Importance: Environmental modifications are targets for occupational therapy intervention because they support activities of daily living, self-efficacy, personal control, independence, and community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).

Objective: To examine how environmental modifications were provided to people with IDDs through Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS) waivers across the United States in fiscal year (FY) 2021.

Design: Using a mixed-methods policy analysis, we examined FY 2021 Medicaid HCBS 1915(c) waivers from across the United States to examine whether, and how, states provided environmental modifications to people with IDDs.

Results: In FY 2021, 35 states projected spending $68.8 million on environmental modifications for 12,671 people with IDDs. The purpose of environmental modifications was most often to promote the health, welfare, and safety of people with IDDs (82.68%), and to promote their independence (69.29%). The most common examples of environmental modifications included ramps and/or lifts (70.08%), widening doorways and/or hallways (61.42%), bathroom modifications (58.27%), specialized electrical and/or plumbing for medical equipment (54.33%), and grab bars and/or handrails (53.54%).

Conclusions and Relevance: HCBS waiver data on environmental modifications for people with IDDs enhances an understanding of this funding source and provides a foundation of advocacy for occupational therapy practitioners to support people with IDDs with living, as well as aging, in the community rather than in institutions. An expansion of environmental modifications in HCBS for people with IDDs aligns with the aim of Medicaid HCBS waivers to promote community integration, self-determination, and independence, which are all benefits of environmental modifications.

Plain-Language Summary: This study can help occupational therapy practitioners determine what funding sources are available in their state to help their clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities access environmental modifications. The findings can also help guide advocacy and lobbying efforts to expand access to environmental modifications.

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