Community-based living means having a life in the community rather than in an institution. The idea of community-based living has resulted in the closure of institutions across the United States. It has been supported by significant legislation at the federal level, including most recently, the Olmstead Decision.
The Olmstead Decision
The Olmstead Decision concluded that under Title II of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), all states are required to place persons with mental disabilities in community settings rather than institutions.
What are Community Based Services?
Community-based services are supports that are provided for people with disabilities in their own homes and communities. Community-based services may include the following:
- Residential services including supervised apartments, group, family and host homes
- Personal assistance services.
- Support coordination and an individualized plan.
- Day programs, including placement in activity centers and adult skills programs.
- Vocational services, including supported employment, job training/ placement, and job coaching.
- Other community services, such as recreation, leisure, and transportation.
The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) provides support to people with developmental disabilities through the NOW/COMP waiver program.
Georgia Crisis Response System
The Georgia Crisis Response System for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (GCRS-DD) provides community-based crisis supports as an alternative to institutional placement, emergency room care, or involvement of law enforcement (including incarceration). GCRS-DD serves individuals with developmental disabilities aged 5 years and older in acute crisis situations who:
- Have documented evidence of an intellectual/developmental disability prior to age 18 or a closely related disability prior to age 22 or
Centers for Independent Living (CILs)
Centers for Independent Living are non-profit, non-residential, community-based organizations, governed and staffed by people with disabilities, that offer a wide variety of services to consumers with disabilities and their families. The foundation of these services is the peer-to-peer relationship, where people with disabilities act as mentors for other people with disabilities, showing them by example how to help themselves and to live independently. The core services that CILs provide are:
- Individual Advocacy and Systems Advocacy
- Peer Support
- Independent Living Skills Training
- Information and Referral
Depending on the needs of the communities they serve, CILs may provide other services that vary from one center to another. There are currently nine CILs serving Georgia. For more information contact the center nearest you. Georgia Directory of Centers for Independent Living
For CILs in other states, visit the National Council on Independent Living