Native American Developmental Disabilities Needs Assessment

The purpose of this study was to better understand the needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) with developmental disabilities (DD). A secondary goal was to improve and/or expand services. Methodology included a survey and interviews with representative AI/AN samples. 

The study found a lack of resources supporting AI/AN individuals with DD and difficultly in accessing existing resources. The report lists recommendations including increased collaboration with AI/AN community members, increased availability of information regarding supporting agencies, sustained contact with AI/AN individuals and their families, education and training on developmental disabilities through tribal colleges and university Native American programs, and an inclusive center for information on AI/AN individuals and developmental disabilities. The report also includes contact information for existing resource and advocacy organizations for AI/AN individuals with DD and their families. 

Content Comments 

Although this resource does not specifically address educational issues, it provides a helpful window into the social and personal needs of American Indian and Alaska Native people with developmental disabilities (DD). The authors state their purposes early in the publication and meet them, using effective, unbiased methods. The survey used to collect much of the data is included in an Appendix and may be helpful to other organizations.

Communications quality is acceptable, although a few paragraphs are long, wordy, and lack spacing. Utility should be reasonably high, although the recommendations are somewhat general and will take substantial time and resources to implement. Evidence of effectiveness is not described but the overall quality suggests a potential improvement on the services provided to AI/AN individuals with developmental disabilities.