Impact: Feature Issue on the Direct Support Workforce and People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

Part of the Impact series.
Managing Editor(s)
Vicki D Gaylord
Amy S Hewitt, Joseph Macbeth, Barbara Merrill, Barbara A Kleist
Sarah L Curtner


An issue in the Impact series that discusses the Direct Support workforce and people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. In the past 40 years, the U.S. has experienced a dramatic shift away from large congregate care facilities to home and family based services for people with disabilities needing supports. As a result of decades of advocacy and self-advocacy, today people with disabilities have a legal right to be included in the life of their communities. However, that right is bumping up against limitations in the systems of services and supports necessary to meet the needs of a growing population of individuals with disabilities.

This Impact examines some of the workforce challenges in our long-term care system and their consequences for people with disabilities, Direct Support Professionals, families, provider agencies, and communities. It shares personal stories of what is and isn't working for those delivering and receiving supports. It looks at creative, bold actions being taken around the country to address the problems. And it explores ways to be a collective force for change and ensure that quality supports are there for people with disabilities in all communities.


Winter/Spring 2018 
Volume 31, Number 1
Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)


  • Direct support workforce
    • Supervision and mentoring
    • Human resources and management
    • Retention and recruitment
    • Workforce development strategies
    • Training
  • Community life
    • Community supports and services
    • Person-centered planning and practices
    • Social inclusion
    • Consumer/self-directed services
  • Specific life stage
    • Adults
    • Seniors
  • Housing and residential services
    • Consumer/self-directed services
    • Family supports/in-home services
    • Institutions and deinstitutionalization
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)