Guideposts for High-Quality Community Life Engagement Supports: Results of Expert Interviews

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While the benefits of community life engagement (CLE) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) are clear, high-quality day services and supports remain largely undefined. This study interviewed “experts” in the field of CLE in order to seek agreement about what constitutes “best practices” for day services and supports that lead to CLE. Using a semistructured interview protocol, we asked 13 experts in the field, representing diverse standpoints, about their delivery and utilization of supports. Four overarching themes emerged: (Guidepost 1) Individualize supports for each person; (Guidepost 2) Promote community membership and contribution; (Guidepost 3) Use human and social capital to decrease dependence on paid supports; and (Guidepost 4) Ensure that supports are outcome-oriented and regularly monitored. Recommendations are offered for the field.

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