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How to Improve Access to Health Care, Special Education and Services for USMC Family Members with Disabilities - NCD Report

Author: National Council on Disability : Contact: NCD

Published: 2011-11-29 : (Rev. 2017-01-17)


Report examines challenges experienced by Marines with Exceptional Family Members the term used by USMC for family members with disabilities.

Main Digest

National Council on Disability report examines how to improve access to health care, special education and services for USMC family members with disabilities.

On November 28, the National Council on Disability (NCD) will release "United States Marine Corps Exceptional Family Members: How to Improve Access to Health Care, Special Education, and Long-term Supports and Services for Family Members with Disabilities. "

The report, based on a study conducted within the United States Marine Corps (USMC), examines the challenges experienced by Marines with "Exceptional Family Members" (EFMs) - the term used by the USMC for family members with disabilities.

For the study, NCD collected experiences of the USMC community through focus groups and interviews with caretakers, family members with disabilities and service providers between January and March 2010 at three large bases where many EFMP families are assigned: Marine Corps Base Quantico, Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton.

Findings include:

"United States Marine Corp families serve and sacrifice alongside active duty members," said Jonathan Young, NCD's Chairman. "For family members with disabilities, difficulty obtaining supports and services can add to the stress of deployment and complicate already challenging situations such as separation from extended family and adjustments that come with relocation, but progress is being made. NCD hopes the information in the report will continue to improve access and attention as sought by the USMC who requested the study."

The report concludes by calling for prompt action and making short and long-term recommendations for improvements to the USMC's Exceptional Family Member Program going forward.

NCD is a small, independent federal agency with 15 Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Council Members and a small staff, who advise the President, Congress and other Federal agencies on disability policy, programs and services.

The full report is available on NCD's website at:

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