Increasing community integration and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Historically residential facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities have served the role of segregation and congregation with no real focus on integration into the community. More recently the focus has been to get people out of residential institutions and into community-based living settings. This work examines an approach to changing the systems and culture at a large residential facility to create higher rates of transitions to community-based living settings. A multi-phased systematic implementation approach is discussed in which each successive phase builds upon the previous phase. This approach creates opportunities for community integrated activities and then utilizes these community contexts as functional learning opportunities. Results are evaluated in the areas of community presence, community participation, community integration and community inclusion. Data indicate significant increases in each of these areas based on changing the facility focus, simplifying the intrusive accountability systems, aligning resources and teaching staff how to utilize support plans more efficiently to teach skills in functionally appropriate community integrated activities.