A Leadership Guide for Today's Disabilities Organizations: Overcoming Challenges and Making Change Happen

Authors: Robert L. Schalock Ph.D., Miguel Angel Verdugo Alonso Ph.D.; Foreword Author: Robert M. Gettings M.P.A.

Format: Paperback, 232 pages, 7.0 x 10.0
ISBN: 9781598571813
Price: $44.95

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Effective, efficient, and sustainable ID/DD organizations: are they possible in today's world of dwindling resources and mounting demands for more and better services? Yes—with the practical tools and strategies in this lifeline for ID/DD leaders.

Developed by two of the most trusted authorities in the disability field, this innovative business leadership guide explains the nuts and bolts of successful change in clear and accessible terms, so any ID/DD organization can adapt and thrive in a high-pressure landscape. Managers and administrators will start with a quick self-assessment to determine how well they're meeting the most urgent challenges organizations face today. Then, with 8 highly effective approaches to change, they'll discover how to

  1. develop "21st century thinking styles," so they can communicate better, solve problems faster, and align their services and supports
  2. measure organizational outcomes and outputs, and use the information for reporting, monitoring, evaluation, and continuous quality improvement
  3. create high-performance teams that are organized, informed, empowered, and accountable
  4. employ a system of supports to address individual needs and improve outcomes for people with disabilities
  5. use evidence-based practices to assist in making good clinical, managerial, and policy decisions
  6. implement a performance-based evaluation and management system to strengthen effectiveness and efficiency
  7. create value and enhance sustainability through real innovation, whether it's developing new approaches or reconfiguring current approaches
  8. overcome resistance to change so they can successfully rewrite the future of their organization

For each approach to change, readers will get specific, down-to-earth guidance: action steps to take right now, short summaries of key takeaway points, strategies and examples from successful organizations around the world, and photocopiable Organization Self-Assessment worksheets to help them quickly prioritize their next steps. 

An indispensable guide to surviving the shifting landscape of service delivery, this how-to book will help propel ID/DD organizations into the 21st century—so they can deliver high-quality, individualized services to people with disabilities.


Review: Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
"Schalock and Verdugos book thoroughly explains and systematically walks the reader through each aspect of a change process in a quest to redefine an intellectual and developmental disability organization. Without doubt, organizations are facing the significant challenges identified by the authors and need to change, be accountable, and effectively use resources. The book is, therefore, highly recommended for leaders, and aspiring leaders, within these organizations. . . also applicable to leaders within other human service organizations."
Review by: Roger Stancliffe, Professor of Intellectual Disability, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
"A comprehensive and detailed how-to guide for positive organizational change . . . designed to bridge the considerable gap between exhortations to adopt evidence-based practice and the processes and procedures of actually implementing this approach."
Review by: Roy Brown, Emeritus Professor, University of Calgary, Canada and Flinders University, Australia
"Challenging, thoughtful, practical, and readable . . . This book should be read and then practiced by everyone seeking to improve organization and policies in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities."
Review by: Drs. Patty Van Belle-Kusse,, Raad van Bestuur Stichting Arduin, CEO
"An important step forward in dealing with the complex matter of quality . . . The very modern and practical ideas of system, synthesis and alignment assures us that we can manage the complex matter of quality in a simple way. You can't do without [this book]."
Review by: Michael Wehmeyer, Professor, Department of Special Education Director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities Senior Scientist, Beach Center on Disability, University of Kansas
"A timely and important resource to inform and enable organization leaders to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in ways that are consistent with changing paradigms of disability and support systems."
Review by: Rick Rader, Director, Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center, Orange Grove Center, Chattanooga, TN
"Long awaited . . . serves as both a testimony and guidebook to the continuing vital role of disability organizations and the need to ensure their continued growth and sustainability as values-based, high impact entities navigated by professionally groomed and motivated leaders."
Review by: Valerie Bradley, President, Human Services Research Institute
"A thoughtful and multi-faceted road map for managers of organizations that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities . . . a must read for managers concerned about the sustainability, responsiveness, and future relevance of their programs."
Review by: Trevor Parmenter, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney
"The authors have clearly outlined practical strategies that will assist support organizations to respond effectively to the imperatives of person-centered planning and the delivery of individualized supports in a time of severe economic restraints."
Review by: Paul Wehman, Professor, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University
"The premier text for the design and implementation of highly effective change strategies. This is must reading for all leadership personnel in community service and rehabilitation programs."

Table of Contents

About the Authors

About the Contributors

Foreword: Bob Gettings


  1. Understanding and Meeting the Challenges Faced by ID/DD Organizations
  2. Expanding Thinking to Include Systems, Synthesis, and Alignment
  3. Measuring and Using Personal Outcomes and Organization Outputs
  4. Developing High Performance Teams
  5. Employing a System of Supports
  6. Using Evidence-Based Practices to Enhance Decision Making
  7. Implementing a Performance-Based Evaluation and Management System
  8. Creating Value and Enhancing Sustainability through Innovation
  9. Overcoming Resistance to Change
  10. Redefining Organizations




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