Case for Inclusion 2023 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 2006 until 2019, the Case for Inclusion 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 2023 thus assesses all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 80 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.
For the 2023 edition of the Case for Inclusion, new data were available for some measures but not others. The data you see here were the latest available as of the date when the 2023 report went to print, which was in early February 2023. Users visiting this site after that time but before the launch of the Case for Inclusion 2024 should consider using the source notes to visit the websites of the organizations that furnish data included in the Case for Inclusion, as more recent data may be available.
A common question we receive is why duplicate the data here when it's available from the original sources. Two reasons drive this approach. 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 a diverse array of 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").