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Sparking new thinking to lead to action

Spark Initiatives bring together leaders in government, nonprofit and private sectors. Developed by Optum®, the idea is to spark new thinking on major health and human services issues in the United States.

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FINDING SOLUTIONS
to better serve people with disabilities

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25 experts
collaborate to tackle barriers to self-direction

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Four work groups
are bringing thoughts and ideas to life

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Helping individuals lead a self-directed life

About 7.4 million Americans* live with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). We all want to be able to make our own choices and live independently. For those living with I/DD, especially in our current health and human services landscape, this can be a challenge.

How can government agencies, advocates, providers, the health system and other stakeholders collaborate to help individuals lead more self-directed and fulfilling lives?

For the 2017 Spark Initiative, 25 experts in the field began discussing the challenges facing Americans with disabilities. We looked at the problems with the system that serves them, and how to solve these problems. This led us to form four work groups.

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Work groups on self-direction

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National provider survey and report

Understand the current state of self-directed services among providers who serve I/DD populations.

National awareness campaign toolbox

Open the "Presume Competence" campaign assets toolbox and help raise I/DD awareness.

Self-direction resource finder

Find resources to help your agency support self-direction — and learn about best practices.

A shared framework on self-direction

Learn about the supports and barriers to self-directed services and how we can improve the system.

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2017 Spark Initiative overview

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Read the overview of the 2017 Spark Initiative for I/DD services. Download the PDF. 

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*RISP FY 2016 Report, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota