Access Network - Breaking Down Barriers to Community Services for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Access Network - Breaking Down Barriers to Community Services for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
3 min read

Providing community access services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities enables them to fully participate in their communities. This can include community centers, residential homes and family support services. This also encompasses a wide range of services such as job training, social activities and community events, financial counseling, benefits and health insurance, and home care. These services can be provided on a permanent basis or as part of a short term program.

The first step to providing community access services is identifying the barriers. These can be physical or psychological. Physical barriers can include a lack of funding for the service itself or for removing or adapting existing physical barriers. They can also be caused by means-tested admission requirements that limit participation to those who earn below a certain level of income. Other physical barriers can include lack of transportation and the need for a suitable place to provide the service.

Psychological barriers are a significant obstacle as well. These can include shame or embarrassment about the need for services, as well as cultural issues that lead to an unwillingness to accept help. Family concerns can also prevent someone from taking advantage of access community services . Spouses or other relatives may object to the time spent on programs such as ESOL classes, and may be resistant to the new skills that a person acquires as a result of these programs.

Breaking down the barriers can involve legislative and community advocacy, public and private fundraising, and reworking the how, where and when of the service delivery system. It also requires respect and patience over the long haul.

The ACCESS network is a nonprofit agency dedicated to the cause of community building, and the promotion of civic engagement, advocacy, and social and cultural entrepreneurship. It is an organization that recognizes the importance of providing social and economic services to all, regardless of ethnicity or national origin. ACCESS strives to be the model of excellence in community service.

The agency is made up of six service-oriented departments and dozens of programs, each designed to serve the needs of its target population in a unique way. Whether it's helping a client find a job or getting an ESOL class, the organization is committed to its mission of improving the quality of life for the communities we serve. Our work would not be possible without the generous contributions of our donors. Please consider supporting ACCESS today. Your gift can change lives. Together we can make a difference!

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