Kaelan Richards: 202-973-7175,


The Case for Inclusion analyzes and ranks states on services for Americans with intellectual and development disabilities

Washington, DC (May 23, 2012) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released The Case for Inclusion today, an annual report that tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD), and there will be a press briefing at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT). Author Tarren Bragdon will provide insight into the rankings and data, which advocacy groups and individuals can use to raise awareness for key outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Toll-free: 1-888-450-5996
  • Participant passcode: 786597

The findings for 2012 reveal that:

  1. While progress has been made, there is room for improvement: 36 states can now show that 80% of the individuals with ID/DD in their states are served in the community;
  2. States are becoming more involved in ensuring the quality of the services they provide: 29 states have established a comprehensive quality assurance program to measure the outcomes of the community services they deliver; and
  3. But there is still more to do, particularly in providing services: waiting lists for critical community services continue to climb with more than a quarter of a million, (268,000), people with ID/DD.


The 2012 report shows that the states with the best services and supports for Americans living with disabilities are Arizona, Michigan and California. The lowest performing states are Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi, which have remained at the bottom of the rankings since The Case for Inclusion was first published in 2006.

While many states appear to be financially stable, the coming intersection of an aging population, people living with disabilities, and limited financial resources will have a significant impact on the country.

The report examines data and outcomes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), ranking each on a set of key indicators, including how people with disabilities live and participate in their communities, if they are satisfied with their lives, and how easily the services and supports they need are accessed. By taking these factors into account, UCP is able to develop a comprehensive analysis of each state’s progress or failures in providing critical services to individuals living with disabilities.

Since 2006, these rankings enable families, advocates, the media and policymakers to fully understand each state’s progress or lack of improvement, and help to protect successful efforts against unwise funding cuts, as well as guide future reforms to promote inclusion and enhance the quality of life for these, and ultimately all, Americans.

“Each year, UCP publishes The Case for Inclusion as part of its continuing efforts to advocate for civil rights protections and public policies that provide support for individuals living with disabilities, ensuring fair and full citizenship for all Americans,” said former UCP President & CEO, Stephen Bennett. “The Case for Inclusion clearly identifies the states that are successful in providing the supports and services that people living with disabilities need, as well as states that are struggling. I urge all states and advocates to utilize The Case for Inclusion as a tool to strengthen their efforts, and to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities.”

New online features, reports and data:
The 2012 report, in addition to data from all previous reports since 2006, is available on UCP’s website using a robust new web module and design at ucp.org/public-policy/the-case-for-inclusion. Users can:

  • Compare state & national data
  • View state scorecards
  • Interact with the ranking map
  • See highlights of the 2012 report, top and bottom 10 states, most improved states and those with biggest drops, and  facts about the best performing states
  • Advocate for areas needing improvement in states, and promote achievements that maintain high quality outcomes, like eliminating waiting lists and closing large institutions
  • Download the full 2012 report and previous reports


Users can pull individual state outcomes and measures, track each state’s performance over time, and compare states among one another and to the US average. The Case for Inclusion data, tables and graphs are exportable and printable as needed for personal and professional use.

Importance, methodology and advocacy:
In the 1999 case Olmstead v. L.C., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that institutionalizing individuals living with disabilities that can benefit from, and want to live in the community, was discrimination. The Case for Inclusion was developed in response to this decision, and ranks how well each state’s Medicaid programs serve Americans with ID/DD. These individuals, including the aging, deserve the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.

In rankings, each state and DC is analyzed and ranked based on five key outcome areas: promoting independence, tracking quality and safety, keeping families together, promoting productivity, and reaching those in need.

Significant takeaways from the 2012 ranking:

  1. All states still have room for improvement, but some states have consistently remained at the bottom since 2007, including Arkansas (#49), Illinois (#48), Mississippi (#51) and Texas (#50);
  2. 36 states now meet the 80/80 Community standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in the community, and 80% of all resources spent on those with ID/DD are for community support;
  3. As of 2010, 11 states have no state institutions to seclude those with ID/DD, including Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon (new this year), Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and D.C. In addition, Minnesota closed its last remaining institution in June 2011, and another 12 states have only one institution each;
  4. 22 states now meet the 80% Home-like Setting standard, which means that at least 80% of all individuals with ID/DD are served in their own home, a family home, family foster care, shared apartments, or in other small group settings with fewer than three residents;
  5. 29 states participate in the National Core Indicators (NCI) model, a comprehensive quality assurance program that includes standard measures to asses outcomes of services (nationalcoreindicators.org);
  6. Only 15 states were supporting a large share of families through family support (at least 200 families per 100,000 of population). This is important because those support services provide assistance to families that are caring for children with disabilities at home, which helps keep families together and people with disabilities living in a community setting;
  7. Just nine states have at least one-third (33%) of individuals with ID/DD working in competitive employment, which best recognize and support work as key to a meaningful life. These states include Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington; and
  8. Waiting lists for critical services continue to climb and show the unmet need of individuals living with ID/DD and their families. More than a quarter of a million people (268,000) are on a waiting list for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). To address this need, states’ HCBS programs would need to collectively increase by 46%.


# # #

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.