Using The Case for Inclusion Report:
This report is intended to help advocates and policymakers understand:
- How their state performs overall in serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
- What services and outcomes need attention and improvement in their state; and
- Which states are top performers in key areas, so advocates and officials in those top-performing states can act as a resource for those states desiring to improve in key areas.
This report puts each state’s progress in serving individuals with intellectuals and developmental disabilities into a national context.
Advocates should use this information to educate other advocates, providers, families and individuals, policymakers and state administrations on key achievements and areas needing improvement within each state. The facts and figures can support policy reforms and frame debates about resource allocation for the ID/DD population. Advocates can also use the information to prioritize those areas that need the most immediate attention. Lastly, advocates can use the facts to support adequate and ongoing funding to maintain high quality outcomes, eliminate waiting lists and close large institutions.
Elected officials should use this report as a guiding document on which issues and states need time and attention and, possibly, additional resources or more inclusive state policies to improve outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Those within federal and state administrations should use this report to put their work and accomplishments in context and to chart a course for the next focus area in the quest for continuous improvement and improved quality of life. The states should replicate this data reporting in more detail at the state and county level to identify areas of excellence and to target critical issues needing attention.
Advancing public policy change is tough.
Good public policy changes lives. Bad public policy hurts people and keeps them isolated from their families and communities.
UCP recognizes that to many potential advocates the legislative process is mysterious and daunting. To explain that process and learn from the successes of other change agents, UCP has developed a roadmap of how anyone can transform public policy and the lives those policies impact. The Plan for Inclusion (LINK) breaks down the process into four steps (taken from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Sloan Leadership Model):
- Sense-Making – have solid information and facts about what drives the current system. The Case for Inclusion is a key part of this information.
- Relating – policy change is all about relationships. Advocates have to build those relationships to have the foundation that makes it possible to work together with policymakers toward positive change.
- Visioning – prioritize the one or two key policy changes and have a laser focus on those areas.
- Innovating – replicating the proven innovations succeeding in other states is much easier than trying to implement a never-before-tried idea.
The Plan for Inclusion goes in depth into each of these areas with specific action steps about what you can do, how to get it done, and detailed policy reforms that are working. The Plan also includes important lessons learned from change agents in key states who have gone before, learned the tough lessons and share those experiences to make advocacy easier for you. Change is achievable and can make a profound and positive difference in the lives of Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Read the Plan, develop your own action plan, and then make it happen.