Education Writing assignment

A Community Residence for Children with Developmental Disabilities:

Theory of Change and Logic Model

Student ABC

Nova Southeastern University

Mission: To provide a community residence and a full range of services for local children with developmental disabilities, enabling families to keep their children nearby while ensuring an optimal living environment for every member of the family.


Build partnerships between agency, families & state
) (
Hire and train staff
) (
Utilize research data
) (
Obtain funding from state

Provide service coordination & support to consumers & families
) P

Develop residence
for community ID/DD children

Currently placed o
ut of county or state

Select residents and move in; rostered, trained staff provides caretaking

Family is relieved of the expense and hardship of

Community Wait List
) (
Emergency Wait List

Olmstead Vineland List (institutions)
) (
Children are cared

for in a safe, supportive environment by trained, rostered staff.
) (
Family members enjoy improved
quality of life, greater peace of mind and a more stable
) (
Family income rises due
reduced expenses

and grea
ter availability of hours for em
) (
Children are part of, and participate in, local community life and family events

Narrative: Theory of Change

This model was developed to show how the development of a community residence for children can lead to significant positive change in the lives of families and their children with developmental disabilities. The overall goal is to allow parents to place their children in local community residences, staffed and maintained by a non-profit agency, which would give parents the “best of both worlds”: relief of the hardship & expense of care-taking, while keeping the children within the local community to preserve the closeness of family (both physically and regarding interpersonal relationships).

If a thorough needs assessment is done, the research data will aide in developing a residence designed with the specific needs of families in the county who seek residential placements for their children. By pooling ideas and resources through partnerships with state agencies and families, private non-profits can build community residences that will optimize federal and state monies allocated for disability assistance in a way that leads to a better quality of life for all family members, both with and without disabilities.

The current obstacle is an inability to obtain funding (the current problem in this state), both for the agency and for the individual consumers. Even with the funding to build a residence, other problems can flow from an inadequate budget, particularly the ability to hire enough service coordinators and direct care staff. Service coordinators who have heavy caseloads are not able to provide adequate time and assistance to the families and consumers who rely on their assistance. Direct care staff who are scheduled for too many hours, or who are required to supervise an unreasonable number of individuals on a shift, experience frequent burnout. This results in high turnover, impacting both the immediate physical care of consumers as well as impeding their ability to develop lasting positive relationships with those who are charged with their care. The importance of good pay, benefits, and a supportive administration are vital to maintaining productive staff members.

Inadequate funding for consumers through the Community Waiver program can potentially reduce the quality of medical care, as well as limit their budgets for food, clothing, personal needs and social activities. Children who are deficient in basic personal and medical care will be less likely to make meaningful progress in achieving self-care skills and in their education. Ultimately, parents may feel they have no choice but to continue with home care in such a situation. This would defeat the desired outcomes for out-of-home care for both children and their families.

With continued advocacy and legal action (to counter non-compliance by the state), it is hoped that programs such as this one will soon be able to receive funding and move forward.



Program Logic Model







Families of Consumers


Agency Personnel

State of NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities

Community Waiver

State Funding

Agency headquarters and residences

Meet with Service Coordinator (SC) to discuss ELP, ISP & request support services
Selected for agency residence
Consumers move into residence
Request funding to develop local residence for children
Build residence
Assign Service Coordinators (SC)
Hire & train residence staff

Approve funding for residence & consumers
Funding used for individual consumer expenses
Used to pay agency expenses

Family receive requisite support services
Family participates in agency programs
Consumers receive assistance in ADL skills; pursue goals & objectives as per ISP.
Residence is opened & staffed
SC develops ELP & ISP
Schedule activities as per ISP
State audits expense records and agency reports

Family is relieved of caretaking
Parents increase knowledge & advocacy skills
Consumers live with peers in safe, supportive environment
Consumers make progress as per ISP goals & objectives
Residence is regularly inspected & well-maintained

Staff follow agency protocols and provide appropriate care
Children are integrated into community through social events & activities.
Meet state regulations

Expenses are reduced
Parents have greater availability for employment
Consumers & staff develop positive relations
Level of capability increases as goals & objectives are reached
ISP is reviewed every 6 months and modified as needed
Residence becomes flagship model
Community residents & neighbors show informal support & acceptance
Maintain compliance annually

Increased income
Improved quality of life
Peace of mind knowing that children are being cared for properly.
Enhanced relationship between family members & consumer

Consumers are thriving and acquiring skills that promote self-care and independence
More residences for children are developed based on this model as funding becomes available
ISP serves to promote ELP
Consumers are seen as valued members of the community

Narrative: Logic Model

For children with developmental disabilities who live in Passaic County, NJ, the options for residential placement are very limited; unfortunately, there are no community residences within this large county of 165 square miles. Families must choose between home care, accepting a placement far from home, or, for children who are currently placed in large state developmental centers (institutions), keeping them in their current placement. At this time, New Jersey has no funding to develop any new community residences for children, family reimbursement money and respite hours have been reduced due to budget constraints.

For some families, care-taking is an overwhelming hardship; they are faced with providing constant supervision and assistance with inadequate human and financial resources. In homes with children who exhibit behaviors dangerous to themselves or others, the individual who is supervising cannot lose focus or turn away, even for a minute. This heavy responsibility limits the available hours for employment for the care-taking adults, reducing income; extra costs associated with care-taking further deplete family funds. Some children require the use of medical or adaptive equipment, requiring adult assistance and supervision; others are totally dependent upon a care-taker for feeding, dressing, bathing and toileting. The impact on family life can be detrimental to the well-being and interpersonal relationships of everyone in the family. If one or more care-taker is ill or disabled, the situation is even more difficult.

The development of group homes specifically for children within the county would be beneficial for both the children with disabilities and their families. Families could maintain close relationships with their children and spend time with them frequently, while being relieved of the hardship and expense of care-taking. Children would receive care from trained staff, scheduled in such a way as to avoid burnout and allow for optimal job performance. Children could participate, with or without their families, in local activities and events; they could enjoy public parks, playgrounds and pools (as per level of need) with neighbors and friends. Families would receive support and services arranged by the Service Coordinator, including counseling, support groups, educational programs, sibshops, and reimbursement for related expenses. Best of all, children could enjoy less pressured, more positive relationships with their families, while receiving an optimal level of care and supervision close to home. Ultimately, the design is such that consumers will be set on a smooth path for their eventual transition to adult services.

Personal experience in service coordination, resource development, residence management and advocacy was used to develop the logic model, as follows:

1. For the long-term outcome “Moving a child with ID/DD into a local community residence enables parents to increase income, due to fewer caretaking expenses and more hours available for employment”, these assumptions must be met for the outcome to be achievable:

A. Funding must be available to agencies to develop community residences.

B. The child must be registered with the Division of Developmental Disabilities and approved for residential placement.

C. The child will be selected from either the Community Wait List, Emergency Placement List, Olmstead/Vineland List, or from an out of county/state placement.

D. The child will be added to the Community Waiver to cover expenses.

2. For the long-term outcome “Children live with peers in a safe, supportive environment, cared for by trained, rostered staff”, the following assumptions must be met for the outcome to be achievable:

A. The above assumptions must be met.

B. The children selected for the residence must be generally compatible and within a specified age and developmental range.

C. The residence must be handicapped-accessible and include all optimal safety features.

D. Staff must be trained specifically to work with ID/DD children, and be scheduled in such a way as to avoid burnout to promote staff satisfaction and optimal job performance.

3. For the long-term outcome “Children are part of, and participate in, their local community”, the following assumptions must be met for the outcome to be achievable:

A. The criteria for the above assumptions must be met.

B. The Service Coordinator must meet with the family to explore ideas for inclusion (i.e., outings to local events and recreational areas, shopping, meeting neighbors), and include these in the child’s Essential Life Plan (ELP) and Individual Service Plan (ISP).

C. The staff person responsible for scheduling activities must take into account the directives of the ISP as well as the wishes of the child and family regarding community inclusion.

4. For the long-term outcome “Family members enjoy improved quality of life, greater peace of mind, and calmer home environment”, the following conditions must be met for the outcome to be achievable:

A. The criteria for the first two outcomes must be met.

B. The Service Coordinator must assist the family in arranging for requisite services (i.e., counseling, sibshops, support groups, educational programs, or advocacy).


Outcome 1: Moving a child with ID/DD into a local community residence enables parents to increase income, due to fewer caretaking expenses and more hours available for employment.

Indicator: Employment (if previously unemployed), full-time employment (if previously employed only part-time), and/or increased wages.

Population: Parents of child with ID/DD

Threshold: Increased employment and/or wages should take place within the following year. Service Coordinator will note progress in monthly reports.

Outcome 2: Children live with peers in a safe, supportive environment, cared for by trained, rostered staff.


a) Children who live in the residence are within a selected age range and ability.

b) The residence meets all state and agency standards for health and safety, with very few mishaps

(accidents due to carelessness, elopements, injuries due to poor design or neglected repairs

within the house).

c) Staff are carefully selected and trained according to state and agency protocols, and

are scheduled in such a way as to avoid burnout to promote optimal job performance.

Population: Consumers (residents)


a) House Manager maintains records showing monthly fire drills, proper maintenance of fire extinguishers, safe temperature for hot water heater, regular home inspections, repairs, and housekeeping. State auditors will examine records and premises annually.

b) Staff members are given written warnings for accidents or situations resulting from carelessness or error. Staff members who have received three written notices for violation are dismissed.

c) House manager ensures that staff are scheduled for manageable blocks of time, and that the consumer to staff ratio is kept at 2:1 (unless a child needs 1:1 supervision).

d) Positive feedback from consumers, family members and staff members, both in team and individual meetings with manager.

Outcome 3: Children are part of, and participate in, their local community.

Indicator: Regularly scheduled activities, trips, interaction with neighbors and friends.

Population: Consumers

Threshold: Community involvement, including use of local facilities, event participation, shopping or other outings, and social interaction takes place in accordance with ISP and ELP, documented in monthly reports.

Outcome 4: Family members enjoy improved quality of life, greater peace of mind, and calmer home environment.

Indicator: Ongoing discussions with Service Coordinator, residence staff, and agency personnel reflect positive changes at home for family.

Population: Family of ID/DD consumer


a) Attendance 90% of the time for scheduled therapy sessions, classes, or event.

b) Ending therapy due to reaching set goals, or completion of parent education course.

c) Monthly reports by Service Coordinator document positive changes.


Inclusive Anti-Bullying Programs:

Theory of Change and Program Logic Model

Katelyn Kinaj

Nova Southeastern University


Mission: To create anti-bullying programs and services within schools that incorporate disability research, leading to community awareness and a decline in victimization rates.

Support groups for disabled students

Collaboration between organizations, schools, families, and state agencies

Implement inclusive anti-bullying programs for disabled children
Trained faculty
Sponsors ($)
Studies and research
Social skill training for all students
New skills for combating bullying implemented throughout the community; skills are transferred


Interactive awareness training for teachers, students, staff and parents
Specific social skill building exercises for disabled students

Disabled children and their families experience decreased struggles in the area of bullying

Coordinate, monitor, and evaluate services for consumers and families
Better quality of life due to improved mental health
Social behavior changes, increased friendships among community, disabled children are in safer environments
Increased disability awareness throughout the community



(Narrative 1) A theory of change model presents an idea in a direct manner and incorporates strategies and results (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). The model was created to support the idea that an inclusive anti-bullying program, Inclusive Bullying Prevention (IBP), will benefit children with developmental disabilities. The objective is to increase disability awareness, offer coping skills, change behavior, decrease mental health problems, and promote better quality of life. A needs assessment was completed to establish the need for inclusive anti-bullying programs in Maine; data was collected through examination of research and reports. Analysis should comprise identification of variables, aggregation and cross-tabulation of data to uncover interactions; factorial analysis should be utilized to scrutinize interconnected variables (Kettner, Moroney, & Martin, 2013). Inclusive programs, ones incorporating multiple entities and strategies, are likely to be successful in terms of decreasing bullying (Dake, Price, & Tellijohann, 2003), however, programs rarely integrate disability research (Rose, Monda-Amaya, & Espelage, 2010). The needs of disabled students are ignored and these students experience high victimization rates (Lindsay & McPherson, 2011). The needs assessment served as a tool for the deliberation of specific services and the availability of resources. Information from state agencies, schools, families, and disability organizations was combined to examine all findings connected to victimization, and this information was utilized to suggest interventions.

Victimization has been linked to lack of knowledge, awareness, and resources; disabled students reported discriminatory school employees (Lindsay & McPherson, 2011). Nowicki (2006) found that non-disabled students ranked disabled children as being dissimilar. However, interactive trainings led to almost 85% of students feeling more informed about disabilities (Lindsay, McPherson, Aslam, McKeever, & Wright, 2013). Many counties devote little spending to special education resources (Maine Department of Education, 2013) and little collaboration
between schools and disability organizations exists (Maine Department of Education, 2007). Services were found to be improperly coordinated; as many as 37% who reported seeking services stated that no interventions had been implemented (Saufler & Gagne, 2000), and parents often reported forced relocation (Kluth, Biklen, English-Sand, & Smukler, 2007). Disabled students were reported to be placed in separate classrooms and schools, which led to increased bullying (Rose et al., 2010). Studies also suggested amplified rates of mental health concerns for bullied students (Campbell, Missiuna, & Vaillancourt, 2012; Missiuna, Moll, King, & Law, 2007). In these cases, bullied students may require more severe assistance, such as mental health treatment. As a result of increased inclusive programming that promotes awareness, communities could experience a reduction of ignorance, segregation, and overall victimization.
According to Knowlton & Phillips (2009), three steps are executed to form this model: (A) establishment of desired results, (B) proposal of strategies related to desired results, and (C) incorporation of assumptions. These authors stated that the end goal offers direction for proposed strategies. Research suggested increased rates of victimization and segregated environments (Rose et al., 2010), so intended results included decreased rates and more inclusive schools. Strategies grounded in literature display a higher chance of safeguarding the desired results, in addition, strategies connect means and ends (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). Research of causes, interventions, and other concerns was utilized to propose strategies that are specific to disabled students, for example, strategies to improve appropriate social interaction, since impairments in this area lead to isolation (Nevill & White, 2011). Multiple strategies are suggested for more complex problems (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009); studies suggested that when anti-bullying programs incorporated multiple strategies and more inclusive practices to deal with this intricate
issue, schools were likely to witness a decrease in bullying (Dake et al., 2003), therefore, this model includes a variety of interconnected strategies. Effective models incorporate assumptions based upon knowledge in order to construct informed decisions (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). The model assumes, based on research of values, experiences, and habits, that inclusive support strategies will lead to an increase in disability awareness, skills/transfer of skills, collectiveness, social behavior changes, safer environments, and a decrease in mental health issues and victimization rates. Assumptions support strategies and were based upon research, for example, one study found that disabled teens suggested some teachers were ignorant of their needs; it was stated that if adults were more educated in terms of disabilities and inclusive practices (and if they then transfer skills to students), disabled students would feel safer (Lindsay & McPherson, 2011). As a result, one would assume that the strategy of disability awareness training will lead to increased awareness, skill level, and feelings of safety for disabled students. The model format guides individuals through immense ideas and should be self-explanatory for a variety of audiences (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). Bullying is a complicated issue, one involving numerous factors (Flynt & Morton, 2004), so this model expresses that without being overwhelming. Building a model requires evidence-based thinking and plausibility, which means models must be supported by evidence and that ideas “could work” (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). The model is grounded in research related to bullying causes, experiences and aftereffects, and an assessment of resources in Maine and research on what could work under what conditions was implemented to consider plausibility. The model offers a simplistic representation of how change could transpire and it was based on knowledge obtained from literature; knowledge from research provides a sense of direction for possible program choices (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009).

Resources Activities Outputs Short-term Outcomes Intermediate/Long-Term Outcomes

Increase in utilized skills; participants implement inclusive practices

Disability support groups

# and type of participants; # and type of curriculum and training units
Increase in disability knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors

Improved mental health status; at-risk students utilize skills and knowledge to support each other; decreased stress
Awareness training for teachers, students, staff, and parents

Completion rates

Long-term collectiveness and safety
Social skill training for all students

Increase in social behavior changes; clients use knowledge and skills to interact with peers
Client satisfaction

Increase in awareness

Skill building exercises for disabled students

Instructional delivery quality

Disabled students utilize learned social skills to form friendships

Coordination Activities

Increase in motivation; participants collaborate and transfer skills to strengthen community

Collaboration of agencies


Safer and more inclusive schools


(Narrative 2). The program logic model serves as a more detailed version of the theory of change model and was based on the same assumptions derived from the research, though may need to be updated in the future if dynamics change (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). IBP should increase awareness and knowledge, which would create a more cooperative climate (Croxall, 2005). Participants should utilize obtained skills to encourage inclusion and to model appropriate behaviors, which decreases bullying (Burkhart, Knox, & Brockmyer, 2013). Mental health issues should decrease due to supportive groups (Neville & White, 2011), and victimization should decrease by 50% if students are trained in intervention (Cappacodica, Weiss, Pepler, 2011; Fekkes et al., 2005; Hawkins et al., 2001). Students could utilize skills to connect with peers, which reduces isolation (Lindsay & McPherson, 2011; Nadeau & Tessier, 2006). Safer settings should benefit disabled students, who expressed feelings of loneliness (Lindsay & McPherson, 2011). For the outcome “Increased disability awareness”, assumptions include (A) availability of resources/funding, (B) participants attend school in Maine (or have a child who attends) or be employed by the school, and (C) students are selected from special needs classrooms. For the outcome “New skills are implemented/transferred”, assumptions include those above and (A) participants attend developmentally appropriate sessions, (B) programs are accessible, and (C) program staff members are educated and trained. For the goal “Social changes/increased friendships/safer environments”, assumptions include those above and (A) coordinators meet with parents and school staff to discuss inclusion. For the goal “Improved mental health”, assumptions include those above and (A) coordinators provide mental health resources.
Model components were formed from examination of studies, interviews, and reports. According to Knowlton & Phillips (2009), the first three steps include identifying results,

outcomes, and activities. These authors stated that intended results are established first and then outcomes are acknowledged to scrutinize changes arising due to the intervention. Short term outcomes include an increase in positive attitudes, knowledge, skills, positive behaviors, and awareness. Intermediate/long-term goals would be examined six months later and would include matters such as level-of-functioning scales to note behavior changes present due to interventions (Kettner et al., 2013). Goals include improved mental health status, an increase in applied skills, increased safety, a decrease in stress and isolation, and an increase in motivation. For the first outcome, “Increased disability awareness”, the presence of obtained knowledge would serve as the indicator, the population examined would involve all participants (school staff, parents, students, etc…), and in terms of the threshold, increased knowledge should be observed within one year and coordinators will record progress through portfolio reports. For the outcome, “New skills are implemented and transferred”, indicators include matters such as trained staff members and increased inclusive practices within the classroom, the home, and community. The population includes all participants, and in terms of the threshold, coordinators will maintain records related to inclusive practices implemented and coordinators will meet with participants to document feedback. For the outcome, “Social behavior changes/increased friendships, disabled children are in safer environments”, the population includes all students. In terms of the threshold, bullying rates should decrease by 50% and community participation should increase. For the outcome, “Better quality of life due to improved mental health”, the population includes disabled students and the threshold includes ending therapy due to decreased mental health concerns. The impact of safer and more inclusive schools was documented as an aspiring goal that will require time, effort, and assistance from a variety of agencies, therefore, local and
national agencies were researched. The impact is the ultimate intended change; this program should be monitored for seven to ten years to examine if change was long-lasting (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). Activities, specific actions that produce outcomes (Kettner et al., 2013), were also recognized. Disability awareness trainings will educate through interactive sessions; in one program, 84.8% of students rated themselves as more educated about disabilities after interactive trainings (Lindsay, McPherson, Aslam, McKeever, &Wright, 2013). Disabled students in support groups will engage in individual expression (Nevill & White, 2011). Students will participate in social skill training that highlights matters such as respect and self-regulation, since deficiencies are connected to bullying (Heinrichs, 2003). To help form friendships, trainings for disabled students will teach social skills (Nevill & White, 2011). All strategies reflected accepted knowledge in the field to provide accuracy (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). Multiple stakeholders were considered through an exploration of research, such as teacher, parent, and student reports. The incorporation of multilayered elements and activities assisted in the process of recognizing feasibility (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009).
In addition, the last two steps included defining resources and outputs (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). The elements that contribute to activities (resources) were classified (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009) and included sponsors, research, faculty, participants, facility, and collaboration; effective programs considered a variety of entities (Dake et al., 2003). Examination of literature was utilized to assess the availability of resources. IBP only incorporates the main entities involved (parents, students, school employees). Families are forced to relocate in order to access more accepting schools (Kluth, Biklen, English-Sand, & Smukler, 2007), and so it is crucial to first involve the members most affected. Funding obstacles existed;
some schools only allocated 0.14% of funding to special education resources (Maine Department of Education, 2007). Multiple stakeholders, perspectives, and interconnected variables were considered (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009), for example, research was conducted in regards to availability of disability specific agencies in Maine that specialize in anti-bullying implementation; only one agency was found. Reluctance from school employees was also considered; many professionals did not consider bullying to be an immense problem (Rose et al., 2010). To establish plausibility and feasibility, multiple strategies that will work together to tackle this complex issue were incorporated (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009). Since bullying is a multidimensional issue, resources must be sufficient (Knowlton & Phillips, 2009), which is the reason as to why established research was utilized. Since IBP is a new program and resources are limited, only a few strategies were devised and all only involved those most affected. Little research exists in regards to victimization of disabled students (Cappadocia et al., 2011), however, this is an intricate issue (Croxall, 2005). Before promoting further elements, more research (and resources) would be necessary, in addition to more advocacy and collaboration with local/state agencies to assist with further funding. Outputs were acknowledged to confirm that activities grasped the right audiences (Kettner et al., 2013). Outputs include the number and type of participants, completion rates, satisfaction scores, and messages. According to Kettner et al. (2013), outputs are products that include quantitative and qualitative dynamics; measurements examine the service received and the completed treatment (numerical data/percentages/units of service, such as number of sessions, number of clients who completed treatment, would be gathered). Quality could be addressed through established standards (Kettner et al., 2013), so safety standards or anti-bullying state laws would be beneficial.
Activities could be measured in a variety of ways and numerous methods could be developed, for example, case notes, pretest/posttests, attendance/completion forms, records of progress, etc… Numeric counts will be collected through calculating the amount of received services (Kettner et al., 2013). According to Kettner et al. (2013), level of functioning scales identify areas of improvement and rate clients. Clients will answer questions pertaining to personal satisfaction of the program. Surveys could be given throughout various points to examine achievement (Kettner et al., 2013). Formative assessment will be conducted; as the program is being implemented, surveys will gather data, for example, in relation to consumer’s perception of trainings (Kettner et al., 2013). According to Kettner et al. (2013), summative evaluations will examine if results were achieved, therefore, at the end, content based surveys will question the extent of knowledge obtained. Six months after the program, surveys will question the impact of the program, portfolios will allow participants to display knowledge, and level-of-functioning scales will assess if change occurred (Kettner et al., 2013). Long term outcomes could be measured through assessment of school reports related to bullying incidences. For numerical counts, percentages are calculated by utilizing outcome indicators (bullying reduction) (Kettner et al., 2013). For level-of-functioning scales, pre-assessments and post-assessments take place and the variances between pre-scores and post-scores could signify matters such as improved social skills (Kettner et al., 2013). The percentage of positive client feedback would suggest positive outcomes (Kettner et al., 2013). Final impacts are measured through standardized numerical count indicators (victimization rates) (Kettner et al., 2013). Factor analysis would identify underlying factors; the process should include identification of variables, aggregation and cross-tabulation of data to expose interactions (Kettner et al., 2013).
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Disability and Poverty

By (Name)



Since the 1990s, researchers have acknowledged the correlation between disability and economic hardship. Despite the growing body of evidence attesting to the existence of this connection in the last decade, we still need to learn more about the interplay between these two factors or the causal mechanisms that contribute to the development of this connection. Some persons with disabilities may not be poor, but disability is an essential issue in poverty reduction, and poverty alleviation activities” is becoming more widely acknowledged. The link between disability and poverty, especially multi-dimensional poverty, is poorly understood, although there is a small but rising body of evidence that is beginning to fill this gap. This article intends to analyze poverty for those with disabilities compared to those without, how it is currently being tackled, and whether it is sufficient.

There is much evidence linking low incomes with impairments. As first proposed by Walker (2020), there is growing acceptance that the link is circular, with disability increases the likelihood of social exclusion and participation constraints in spheres such as employment and school (Van Lancker, 2019). In turn, the lack of resources, such as safe working environments and healthcare, that come with poverty increases the likelihood of an impairment that could result in disability (Pinilla-Roncancio, 2021). A deeper understanding of the factors that contribute to the interplay between disability and poverty is necessary for informing effective policy and programming for people with disabilities.

Poverty is a widespread issue for people who are disabled. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that people with disabilities are twice as likely to be poor as those without disabilities (Twenge, 2020). The barriers that prevent people with disabilities from gaining the resources and assistance they need to become financially stable are numerous. Among these include overcoming transportation obstacles, gaining access to government benefits, the challenges of securing a steady job, and securing suitable and inexpensive housing. People who are disabled often face additional social stigma and discrimination, which can amplify these difficulties. If they do not have the resources they need to maintain their independence, their situation can be even more precarious (Soltana, 2019). People who are disabled often face additional financial challenges due to the high costs of medical care and prescription drugs. Because of this, people with disabilities have a greater chance of being poor and homeless than the general population.

Gender, impairment type, race/ethnicity, geographic location, and age of onset all play a role in whether or not a disabled person lives in poverty (Roets, 2020). Among people with impairments, those over the age of 40 and those with multiple disabilities are more likely to be multi-dimensionally poor, according to a study that used internationally comparable data from fifteen developing nations (Middlemiss, 2019). Children with disabilities are more likely to be raised in low-income families. Income loss is a common consequence of disability. However, the cost of disability-related necessities like assistive technology and one-on-one care means that a disabled person may need a higher income to reach the same level of functioning as a nondisabled person (Roets, 2020).  

Few studies have attempted to quantify the financial burden of disability. However, the lack of services and goods (such as assistive devices or medical care) may reduce indirect costs but increase barriers to opportunity and well-being. Barriers to employment and education make it more difficult for low-income people with disabilities to rise above their economic circumstances (Akerkar, 2020). The supposed financial burden is sometimes cited as an excuse for excluding people with impairments (Akerkar, 2020). People with disabilities may be excluded due to a lack of resources devoted to their integration (WHO, 2019). Other justifications focus on worries that integrating people with impairments is too difficult and calls for specialized knowledge or that such individuals require unique programming. Employees may also believe this is not a priority since they are already too busy, or it is solely an issue in high-income countries.

Several programs are currently available to help low-income people with impairments. Those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) get government financial aid from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is another program that helps those who have worked and paid into the system financially and medically in the event of a disability. Medicaid expands health coverage, and state public housing programs lower housing costs. Most states also provide vocational rehabilitation services to assist people with impairments in securing and retaining gainful employment.

On the local level, several organizations provide services and support to individuals with disabilities, including community-based disability rights organizations and non-profit organizations. These organizations provide various services, such as legal advocacy, housing assistance, peer support, job placement, and more. Additionally, faith-based organizations often provide support to people with disabilities, such as access to shelter, transportation, meals, emergency, and other services. Overall, there is a growing awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities, and a wide range of initiatives are in place to address poverty for individuals with disabilities. However, more must be done to ensure that people with disabilities can access the resources and services they need to achieve financial security.

According to Tsalis (2020), the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provide a solid framework for guiding the global community, national governments, and local communities toward the achievement of disability-inclusive development. The guarantee to leave no one behind, including people with disabilities and other marginalized groups, is central to the 2030 Agenda, and disability is acknowledged as a cross-cutting issue that must be considered in the execution of all of the goals (Tsalis, 2020). The Agenda’s seven goals and eleven indicators all directly or indirectly refer to people with disabilities, including: access to employment and education; provision of accessible schools; inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities; improvement of countries’ ability to disaggregate data by disability; accessibility of public and green spaces; accessibility of transportation.

The existing initiatives to alleviate poverty among people with disabilities are commendable, but in my opinion, they do not meet all the requirements. Disabled people have not yet achieved economic independence because they lack access to the resources that able-bodied people take for granted. Some impediments also decrease the inclusion of people with impairments. One of the greatest obstacles to achieving opportunity equality and social inclusion for people with disabilities is people’s attitudes, which can result in prejudice and stigmatization, depriving them of their dignity and potential. (Stein, 2021).

When people have a bad attitude, it hinders their progress in every area of life (WHO, 2019). Disabled persons often face bullying, fear, low expectations, and prejudice because nondisabled people cannot see past the impairment they see. However, the inclusion of people with disabilities might be hindered by a lack of policy enforcement and political support (Young, 2023). The U.S. Census Bureau reports that people with disabilities have a poverty rate about twice that of the general population (Twenge, 2020). Also, Sage’s research (2019) shows that the disparity between rich and poor people with disabilities is even more prominent among rural residents, women, and people of color (Sage, 2019). These discrepancies indicate that the existing strategies for alleviating poverty among people with disabilities are ineffective.

Providing assistance and services that are suited to the requirements of people with disabilities is one area that could use improvement. Access to medical and mental health treatments adapted housing, and job training is just a few examples of the individualized supports and services that people with disabilities may need, but that is not always provided by the various organizations that aim to help them. Even more, the study is required to learn about the causes and solutions to poverty among persons with disabilities. Disabled people are more likely to be poor than the general population because they have additional challenges in obtaining a living wage, obtaining an education, and participating in social and economic life. (Sage, 2019).

It has been demonstrated that inclusive education, in which all students, including those with disabilities or other learning challenges, are fully engaged in high-quality education, is particularly effective in assisting all students in their educational pursuits. However, there are still challenges to implementing inclusive education systems (Florian, 2019). As with children without disabilities, the goal of providing educational opportunities is to help all children reach their full potential and become productive, contributing members of their communities. Children who have disabilities frequently need specialized services and support in order to learn the material that is being taught to them.


Akerkar, S. (2020). Affirming radical equality in the context of COVID-19: Human rights of older people and people with disabilities. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 12(2), 276-283.

Florian, L. (2019). On the necessary co-existence of special and inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 23(7-8), 691-704.

Middlemiss, L., Ambrosio-Albalá, P., Emmel, N., Gillard, R., Gilbertson, J., Hargreaves, T., … & Tod, A. (2019). Energy poverty and social relations: A capabilities approach. Energy research & social science, 55, 227-235.

Pinilla-Roncancio, M., & Alkire, S. (2021). How poor are people with disabilities? Evidence based on the global multi-dimensional poverty index. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 31(4), 206-216.

Roets, G., Dermaut, V., Benoot, T., Claes, C., Schiettecat, T., Roose, R., … & Vandevelde, S. (2020). A critical analysis of disability policy and practice in Flanders: Toward differentiated manifestations of interdependency. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 17(2), 108-115.

Sage, R., Ward, B., Myers, A., & Ravesloot, C. (2019). Transitory and enduring disability among urban and rural people. The Journal of Rural Health, 35(4), 460-470.

Soltani, S., Takian, A., Sari, A. A., Majdzadeh, R., & Kamali, M. (2019). Financial barriers to access to health Services for Adult People with disability in Iran: the challenges for universal health coverage. Iranian journal of public health, 48(3), 508.

Tsalis, T. A., Malamateniou, K. E., Koulouriotis, D., & Nikolaou, I. E. (2020). New challenges for corporate sustainability reporting: United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the sustainable development goals. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(4), 1617-1629.

Twenge, J. M., & Joiner, T. E. (2020). U.S. Census Bureau‐assessed prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in 2019 and during the 2020 COVID‐19 pandemic. Depression and anxiety, 37(10), 954-956.

Van Lancker, W., & Vinck, J. (2019). The consequences of growing up poor. In Routledge international handbook of poverty (pp. 96-106). Routledge.

Walker, D., Sepulveda, S. J., Hoff, E., Rowe, M. L., Schwartz, I. S., Dale, P. S., … & Bigelow, K. M. (2020). Language intervention research in early childhood care and education: A systematic survey of the literature. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 50, 68-85.

World Health Organization. (2019). WHO global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco use 2000-2025. World Health Organization.

Young, K. (2023). Exclusive humanitarianism: Policy recommendations for genuine inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. International Review of the Red Cross, 105(922), 396-415.


Needs Assessment Plan

By (Name)




The study  aims to use the findings to determine the level of interest in and demand for expanded financial education and services for persons with disabilities. The goal of the program is to create a stream of accessible, responsible financing for persons with disabilities by expanding access to financial literacy training and adapting financial goods and services to their requirements. It is anticipated that accessible finance will stimulate the entrepreneurial activities of individuals with disabilities and produce a sustainable income.


As described by Kettner, Moroney, and Martin, this needs assessment plan incorporates normative, perceived, and relative forms of need. The normative need structure would focus on determining what resources low-income and disabled people need to improve their quality of life (Kettner et al., 2015). This strategy’s starting point would be defining what it means to have a good quality of life through normative criteria or benchmarks. Access to education, healthcare, housing, employment, social support, and cultural involvement are all essential variables that might be considered in this process, which could be accomplished through professional input and community outreach.

The next step, after the standards have been established, would be to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to learn how disabled and low-income individuals are faring in relation to these targets. Literacy, health status, population density, wealth, and access to medical care and social services are just few of the variables that would have to be considered. The Disability and Poverty program could then tailor interventions and services to fill in the most critical service gaps based on the needs assessment findings. This could involve increasing the availability of low-cost housing, healthcare, job-search assistance, and social networks. Constant monitoring and assessment is required to make sure the program is still meeting the needs of the community.

The goal of this approach is to collect primary and secondary data about the needs of disabled and low-income people in the community.The anticipated requirement will be incorporated into this plan. Step one of this strategy would be conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups, or surveys with low-income and disabled people. These interviews aim to learn more about the interviewees’ backgrounds and viewpoints and discover which services and supports they value most for enhancing their quality of life.

To better serve the community, the Disability and Poverty program might use the information gleaned from these interviews to design more precise interventions and services. Accessible transportation, linguistic and cultural support services and peer support networks are all examples of what could fall under this category. To ensure the program is still relevant to the people it serves and their changing needs and priorities, it would be essential to consult with the community regularly. The program can better ensure its services and supports are appropriate, efficient, and well-received by the community if it considers the perspectives of people with disabilities and people living in poverty.

The relative form of need assessment for this program would focus on determining the extent to which those with disabilities and those living in poverty are disadvantaged compared to the rest of the population. Under this method, we would examine how these subpopulations compare to the broader population regarding outcomes and access to services and resources. To begin with, we need to determine what disadvantage indicators and outcome metrics are most applicable to our situation.

As a second step, the Disability and Poverty program would compile information on these metrics from other demographics, including the general population, people with disabilities, those living in poverty, and others. This would allow us to gauge how marginalized various communities really are. This report will be used by the Disability and Poverty program to develop resources for the poor and disabled. To ensure the program successfully lowers relative disadvantage. It increases outcomes for people with disabilities and those living in poverty, so monitoring and evaluating its performance regularly would be necessary.

Data Collection and Measurement

Interviews with members of the target demographic will be done to comprehend the difficulties of poverty and disability better. The interviews will be held at the most suitable time and place for the program’s participants. This could occur in their homes, local community centers, or any other setting where they feel safe and secure. Participants should be informed of why they are being interviewed and how their responses will be used. Each person participating in the research must give their informed consent.

There will be a distribution of surveys to obtain information on the needs of people with disabilities and those living in poverty in the community. Students and recent graduates with disabilities interested in participating but could not attend the interview session can still contribute to the database by completing online surveys. They were also used to compile the information into a standardized database for further tabulation and examination. This program will compare the survey data collected with data from other surveys and reports to provide a complete picture of poverty in the neighborhood of interest.

Focus groups will provide insight into the issues faced by those living with impairments and poverty and the need for services and resources. Healthcare consumers who are typically left out of traditional data collection processes can participate in designing and evaluating their services through focus groups. Disabled individuals are increasingly seen as an underrepresented population in health research studies. Careful planning and preparation will be undertaken in this program to ensure that people with disabilities have access to and benefit from focus groups.

The needs of people with disabilities and low incomes will be studied by reviewing the studies, articles, reports, and literature that are relevant to the topic. Human subjects, specifically those with personal experience with impairment, should be the focus of each study. Because of the societal and cultural biases that impede effective action on behalf of individuals with disabilities, this strategy is crucial. Needs assessments for Disability and Poverty programs often include secondary research. It is an excellent approach to learning more about the problems that individuals with disabilities and low-income people encounter and enhancing primary research data.

Data Analysis

The qualitative data will be subjected to a thematic analysis to extract commonalities and insights. The software will perform qualitative data analysis, which entails reading through a dataset and searching for themes by identifying data meaning patterns. It is a form of active reflexivity in which the researcher’s personal experience plays a central role in interpreting the results (Finkelstein, 2021).

Descriptive statistics will be used to assess quantitative data in order to uncover patterns and connections between the variables (Bloomfield, 2019). Positive outcomes for the program may be ensured by employing descriptive analytics to convey change based on current and historical data and as a foundation for diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics.

Reporting and Dissemination

The reports will be generated that synthesize the data collected and analyzed and present the needs assessment findings. They will be shared with relevant stakeholders, including policymakers, service providers, and the local community. Tables, charts, and graphs should be included to help illustrate critical findings in a report format suitable for various audiences. Once the reports are complete, they should be disseminated to the appropriate parties.


Ongoing evaluations will determine how well the community’s response to the needs of those with disabilities and low incomes meets those needs. The program’s results will be evaluated by collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data. The evaluation approach will be informed by the feedback received from stakeholders and the population being studied.


The methods chosen for this needs assessment plan are the most appropriate for assessing the need for the proposed program. This is because the methods provide a comprehensive approach to collecting and analyzing data, which enables one to understand the needs of people living with disabilities and in poverty in the community. The methods of data collection that were chosen enable the collection of quantitative as well as qualitative data, which in turn provides an in-depth understanding of the requirements of the demographic that was being targeted. The methods of analyzing the chosen data make it possible for it to be evaluated meaningfully, providing insight into the issues that individuals living with disabilities and poverty in the community confront.


Bloomfield, J., & Fisher, M. J. (2019). Quantitative research design. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association, 22(2), 27-30.

Finkelstein, S., Sharma, U., & Furlonger, B. (2021). The inclusive practices of classroom teachers: a scoping review and thematic analysis. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 25(6), 735-762.

Kettner, P. M., Moroney, R. M., & Martin, L. L. (2015). Designing and managing programs: An effectiveness-based approach. Sage Publications.

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