Meet the Need NC is an initiative, funded by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, that is changing the intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) landscape across the state. The initiative recognizes systemic change for I/DD community services and supports requires a common agenda.

Meet the Need NC is driven by the Leadership Alliance for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LAND), a program of the 501c3 nonprofit, Mental Health Transformation Alliance (MHTA). LAND is an advocacy organization made up of family members with I/DD “lived experience” and other professionals dedicated to improve the lives of those with I/DD and their families.

Many individuals with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities (I/DD) who qualify are waiting for funding from the North Carolina State Legislature to become available. They are placed on a Waiting List. The list is also called the Registry of Unmet Needs (RUN), sometimes referred to as the “Registry”.

Others who qualify for services are not receiving them because of a workforce shortage. There are too few Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) due, in part, to low hourly wages. This is a crisis.

Currently, there are approximately 15,000 people on the Registry of Unmet Needs in North Carolina. People on waitlists for Medicaid Waivers in other states in the U.S. have an average wait time of over two years. In North Carolina, the wait can be up to 12 years or more.

Three kids and two moms sitting together
Older man next to a younger girl looking sideways

Where are we now regarding Unmet Needs for North Carolina's I/DD community?

  • It is difficult for individuals and their families to find and understand information about I/DD services.
  • Families and individuals who wait for the Medicaid Innovations Waiver, many for over a decade, suffer in many ways with minimal support.
  • The ability for those with I/DD to live more independently in communities is impacted by the direct support professional workforce crisis, affordable housing, and many other factors.
  • The Registry of Unmet Needs* is 15,000+ waiting and growing.
  • There are many who should be on the Registry of Unmet Needs who are not.
  • Those with lived experience are key to our educational efforts.
  • Medicaid Transformation: Tailored Plans go into effect on April 1, 2023, and 1915(i) should go into effect on December 1, 2022.