Creating Livable Communities
October 31, 2006
SCOPE AND PURPOSE:
Creating Livable Communities is an outgrowth of the National Council on Disability’s (NCD) interest and recent work in the topic of livable communities for people with disabilities. The main impetus for this interest is threefold: 1) the prospect of a growing population of people with disabilities as the baby boom generation ages, 2) the desire that people with disabilities-indeed, all people-have to live in their own homes and communities and maintain their self-determination, dignity, and independence for as long as possible, and 3) the pressures that these factors will exert on local communities that strive to become livable for people of all ages and abilities. Two research reports recently published by NCD thoroughly examine these challenges, as well as promising practices in addressing them: Livable Communities for Adults with Disabilities (2004) and The State of 21st Century Long-Term Services and Supports: Financing and Systems Reform for Americans with Disabilities (2005). The findings in these reports motivated NCD to delve deeper into the topic of livable communities, identify barriers to developing them, and shed light on potential methods for overcoming these barriers.
Creating Livable Communities presents six strategies or policy levers, gleaned from the two previous research reports, that can be implemented on the federal and local levels to promote collaboration and coordination and support livable community objectives. Each of these strategies is illustrated by actual promising practices at both the federal and state levels that can be adapted and replicated elsewhere. It should be noted that these general policy levers and specific illustrative examples were selected from a vast array of actions that can be taken to address the various elements of community livability.