Indications that the tide was turning were clear when the President's Committee, in 1975, said that "there is now demonstrable evidence that people [with developmental disabilities] can live successfully in the community in several types of residential alternatives to institutions: their own homes, foster care or adoptive homes, small group homes, hostels and independent community residential settings."

In 1976, the NARC's Research & Demonstration Institute released Community Residences for Mentally Retarded Persons. This compendium of information on community residences included a look at community residences for people with severe disabilities. The seven community residences examined range in size from 6 to 73. Most were in the 6-10 bed range.

In the ongoing case of Wyatt v Stickney, a 1978 memorandum submitted by 10 national experts argued that only a small number of institutional residents could be

Resident in room
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D.