Down Syndrome Indiana affirms that all people have a right to basic housing that is clean, safe and affordable. This applies equally to individuals with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Indiana encourages public policy that establishes a continuum of options and freedom of choice in housing for individuals with Down syndrome in the communities and neighborhoods in which they desire to live. This includes:
- Home Ownership
- Supported Living – Individual or Small Group
- Apartments with appropriate accommodations
In the recent past, our society permitted the wide scale institutionalization of Individuals with Down syndrome that greatly diminished the perceived value of a whole class of people and significantly reduced their quality of life. Down Syndrome Indiana rejects any public policy that would result in the establishment of large group homes and communal housing arrangements that resemble the institutions of the past and reduces opportunity for full inclusion in the social, economic, educational and recreational opportunities in their communities.
For some individuals with Down syndrome a centralized housing arrangement with a direct link to a sheltered work environment may be the best choice and provide the greatest access to economic and social opportunities. Down Syndrome Indiana recognizes that the Down syndrome community enjoys a diverse spectrum of abilities and talents that will permit other individuals to have a more inclusive and community centric view of employment and housing. This will require ample options in housing that have access to public transportation routes to enable simple commutes between home and other destinations in their community.
Down Syndrome Indiana supports public policy that reduces the inequity in available supported living and group homes in small cities and rural communities in Indiana. This often results in forcing individuals with Down syndrome to seek housing in communities away from their families and established social networks. In addition, waiting lists exist in most communities for supported living housing. This results in many individuals delaying or permanently postponing their transition into independent living arranges. The end result is individual with Down syndrome remain in their family home living with parents. When the parents are deceased or become incapable of providing appropriate support, the individual with Down syndrome is forced to transition into an new environment without the appropriate preparation and skills for living outside the family home. Down Syndrome Indiana encourages public policy for the development of supported living homes that can serve the population of adults with Down syndrome.