This summer, ICI trained community health workers in Rwanda on identifying the signs of autism in children and on principles for addressing the needs of people with disabilities in rural communities.
In rural Africa, people with autism and other disabilities are stigmatized and routinely hidden indoors. Community health workers search for them and, when found, provide services to them.
Most Medicaid recipients with disabilities would rather receive long-term services in their homes and communities, but Medicaid funding is biased towards institutional living. ICI’s new Policy Research Brief explains this institutional bias… and how to tilt it towards person-centered services, full community inclusion, and individual choice.
On October 3, federal, state, and ICI experts discuss this problem—and possible solutions—in an online public forum exploring how disparities in funding for services affects people with disabilities. Heidi Hamilton, disability services director for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and Michael Gamel-McCormick, disability policy director for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, will join ICI researchers and others at the forum.
“Prevalence isn’t just about knowing how many people live with a certain disorder; it’s about making sure people who do live with a disorder are able to access the supports that work best for them, so I’m hoping we can move more in that direction as we do this work,” Katrina Simons said. “Knowing there are others out there can make it a little easier to ask for help.”
Simons (pictured), who lives with cerebral palsy, works on an ICI study that will estimate the prevalence of cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy.