Community-based, consumer-directed services: Differential experiences of people with mild and severe intellectual disabilities


Two intervention concepts have become widely accepted in the developmental disability field: (1) that residential services should be provided in the person's own home and (2) that consumers should have choice in services.Yet, there has been litde empirical research to support these practices. In particular, it is unclear whether some individuals are better able to gain access to services delivered under this practice framework and experience more benefits than others. This study uses data from Washington State's National Core Indicators 2002 consumer survey to address these questions.Two subgroups, the first having a severe intellectual disability (ID) profile (n = 101) and the second having a mild ID profile (n = 220), were identified in the data set and compared. Individuals with mild intellectual disabilities experienced greater choice and smaller residential settings than did those with severe intellectual disabilities. Next, a multigroup path analysis assessed paths from size of living unit and consumer choice to community inclusion, revealing significant relationships between variables for the severe group but not for the mild group.

Publication Title

Social Work Research