Community Living Policy Center

Call for Papers

Disability & Health Journal image with Elsevier logoDisability and Health Journal

Special Supplement Issue: Community Living Policy

Guest Editors: Joe Caldwell, PhD and Ari Ne'eman

Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Approximately 14 million individuals in the United States have needs for long-term services and supports (LTSS). The vast majority prefer to receive home and community-based services (HCBS). While access to Medicaid HCBS has gradually increased over the past several decades, major gaps and disparities exist across states and disability populations, and for individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds and other marginalized identities. Most individuals who need LTSS rely on unpaid family members; and high levels of unmet need exist for formal services and supports.

Community Living Policy has reached a pivotal moment in American history. The number of individuals needing LTSS will more than double in the coming decades with the aging of the population. The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on individuals with LTSS needs and highlighted needs to accelerate shifts away from congregate and institutional settings. Recent efforts, such as the new Home and Community-Based Settings rule, have placed an emphasis on both transitions from formal institutions and other types of congregate facilities. Moreover, the availability and adequacy of the direct-support workforce has reached a crisis, limiting our ability to expand access and jeopardizing community living of disabled people.

Research is needed to enhance our understanding of current and future needs, barriers and facilitators to HCBS, and knowledge translation to policy and practice. While many innovations and promising practices exist—such as person-centered planning, self-direction, integration and care coordination, and direct workforce initiatives—often they are under-researched and evaluated. Policy development and analysis is needed across sectors and at local, state, and national levels. There is also a pressing need for additional research on the impacts of LTSS systems change. While advocates and policymakers have long urged the importance of expanding HCBS, comparably little research has documented its causal impacts on people with disabilities, families, and others.

To address these gaps in research, the Disability and Health Journal (DHJO) is planning an online-only special supplement issue dedicated to Community Living Policy. We invite submission of original research papers. We seek papers that focus on focus on all types of disabilities. Papers using qualitative and quantitative methods are welcome, as are rigorous systematic reviews and policy analysis. We are particularly interested in papers that make use of causal inference research designs, though we also welcome high-quality descriptive work. While submissions focusing on all age groups are welcome, we anticipate that the bulk of the special supplement will focus on people with disabilities under age 65, owing to their underrepresentation in other work. Priority will be given to submissions that include researchers with disabilities.

Topics with a community living policy focus for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Access to HCBS and unmet needs
  • Experience of individuals receiving HCBS, outcomes, and quality
  • Disparities in HCBS faced by individuals from underserved populations and marginalized identities, including race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age, geography, and citizenship
  • Rebalancing, diversion, and transitions from institutional settings to HCBS
  • Affordable, accessible housing
  • Direct-support workforce crisis and promising practices to enhance availability and adequacy
  • Political economy of disability service-provision, including factors that shape public investment in HCBS and LTSS
  • Supports for unpaid family caregivers
  • Person-centered planning
  • Self-direction
  • The role of employment as a factor in community living and/or institutionalization risk
  • Outcomes of innovative delivery-systems reforms, including initiatives to improve integration and coordination of acute care and LTSS

Manuscripts must be submitted via DHJO’s submission portal and will be evaluated under DHJO’s peer review process. For information regarding article preparation, please reference DHJO's Guide for Authors. For proper processing, be sure to select the Section/Category of "Community Living Policy" as well as include this as part of your Cover Letter.

Submission deadline: November 1, 2023

For questions, please contact Joe Caldwell ( or Ari Ne'eman (