Adobe PDFSystems Summary

Systems are necessary to support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities1 and their families to enable them to live their lives like other people.  These support systems must be of high quality and focused on the people and their families, not the staff.

Direct Support Professionals

Policy makers and provider organizations must establish and support a stable, competent, adequately compensated workforce of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Doing so ensures the quality and continuity of the community services that support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

Addressing the Causes and Effects of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Nation must continue to investigate the causes, avoid those that are preventable, and limit negative effects of conditions that cause I/DD through basic, applied, and clinical research, public awareness, education, advocacy, early intervention, and appropriate supports.


Basic and applied research on the causes, consequences, and treatment of intellectual and/or developmental disabilities must be adequately financed, well designed, focused on important topics, conducted with the highest ethical standards, and presented in formats accessible to multiple audiences.

Service Coordination

Children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families must have readily available assistance that is affordable and appropriate to find use, evaluate, and coordinate services, supports, and resources in their communities.

Waiting Lists

State agencies and service providers must deliver appropriate services and supports when requested and when needed by people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and their families.

1 “People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities” refers to those defined by AAIDD classification and DSM IV. In everyday language they are frequently referred to as people with cognitive, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities although the professional and legal definitions of those terms both include others and exclude some defined by DSM IV.

Position Statements Related to Systems