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great success in discharging intellectually and developmentally disabled
residents from our state institutions; have we been as effective in providing
them the services they need to successfully live in the community?
II. BACKGROUND FACTS, FIGURES AND TRENDS
It is estimated that there are between 4.6 and 7.7 million Americans
living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).6
Approximately 460,600 of those individuals currently receive residential
care.7 A developmental disability is a severe chronic disability that can be
either cognitive or physical, or both.8 Individuals born with developmental
disabilities may have physical issues that prevent them from being able to
walk, feed themselves, or do many other activities of daily living.9 An
intellectual disability is a form of a developmental disability “characterized
by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning (reasoning,
learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior, which covers a range
of everyday social and practical skills.”10 The intellectual disabilities
category encompasses a number of conditions, including autism, Downs
Syndrome, self-destructive behavior, and what has been traditionally
referred to as “retardation.”11
Roughly 91% of individuals with IDD receive their care from non-
governmental agencies.12 The rest, approximately 41,680 people, live in
state-operated IDD or psychiatric facilities.13
6 How Prevalent are Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the United States?,
BETHESDA INSTITUTE, (2012), http://bethesdainstitute.org/document.doc?id=413.
7 See Sheryl Larson et al., Residential Services for Persons with Intellectual or
Developmental Disabilities: Status and Trends through 2011, INST. ON CMTY INTEGRATION:
UNIV. OF MINN., at xii (2013) [hereinafter Larson et al.], available at http://rtc.umn.
edu/risp/docs/risp2011.pdf (based on estimates for June 30, 2011).
8 Frequently Asked Questions on Intellectual Disability, AM. ASS’N ON INTELLECTUAL &
DEV. DISABILITIES, http://aaidd.org/intellectual-disability/definition/faqs-on-intellectual-
disability#.UsWpKPRDuSo (last visited Mar. 30, 2015) [hereinafter Frequently Asked
Questions on Intellectual Disability].
9 See Order Approving Consent Decree at 3, United States v. Virgini a, 282 F.R.D. 403
(E.D. Va. 2012) (No. 3:12-CV-00059-JAG).
10 Frequently Asked Questions on Intellectual Disability, supra note 8.
11 Order Approving Consent Decree, supra note 9, at 3.
12 Larson et al., supra note 7, at 40. See also id. at 50 (reporting that “[b]etween 19 77
and 2011, the proportion of people with IDD living in settings operated by non-state agencies
increased from 37% to 91% overall).
13 Larson et al., supra note 7, at 7.