Policy and Research Needs to Maximize Independence and Support Community Living: Workshop Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Living independently and participating in one’s community are priorities for many people. In many regions across the United States, there are programs that support and enable people with disabilities and older adults to live in the setting of their choosing and to participate fully in their communities. Tremendous progress has been made. However, many programs are small, and even when they prove to be successful they are still not scaled up to meet the needs of the many people who would benefit from them. The challenges can include insufficient workforce, insufficient funding, and lack of evidence demonstrating effectiveness or value.

On October 6, 2015, the Institute of Medicine and the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education convened a public workshop to explore the policies and research needed to support community living and maximizing independence. The workshop was supported by a group of sponsors and hosted by the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence. This document summarizes the workshop.