ICI Researchers Publish Guideposts for Community Life Engagement Supports
ICI staffers Dr. Jennifer Sulewski, Jaimie Ciulla Timmons, Oliver Lyons, and Allison Cohen Hall recently published an article titled Guideposts for High-Quality Community Life Engagement Supports: Results of Expert Interviews. The guideposts referred to in the title emerged from interviews with self-advocates with disabilities, parents, service provider administrators, state agency leaders, and researchers.
The article appears in the latest issue of Inclusion, which is the journal of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Dr. Sulewski explained, “The goal of the interviews was to learn what ‘best practices’ are for day services and supports that lead to community life engagement.”
Community life engagement refers to everything that people with disabilities do to engage with others while they are not working. This includes volunteering, playing sports, getting involved in religious or spiritual organizations, and everything else that people without disabilities might do in their non-work hours.
Four overarching themes emerged from the interviews and are discussed in the new article:
(Guidepost 1) Individualize supports for each person.
(Guidepost 2) Promote community membership and contribution.
(Guidepost 3) Use human and social capital to decrease dependence on paid supports.
(Guidepost 4) Ensure that supports are outcome-oriented and regularly monitored. Recommendations are offered for the field.