03/09/12 How do people with disabilities in Indiana feel about the communities in which they live? Do communities strive to maximize independence, assure safety and security, promote inclusiveness and provide access?

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, in collaboration with the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities and Protection and Advocacy Services, is conducting a survey to answer these questions.

The 2012 Disability Poll: Livable Communities asks Indiana citizens to identify how they view their community’s attention to livability especially independence, choice and control. The survey is framed around the National Council on Disability’s definition of a livable community for adults with disabilities. According to the council, a livable community is defined as one that:

n  Achieves affordable, appropriate, accessible housing

n  Ensures accessible, affordable, reliable and safe transportation

n  Adjusts the physical environment for inclusiveness and accessibility

n  Provides work, volunteer and education opportunities

n  Ensures access to key health and support services

n  Encourages participation in civic, cultural, social and recreational activities

Survey outcomes will guide and promote the development of planning, programs, and policies as Indiana towns and cities explore how to make their communities more livable for all ages and abilities.

The survey is available online at www.thepollingplace.org. To request the Disability Poll in an alternative format or for additional information, contact Jeffrey Chait at 800-825-4733 or jchait@indiana.edu.

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, works to increase community capacity in disability through academic instruction, research, dissemination and training, and technical assistance.

The institute receives support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington (OVPR). OVPR is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives, and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path-breaking work.

The Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities is an independent state agency that works to promote public policy that leads to the independence, productivity, and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of society. This mission is accomplished through planning, evaluation, collaboration, education, research, and advocacy.

Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services was created in 1977 by state law to protect and advocate the rights of people with disabilities and is Indiana’s federally designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system and client assistance program. It is an independent state agency, which receives no state funding and is independent from all service providers, as required by federal and state law.