Almost 15% of the world population comprises of disabled persons. For people with disabilities, service and supports are those services and supports that specially provided to enable people who have disabilities to participate in community and social life.

For all of us, giving and receiving support is part of the human experience. All communities have ways of offering assistance or help in both formal and informal ways, which are naturally incorporated into society.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoted the principles and services that should be provided in the community, not in segregated settings.

This article is compiled to give you a better understanding of support services for people with disabilities. Read on to find out why and when these services are required.

Understanding Services And Support

Disability is often defined as severe, life-long mental and/or physical impairments. These impairments result in substantial limitations in the following areas:

  • Self-care
  • Comprehension and language

  • Capacity for independent living
  • Skills (receptive and expressive language)
  • Learning, mobility, self-direction
  • Economic self-sufficiency
  • Ability to function independently without coordinated services

People with impairments in above areas requires following types of assistance and support services which include:

  1. Community support and independent living

It includes assistance with self-care, household care, mobility, leisure, and community participation.

  1. Residential support services

These include independent housing and congregate living in group homes and institutional settings.

  1. Support in education or employment

It includes classroom assistant for a child with a disability or personal support in the workplace.

  1. Respite services

These include short-term breaks for caregivers and people with disabilities.

  1. Communication support

It includes the sign-language interpreters.

  1. Community access

It includes daycare centers.

  1. Information and advice services

These include professional, peer support, advocacy, and support decision-making.

  1. Assistance animals

It includes dogs trained to guide people with visual impairment.

These supports and services are different in every state and there is currently no portability for many of these services state to state (1).

Why Are The Support And Services Required?

Currently, most of the disabled individuals rely on informal means of support, from families and personal networks, which are insufficient to meet their needs.

Below are the reasons why formal supports and services are important:

  • People with disabilities overly dependent on family members due to a lack of necessary support services.
  • It can prevent both the person with a disability and the family members from becoming economically active and socially included.
  • It puts persons with disabilities at risk
  • It has negative consequence s on having control of the way they live.
  • It has negative effects on their ability to choose for themselves.
  • It also enhances the risk of segregation and institutionalization.

That’s why a better understanding and more commitment by policymakers and all other stakeholders are required to meet the support needs of persons with disabilities.

When Are The Support And Services Required?

The need for services and support can vary, depending on the stage of life, environmental factors, the level of individual functioning and the underlying health conditions.

The need for support services is also determined by key factors including the presence and willingness of family members to provide assistance, the availability of appropriate assistive devices, and the degree to which the environment facilitates the participation of people with disabilities, including older persons.

When individuals with disabilities can independently get to a bathroom, for instance, they may not require another person to help them. When they have a suitable wheelchair, they may be able to negotiate their local environment without assistance.

And if mainstream services are accessible, there will be fewer requirements for specialized support.

The need for assistance and support changes through stages of the lifecycle as given in the table.

Stage of Life Formal Support
Childhood Respite care, special needs assistance in education
Adulthood Advocacy services, residential support, or personal assistance in the workplace
Old Age Day centers, home-help services, assisted living arrangements, nursing homes, and palliative care

Table 1: Support changes in different stages of the lifecycle

(Adapted from World Health Organization Report)

Elements of Good Service and Support

  • Availability

Appropriate support services and assistance should be presented to all persons with disabilities in sufficient quantity, through whichever means they are provided.

  • Acceptability

All programs should be provided on a voluntary basis and respect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities.

  • Accessibility

For all persons with disabilities, there should be no discrimination or barriers in access to the services. There are different forms of accessibility that need to be considered, including affordability and geographic reach.

  • Choice and control

There should be an opportunity for persons with disabilities to plan and direct their own support.

Support for persons with disabilities is particularly different according to their mental or physical limitations as given below:

Services for the blind

  • The use of text-to-speech translators, or translation of new works into braille or talking books
  • Availability of these in all public institutions and public library, and in a boot image configured for use for a disabled person.
  • After a transaction, using mobile phone cameras to take pictures of change, so it can be calculated by a sighted person who confirms by tone or voice that the change is correct.
  • In buildings, buses, trains and other locations where pets are not allowed, guide dogs should be admitted.
  • Reserving the use of a white cane for individuals who are blind.

Services for the hearing impaired

  • Closed captioning on television.
  • Where recording and transmitting devices are not normally permitted, hearing aids should be admitted.
  • Oral transliteration
  • Telecommunications Devices for the deaf (TTY terminals for telephones)
  • Video Relay Services
  • Sign language interpreting

Services for the visually impaired

  • Large font books
  • Boot image configuration and basic operating system utilities that set computers up with a high-contrast color combination and large bold fonts desktop schemes.


Home care agencies offer a number of services to help those living in our communities live independently.

Jamhuri Healthcare Services is a home health care agency – Located in Pikesville, Baltimore County Maryland: 21208

For more information, about in home personal care, for seniors and disabled adults. Call Jamhuri Healthcare Services Inc. 1-800-547-2851  or visit us on the web:


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