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Article: FAQ: Community-Based Living

Community-Based Living FAQ

Table of Contents
  1. Community-Based Living FAQ

What is community-based living?
What are community-based services?
What are personal assistance services?
What is the Olmstead Decision and how does it affect community living?
What is "individualized planning" or "person-centered planning?"
What is a case manager?
What are community-based programs and how can I access these programs?
What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?
Is there clothing made especially for people with disabilities?
What is universal design?
How do I find an ASL interpreter?
What outdoor recreational activities are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges?
What accommodations are available for individuals traveling with a disability?
What volunteer opportunities are available for individuals with disabilities?
In what ways can aging individuals and people with disabilities prepare for a natural disaster?
How do people with disabilities use the Internet?

What is community-based living?

Community-based living means having a life in the community rather than in an institution. The idea of community-based living has resulted in the closure of institutions across the United States. It has been supported by significant legislation at the federal level, including most recently, the Olmstead Act.

To learn more about community-based living, refer to the Guide to Community-Based Living.

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What are community-based services?

Community-based services are support services that are provided for people with disabilities and the elderly who live in their own homes and communities. Community-based services provide help for all aspects of a person's life and may include the following:

  • Residential services and facilities, including supervised apartments or group homes.
  • Personal assistance services, including assistive technology.
  • Care planning, case management, and a comprehensive individualized plan, that includes a case manager, the person in need of services, and other people that support the individual.
  • Day programs, including placement in activity centers and adult skills programs.
  • Vocational services, including supported employment programs, job training and placement, and job coaching.
  • Other quality of life services, such as recreation, leisure, and transportation.

 

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What are personal assistance services?

Personal Assistance Services (PAS) include any assistance that is provided for people with disabilities to help them with everyday activities. These services may include providing assistance to enable an individual to participate in sports, hobbies, clubs, and other community activities and events.

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What is the Olmstead Decision and how does it affect community living?

The Olmstead Decision concluded that under Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), all states are required to place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than institutions. There are a number of factors that determine when this is appropriate. To view the complete text of the Olmstead decision, go to: www.ada.gov/olmstead/index.htm.

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What is "individualized planning" or "person-centered planning?"

Individualized planning or "person-centered planning" is a method used by professionals to empower individuals with disabilities, allowing them to take charge of their lives. A "plan of care" or a "plan of services" is included as part of the individual's plan. A few of the most common plans are the Individualized Education Program (IEP), Individualized Transition Program (ITP), and the Individualized Employment Plan (IEP).

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What is a case manager?

A case manager is a person who is knowledgeable in the area of disability or long term care support services and has experience helping people with disabilities and/or helping the elderly. A case manager may work for state or local government agencies, for nonprofit organizations, or hospitals. They may charge for their help and services, or they may be paid by a government program.

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What are community-based programs and how can I access these programs?

Community-based programs are organized activities held on a regular basis in non-institutional settings. Programs can be "center-based," meaning they have a building where they meet regularly and where activities are held, or they can be "community-based," meaning that most or all of the activities are conducted outside a building using community resources.

Refer to the Guide to Community Life: Community-Based Programs for People with Disabilities and the Elderly for a list of programs in your community.

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What is a Supplemental Needs Trust?

A Supplemental Needs Trust (also known as a Special Needs Trust) is a trust that is set-up for a person with a disability and/or those who receive government benefits. The trust is established so the individuals will not be disqualified or become ineligible for government assistance.

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Is there clothing made especially for people with disabilities?

Clothing can be a problem for a person with disabilities. Buttons, small sleeve openings, and other details of everyday clothing can be difficult to manage. These obstacles can be overcome through the use of adaptive clothing. Clothing can either be made or adjusted to better suit a person with a specific disability. There are also many companies who make clothing specifically for people with special needs. With the right clothing, individuals with disabilities can enjoy greater independence and increased self-esteem. 

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What is universal design?

Accessible design means that products and buildings are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Universal design, however, means that products and buildings are accessible to everyone, including those people with disabilities.

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How do I find an ASL interpreter?

To find an interpreter or for tips on hiring an interpreter, visit: http://www.rid.org/about-interpreting/hiring-an-interpreter/. Also, refer to the Guide to Public Accommodation and Accessibility: Communication for information on who to contact in your state about hiring an interpreter

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What outdoor recreational activities are accessible to individuals with mobility challenges?

Participating in outdoor recreational activities is difficult for many who struggle with mobility issues. However, it is possible to take part in many activities through the use of assistive technology and devices. There are numerous groups that promote outdoor recreation for individuals with disabilities. For contact information and information about assistive technology and devices that can make outdoor activity possible, refer to the Guide to Recreation.

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What accommodations are available for individuals traveling with a disability?

Traveling opportunities for people with disabilities are endless. With extra planning and the availability of special services, traveling can be a rewarding and therapeutic experience. There are numerous companies that cater specifically to disabled travelers. They offer organized tours, accessible van rentals, and companion travelers with medical expertise. For resources and information regarding these options refer to Guide to Recreation.

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What volunteer opportunities are available for individuals with disabilities?

People who volunteer give their time and energy to make life better for others. These volunteers also find that serving others can be a rewarding experience. It serves as an outlet for their talents and abilities. The Internet offers information on many available volunteer opportunities. 

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In what ways can aging individuals and people with disabilities prepare for a natural disaster?

Disasters and emergencies are a fact of life and are generally not something we can control, but you can reduce the impact of a disaster or an emergency in your life by planning ahead. In dealing with an emergency, it is best not to make assumptions. Find out if there is an emergency or evacuation plan for your workplace or apartment building. Also, learn what disaster services there are in your area for the elderly or for people with disabilities. 

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How do people with disabilities use the Internet?

The Internet is a way to foster independence of people with disabilities and connect them to the world. Through accessible web design and the use of assistive technology, a person who is blind is able to read the daily news, a student who is deaf is able to participate in online classes, and an older individual is able to do all of their shopping from home. Refer to the Guide to Public Accommodation and Accessibility: Accessible Design or more information on assistive technologies that can help individuals with disabilities, use the Internet.

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Last Updated on 10/22/2015