New Report on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

A new National Core Indicators (NCI) report has been released which give us in Michigan some reliable information about the experiences and outcomes of people with intellectual and/or developmental disability served by the public mental health system.

We can use this information to support our efforts to strengthen long-term policies, to inform and guide our quality assurance activities, and compare Michigan’s performance with national norms. You can read the full report at It is also located on our website at

Here are some findings:


This is the first time statewide data on intellectual disability is available. Compared to other states, Michigan serves a greater percentage of people with mild intellectual disability (40%) and a greater percentage of people with profound/severe (31%) intellectual disability. (The national average: Mild 35%, Moderate 28%, Profound/Severe/ 26%.)

Michigan results also show that a greater percentage of people have psychiatric conditions (45% compared to 33% nationally). The report shows that 12% need extensive behavior support for challenging behaviors compared to 9% nationally.


The majority of people (41%) surveyed live in a community-based residence (which includes group home, apartment programs or foster care). Twenty-one percent live in an independent home and 32% with parent or relatives.


Seventeen percent are employed; of those who are working, 33% are competitively employed. This places Michigan in the range of “significantly above average” for employment compared to national data. For people who were not employed in the community, 60% reported they would like to be; however, only 22% reported having a goal to achieve community employment in their service plan.

Choice and Decision-Making

Michigan’s results in this area are very similar to the NCI national average with many respondents reporting that they do not have input in major life decisions such as where and with whom they live and where they go during the day. Specifically, 52% report they have input into where they live and 40% that they have input on their roommate. It is positive to note that 78% of people report having input into their daily schedule and 88% have input into how they spend their free time.

System Performance

A large majority of people reported that their staffs have adequate training (90%). Seventy-five percent (75%) report they get needed services. A larger proportion of those living in individual homes report getting needed services compared to  those people living in their parents’ homes. Of the 25% who reported they did not get needed services. The services that were most often identified as being needed are:

  • Meeting people/relationship building – 30.6%
  • Finding/changing jobs – 25.9%
  • Changing housing – 24.1%
  • More education/training – 21.3%

Health Care and Health

The majority of people report being in good health; however, 7% report being in poor health. Just 8% used tobacco products. Most people interviewed have routine care:  99% have a primary care doctor and 85% had received a physical exam in the previous year.

Michigan’s results show only 19% report they engage in regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes three times a week). This places Michigan’s results in the range of “significantly below average” when compared to other states.


Only 68% report that they have friends who are not staff or family. Those living independently and in their own home report a slightly higher rate. Forty-four percent (44%) report they feel lonely at least half the time.