CDS promotes inclusive and accessible programs and policies that can enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. Whether those advances spring from Center initiatives or best practices in the community, CDS strives to educate individuals in the public and private sectors about them.

Dover & D.C.

Learn here, and engage in, what’s happening on the policy front:

Eye the bills CDS is tracking in the Legislature and on Capitol Hill.
Absorb press accounts included in News from CDS and News In the Community.
Discover goings on in the Beltway and beyond from the CDS-affiliated Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
Read and comment on what CDS’s Inclusion blog writers are saying about policy issues affecting the community.
Eye the bills CDS is tracking in the Legislature and on Capitol Hill.
Absorb press accounts included in News from CDS and News In the Community.
Discover goings on in the Beltway and beyond from the CDS-affiliated Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
Read and comment on what CDS’s Inclusion blog writers are saying about policy issues affecting the community.

Community Living

Medicaid funding that paid for institutional care increasingly is going to support people with disabilities so they can live and work in the settings of their choice, thanks to the home- and community-based settings (HCBS) rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Learn about, and engage in, the issue by: 1) viewing this video and reading this press account of CDS’s first-in-the-nation town hall meeting on the CMS rule; 2) reviewing the radio interview, press story, public testimony and blog post that feature CDS Director Beth Mineo; 3) noting how work groups convened by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Developmental Disabilities developed survey instruments and protocols to assess compliance with the new rule; 4) assessing the plan Delaware submitted to implement the CMS rule; and 5) perusing the Delaware HCBS Advocacy Page from the Developmental Disabilities Network that tracks progress on the HCBS rule.

Health Equity

Through research and community outreach, CDS strives to eliminate gaps in health care and health outcomes for people with disabilities. Compared to their counterparts without disabilities, adults with disabilities are nearly three times more likely to have diabetes, depression, a heart attack and stroke and are almost twice as likely to delay doctor visits because of cost, while youth with disabilities are more likely to be overweight, smokers, depressed and suicidal.

Learn about, and engage in, the issue, by: 1) reviewing this assessment of Delaware’s health disparities and its companion Plan to Achieve Health Equity; 2) reading this op-ed and these 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Annual Report articles about bringing health equity to Delawareans with disabilities; 3) evaluating Delaware Health and Social Services’ new inclusion policy; and 4) noting advances on attaining oral health equity in this UDaily story, 2015-2016 Annual Report article, and oral health surveys of consumers and professionals.

Technology

The ways it empowers people with disabilities – think ramps, adaptive art tools, support harnesses and hearing aids – appear limitless. Yet technology remains underused by everyone from educators and providers to people with disabilities and their families. Only three percent of Individualized Family Service Plans for children with disabilities, for example, include assistive technology, while on college campuses, few instructors caption the videos they make available to their absent students.

Learn about efforts and opportunities underway – and CDS’s involvement in them – to enhance the use of technology to support people with disabilities and their families. Among those efforts and opportunities: CDS is addressing how the communications needs of people with cognitive disabilities must be met as a member of the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee; the Center’s helpline, allreadyde.org website and app are showing first responders how they can better serve the disability community; CDS’s Delaware Department of Education-funded Accessible Instructional Materials Center is getting schools to appreciate the benefits of its technology, and; CDS is promoting a new home-modification program, innovations that benefit people with vision loss and a preventive, Delaware-wide, Smart911 service.

Employment

At 20 percent, the labor participation rate of adults with disabilities is up from 2014’s 17.1 percent. Yet it’s still awful: 20 percent is more than three times lower than the national average. Worse, many holding jobs earn a subminimum wage that can pay them as little as two cents an hour. Two cents.

Learn how people with disabilities can access more and better jobs – and what CDS is doing to help change the playing field – by: reading this blog and letter to the editor that task leaders to make employing people with disabilities a priority; viewing Disability Mentoring Day videos of former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and participants in DMD that challenge employers to hire people with disabilities; commenting on student blogs that underscore the value of a diversified workforce; considering an article that explains how UD graduates with intellectual disabilities buck employment trends; and sharing a blogger’s outrage as she details abuses exposed in the documentary film, Bottom Dollars.