The METO Settlement
Shamus O'Meara: Person Centered Planning
Shamus O'Meara: We are engaging people with developmental disabilities from their perspective, from the goals and aspirations that they have, and we are not restricting them to what others might think they can't accomplish. And that's a fundamental issue that was raised in the Olmstead case.
It has been a fundamental issue for advocates and obviously people and families with developmental disabilities before that time and since that time. We need to focus on the person with the disability and what they're all about and what they think. What they think matters. What their family believes matters. What their friends think matters.
And we need to—not as just a state, but as a community—support those decisions, support them subjectively, support them financially, and structure our benefits that these citizens are entitled to receive in a manner that reflects the choices that our loved ones with developmental disabilities want to have, and are making.
And that's important. And the settlement agreement speaks to that. The Olmstead Committee speaks to that. If you read the settlement agreement—there's fifty-three pages, a lot of it is legalese, but a lot of it is fundamental language about the care and treatment of loved ones with developmental disabilities, and that is important. And person centered planning and imbuing what is occurring with this, not only this class of residents, but everybody that has a developmental disability in the state, imbuing a recognition that what they have to say matters. And the choices that they want to make matter. And their decisions are the most important and not the least important.