People with Severe Physical Challenges

Some persons with developmental disabilities experience severe physical disabilities as well. Physical disabilities may affect mobility, respiratory function, gastrointestinal function, and neurological function.

These accompanying disabilities may be present from birth, or they may develop as a compounding factor of a developmental disability, for example, from prolonged use of certain medications.

Among the persons supported by Community Systems, Inc. are persons who experience quadriplegia, paraplegia, and hemiplegia. Cerebral palsy is one cause of mobility impairments. Also among persons supported are those with impaired respiratory function who may require supplemental oxygen either continuously or intermittently. Persons with swallowing disorders requiring feeding tubes are also among persons supported by CSI.

Persons with severe physical disabilities require considerable adaptive equipment, which may include overhead lifts, adjustable beds, oxygen canisters, and other equipment. (None of the people supported by CSI currently is ventilator dependent at home.) Having certain physical disabilities, especially in combination, may require that persons have daily or even 24-hour nursing and, if so, CSI will provide such staffing.

Of note, none of these disabilities is reason for a person to remain institutionalized, although persons with severe physical disabilities predominate among those remaining in state intellectual disability institutions. Persons with severe physical disabilities supported by CSI live in small group residences (six or fewer persons) in their community.