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A Focused Vision with Empowering Supports

A focus on real home, real learning, real work, and real relationships, coupled with a full understanding of empowered individuals living in supportive communities, defines three dimensions to a focused vision for the future.

  • Community Life. People with disabilities will live as vital and integral members of our community. They will be supported as members of the community, rather than clients of programs or consumers of services. They will have homes of their own, participate in inclusive and useful learning, contribute to the social and economic life and the community and be fairly compensated for that contribution, and enter into friendships and relationships that enrich their lives.
  • Self-Determination. People with disabilities will determine their own futures, with appropriate assistance from families and friends. Public policy, including funding, and service organizations will aid and abet individuals, their families and friends to determine their own future and obtain the supports required to realize it.
  • Community Capacity. Communities and citizens will see themselves as competent and willing to become involved in the lives of people with disabilities. People with varying abilities will reach out to one another in mutual aid. All the typical resources of communities will include people with disabilities as respected members of the community entitled to full citizenship.

Shifting Patterns


Video: The results of a national survey about best practices in "empowerment" and "self advocacy" are presented in these two videotapes. The terms were not new when these videos were produced in 1992 but the concepts they represented were a shift in discussions about people with developmental disabilities.

Part 1     Part 2