A Place to Call Home
The Development of Supports for Having a Home in the Community
The history of community-based residential services since the end of World War II has involved several major themes:
- Little support for children and adults to live with their families in the community
- Recognizing the deplorable conditions in public and private institutions
- Improving the quality of services for people living in institutions
- Residual populations
- Developing community residential alternatives for people leaving institutions
- Developing community residential alternatives for people wanting to remain in the community
- Recognizing that everyone can be supported to live in the community
- Assisting people to have their own homes rather than living in "residential services"
Disclaimer: The language used to describe people with developmental disabilities has changed over the past 50 years. In the earlier decades of this time period, terms and language that are now considered disrespectful and offensive, were acceptable.
As our field and society have come to recognize and urge the use of "people first" language and more respectful words to describe people with disabilities in spoken and written language, terms such as "retarded," "handicapped," "trainable," and "educable" have been replaced in many instances.
The remnants of what is now considered unacceptable language and terms may still be found in references to official governmental bodies (i.e. President's Panel on Mental Retardation), organizations that were founded during these earlier years, federal laws, reports (i.e. Community Residences for Mentally Retarded Persons), case law, and quotations.