Individual Habilitation Plan objectives for adults with mental retardation living in institutional or community settings were evaluated for effectiveness and quality. Effectiveness was assessed by contrasting change in relevant outcomes over time for participants with and without individual plan objectives in specified content areas. No significant change in outcomes associated with having an objective was detected for any of the content areas. Except for functionality, ratings of individual plans on all quality domains were poor. Regression analyses mostly failed to show any significant relationship between quality domain ratings and outcomes, although there was weak but inconsistent evidence for validity of the technical adequacy and data-collection quality domains. Findings present a challenge to current expectations that presence and quality of IHP objectives are associated with improved outcomes.

We thank the Minnesota Department of Human Services (Division of Developmental Disabilities), county case managers, and residential staff from state and privately operated residences for their support of and assistance with this project. We are also grateful to Barbara Polister, Tim Soulen, Jordan Orzoff, and other project staff for their dedicated efforts in conducting the Minnesota Longitudinal Study. This report was supported by Cooperative Agreement No. H133B80048 from the US. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education nor the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and endorsement by either Department should not be assumed.

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