Community Living

Children playing on a slide

For decades, Iowa policy-makers, citizens with disabilities, family members, and a vast array of stakeholders have engaged in public dialogue about how to create welcoming and inclusive communities. The discussion usually starts with the shortcomings of the various systems that touch the lives of people with disabilities. CDD has participated in many, many such discussions, and we observe that inevitably the conversation will turn to a point on which everyone agrees: It is ideas and attitudes that matter. The biggest barriers to community living spring from a lack of the sense of what’s possible--on the part of the larger community, and in the minds of family members and their loved ones. CDD is involved in the following initiatives to improve awareness and build community capacity:

Iowa Initiatives Assisted by CDD

  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers – Individuals and their family members can receive the options counseling and application assistance for supports and services for people with disabilities 18 and older or aging services ages 55 or older. Visit the Iowa Department of Aging website to locate regional Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
  • Community Connections Supporting Reentry – This series of trainings brings together staff from the many service systems that support individuals reentering the community after incarceration.
  • Families in Iowa Network for Disabilities (FIND) – Families/guardians with loved ones with disabilities who are learning to deal with a new disability diagnosis, wondering if their child will ever work, thinking about transitioning their loved one out of facility based care, or who are confronted in the home with the issue of aging family caregivers are matched with family mentors who have relevant experience and suggestions to share.
  • Money Follows the Person – Provides opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to move out of intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and into their own homes or apartments in the community of their choice.
  • Olmstead Consumer Taskforce – Self-advocates can participate in statewide advocacy initiatives focused on improving policies, accessible housing options and services or supports needed to live in communities of their choice.

Programs Run by CDD with Funding from State or Federal Partners

  • Creating Accessible Homes and Workplaces through Universal Design – The primary audience for this training includes professional home builders, remodeling contractors, and those in related building trades.
  • Hello, It's Us! – Public access television shows that examine the advantages of inclusion from many different perspectives.
  • Iowa Program for Assistive Technology – Learn about assistive device loan lending libraries, in addition to information about various devices that improve an individual’s ability to live learn and recreate in the community.
  • Living Well Iowa - Emergency Preparedness – Training programs for individuals with disabilities, their families and service providers to help them develop emergency plans and grab and go kits.
  • Used Equipment Referral Service – A free statewide resource to sell or purchase used assistive devices, accessible vehicles or home modifications. This is now known as the Iowa Assistive Technology Exchange Program, available through Easter Seals of Iowa.