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What Is a Developmental Disability?

One of the many reasons RISE Services Inc. exists is to provide services for people with disabilities. This may include residential settings, day programs, employment assistance, managed care, and home- and community-based services, all with the purpose of helping each individual achieve his or her best life. In this blog, we will present information on developmental disabilities to help everyone understand more about our clients and their families.

According to the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration, there are over six million individuals living in the United States who have developmental disabilities. The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic disability which:

  • Originated at birth or during childhood
  • Is expected to continue indefinitely
  • Substantially restricts the individual’s functioning in several major life activities

The 2016 Annual Report on Disability Statistics from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics estimated that the overall rate of people with disabilities in the United States in 2015 was 12.6%, which represents an increase from 11.9% in 2010. In 2015, 34.9% of people aged 18-64 with disabilities were employed, compared to 76.0% for people without disabilities. The employment gap between those with a disability and those without had widened steadily over the past eight years.

A World of Difference in Developmental Disabilities

In terms of sheer numbers, these statistics may seem somewhat daunting, but the outlook can still be positive for many of these people. At RISE, we look at each client as an individual and provide appropriate services that lead to the highest levels of quality for life and health, as well as family and community integration. The disability experience is not the same for every person. Disabilities may be physical, mental, or both and may lead to issues with movement, learning, communication, and behavior. Some clients have very severe symptoms, while others may face fewer challenges on a daily basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that developmental disabilities occur among all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups. Children from ages 3 through 17 frequently have one or more developmental disabilities, such as:

  • ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Hearing Loss
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disability
  • Vision Impairment
  • Developmental Delays

Despite these factors, people with developmental disabilities still want a place to call home, healthy lives, meaningful activities, supportive communities, and the opportunity to make informed decisions about their personal lives. At RISE, we provide services that seek to enable those aspirations including day services, employment services, residential services, and early intervention services, as well as behavioral and mental health services. In our day services, for example, we teach skills that lead to independent living so that adults with developmental disabilities can indeed live full, productive, independent lives.

RISE constantly works to create opportunities for and with people. Contact RISE today to learn about the many services and therapies we offer for people with disabilities in Arizona, Utah, and Oregon.