the sources of the original data can be found in the citations on the pages of this website that house data applications (i.e., pages accessed by navigating to "Data by State" or "Data by Issue").