Life After IDEA Protections: A Call for the Expansion of Community-Based Opportunities for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Volume 91, Online
Despite congressional findings that all people are “presumed to be capable of engaging in gainful employment,” individuals with serious intellectual disabilities face barriers to obtaining and maintaining meaningful employment. One barrier to employment is the lack of funding for long-term job support, which many individuals with intellectual disabilities require. Although the primary method of funding long-term support is Medicaid Home- and Community-Based Services Waivers, states limit the number of waivers available to their residents and leave many people on waiting lists for funding. Unfortunately, states are not required to provide a waiver to every eligible individual, as the Medicaid statute does not require that states give funding for community-based services to all. This lack of entitlement to a waiver results in an administrative failure and denial of equal employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.