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Vermont Tops National Ranking Of Disability Services

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Vermont offers the best Medicaid services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities while Mississippi provides the worst, according to an annual ranking released Thursday.

The 50-state analysis from United Cerebral Palsy compares services offered across the country, giving preference to states where more individuals are served in the community as opposed to institutions.

Vermont, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire and California fare best in the ranking. Meanwhile, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi round out the bottom of the list. (Find out where your state stands >>)

However, the report authors caution that no state is perfect, writing “although some states rank better than others, every state has room for improvement.”

As in previous years, states at the top of the ranking do not fit one profile. They are both large and small, wealthy and poor. Moreover, they have varying tax structures and differ significantly in the amount they spend on Medicaid home and community-based services waivers.

Since last year’s report, more than 2,000 Americans with disabilities moved out of institutional settings and into the community, according to the most recently available data, much of which is from 2009. And, Michigan became the tenth state to have no large institutions.

Still, the number of people on waiting lists for services continues to rise — up 56 percent between 2005 and 2009, according to the report.

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Comments (6 Responses)

  1. ldorsey1010 says:

    How do we get a list like this that shows the Best States with Special Education Programs? So many families need to relocate because they are in a state whose special education program is horrible especially for children with Autism. We need a list like this to help us in our search for the best place to live for our child(ren) with special needs.

  2. dawnbradford10 says:

    It would be so helpful to have a list that shows the Best States with Special Education Programs and the programs that are available. We presently live on Long Island and our home is in foreclosure, it has been so difficult as we are trying to save our home and with the added cost of raising one child with a disability (we have two) and my job is staying home to care for them, we are unable to save our home. We now have the burden of finding a new home, one we can afford, new doctors as we probably will need to relocate to a new area, and an education system that will meet the needs of all of my children. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know as we have little time before we need to make the move. Thanks

  3. Darla says:

    The Colorado “State of the States” has had this type of ranking for years. Since 1999, Illinois has not improved from a rank of 47 and on that list the District of Columbia and one country of provence has been ranked better. The “State of the States” is also completed by information the states submit about their own services. Seeing that Illinois is ranked 48 on this list does not surprise me given the government’s need to take money from programs for the most vulnerable to give to their own pockets in raises and new layers of programs that do not have any real benefit to the people of the state.

  4. Penelope DeGroat says:

    Hi to Arizonia, Your’e rated the second best place to live for people with disabilities. My daughter is 38 and even getting dental care in NY is a Nightmare. Any of you mom’s out there that can give a heads up, I would appreciate it.

  5. Arlene says:

    Interesting that NM is so high on the list. Something you fail to show though is that there is an 8 year waiting list for services and no State General Funds available. The Medicaid Waiver is great here and would be even better (and the waiting list shorter) if there wasn’t so much Medicaid fraud going on. When you report it, it’s ignored. Our Governor, who, according to People Magazine has a sister with DD doesn’t seem to care about the waiting list either. Maybe because her sister already has services. My husband will be 81 when we finally get services.

  6. Sue T. Smith says:

    It is really difficult to find which states have the best special ed services, and also the best services for developmentally delayed adults. I think the counties near Washington, D.C. like Fairfax and Loudoun have good special ed programs. I have heard that states like PA, NC, and a few others have good adult services. Interestingly, CA has passed a law (the Haldeman Act?) which requires services to be provided to all adults with developmental delays through regional centers, so that there are no waiting lists. But it is hard to afford to live there, except maybe there are cheaper areas that aren’t like southern CA.

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