The Case for Inclusion 2021: A Special Report on the Sustainability of Community Disability Services in AmericaCase for Inclusion 2021 Special Report
Published annually since 2006, the Case for Inclusion has traditionally assessed all 50 states and the District of Columbia on dozens of measures that indicate how well state programs are enabling people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to be included in the community.
Given the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has upended community-based IDD services, the 2021 edition of the Case for Inclusion takes a slightly different approach and instead examines state and federal policies to enable community services and the people leveraging them to thrive—both during and beyond the pandemic.
The Case for Inclusion 2021: A Special Report on the Sustainability of Community Disability Services in America serves three critical purposes. It exists to:
- Highlight the ways in which providers of community-based IDD services have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Take stock of the actions state and federal governments have taken to help ensure the continuity of IDD services during the pandemic.
- Offer a blueprint for concrete policy actions that should be taken by state Medicaid programs, the Biden administration and the 117th Congress to ensure providers can stay afloat through and beyond the pandemic, ultimately to ensure people with IDD have options and resources for living in the community well into the future.
The policy recommendations offered in the Case for Inclusion 2021 Special Report generally fall into one of three issue areas: policies that address providers’ immediate needs triggered by the pandemic, policies that supercharge the direct support workforce, and policies that foster innovations that enable better outcomes.
At the state level, this means making permanent the many game-changing regulatory flexibilities that were initiated in response to the pandemic. Among others, the report’s authors argue that continued retainer payments during temporary service disruptions, the flexibility to use telehealth services and the flexibility to deliver supports remotely are all essential to strengthening community disability supports.
At the federal level, there are a range of ways Congress and the Biden administration can invest in the long-term sustainability of community IDD supports. From supporting pilots to test alternative payment models to incentivizing states to assess and address the direct support workforce crisis, many of the policies recommended in the Case for Inclusion 2021 Special Report are meaningful (i.e., high-impact), manageable (i.e., low-cost) and moveable (i.e., they enjoy bipartisan support), making now the right time to pursue them.
Download the full Case for Inclusion 2021 Special Report and its accompanying resources below to learn more.