Amy S Hewitt, Derek K Nord PhD, Matthew D Bogenschutz, Jennifer S Reinke

Community Living


In the United States, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are granted certain assurances and protections related to community living through public laws and related litigation on international, national, and state levels. Before these initiatives and related policies existed, community living simply meant living in a place in the community instead of being warehoused in a large, state-run institution. Today, community living is more complex. Community living means having a place to live and work in the community; skills to manage a living environment and navigate the community; and skills to ensure self-care, safety, and personal health. It also means being included in community activities of interest and having a social network rich with friends, family members, and allies. This paper provides an overview of community living for people with IDD, including information about where they live, work, and socialize, and about who assists them in building quality lives in their communities of choice.

Suggested Citation

Hewtt, A., Nord, D., Bogenschutz, M., & Reinke, J. (2013). Community Living. Inclusion, 1(1), 17–27.


Peer-Reviewed Article 
Volume 1, Number 1
Amy S Hewitt or +1 612-625-1098
Institute on Community Integration


  • Community life
    • Social inclusion
  • Health and safety
    • Health and wellness