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NDRN Report Calls for More Monitoring of People with Disabilities Transitioning Out of Institutions

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) today released the report Keeping the Promise: True Community Integration and the Need for Monitoring and Advocacy. The report summarizes two projects that monitored people with disabilities, many of whom were moving out of large institutions into homes in the community.

“We wanted to determine how the lives of these individuals had changed since moving into more independent housing in the community,” said Curt Decker, executive director of NDRN.  “There is often great concern for their safety, for the quality of the housing and the services they receive, as well as what new opportunities for real community integration will be available.  These two projects helped us get answers.”

The projects found that the individuals moving out of institutions into the community were generally happy with their new homes and enjoyed having more independence and a greater freedom of choice.  Yet, they also discovered environmental safety issues in the homes themselves as well as some quality of life issues.

“The findings demonstrate that institutions can be closed and individuals with disabilities moved into community settings, but their quality of life can be no more independent and integrated than their lives in institutions unless community integration efforts include monitoring and advocacy,” said Decker.

The funds for the projects were provided by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) to NDRN who then granted awards to two of its member agencies - the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program and Disability Rights North Carolina.  Both agencies have extensive experience monitoring the transition of individuals from institutions to the community and providing advocacy and legal services to those individuals who need it.

The report can be found at www.ndrn.org.

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