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Disability in America: Toward a National Agenda for Prevention
To help redress these inequities, governmental programs have been established to provide preventive services to two groups: persons with disabilities, and families with socioeconomic disadvantage. Because socioeconomic disadvantage is a risk factor for disability, persons may be members of both groups.
Public Programs for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
The major federal programs for persons with developmental disabilities are coordinated by the Administration for Developmental Disabilities (ADD) of the Department of Health and Human Services. ADD supports councils in each state that plan and coordinate services and advocate changes to reduce the disadvantage associated with developmental disabilities. ADD also awards grants to state offices providing legal and administrative assistance to individuals with developmental disabilities. Special project grants are awarded to encourage innovative work that will help integrate persons with disabling conditions into the community. ADD also supports the University Affiliated Programs, which offer clinical evaluation for children and training for providers in the field.
In addition to ADD-sponsored programs, the Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs provide medical insurance and income assistance for persons with developmental disabilities. Guidelines are expected to be revised soon that will make more children eligible for SSI support.
Several other federal departments offer assistance to persons with developmental disabilities, including the Department of Education (special education and vocational education, among other programs), the Department of Transportation (grants to improve access to public transportation), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (housing construction loans).
Public Programs for Families with Socioeconomic Disadvantage
Many preventive services programs for families with socioeconomic disadvantage are jointly financed by federal and state funds. At the federal level, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Agriculture are responsible for directing these programs. Agencies at the state and local levels manage the programs. Table 4-7 contains a partial list of existing programs for the prevention of developmental disability.
Within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Health Resources and Services Administration) administers block grants that provide major support for state prenatal care programs, newborn intensive care units, newborn screening, genetic services,