Becoming a Neighbor: An Examination of the Placement of People with Mental Retardation in Connecticut Communities

Valerie J. Bradley
Marsha Langer Ellison, University of Massachusetts Medical School
James A. Knoll
Elissa Freud
Sara Bedford

At the time of publication, Marsha Langer Ellison was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.


Summary: This study examined the impact of deinstitutionalization of the mentally retarded on their communities, the extent of availability of support services, and the extent to which the Connecticut Department of Mental Retardation assures adequate quality of support services and day programs for people with mental retardation living in community residential facilities. Project components include: (1) a research literature review; (2) a description of the current system of planning, residential development and quality assurance; (3) case studies of six communities where people with mental retardation have been relocated from institutions; (4) content analysis of relevant media coverage; (5) a study of 12 individual placements into community-based residences in these six communities; and (6) a phone survey of 5 service providers in non-urban areas aimed at discovering problems experienced in accessing services for their residents. Results call for "fine tuning" of planning, placement, transitions, community entry/development, accessibility, quality assurance, and global issues. The appendixes include: the study design and interview guides; a literature review; and a description of the formal system. Includes 47 references.