Pat Carver

We are seeing over the evolution of self determination that it is being compromised, and that the idea of consumer directed services, self directed services, are replacing the notion of self determination. Self determination is about having a meaningful life in the community which self directed services would surely be a part of it but life is not about just services. We are concerned about the whole movement of people being equal participants in their community, and people being valued in important ways, is being replaced by people directing services offered to them by providers of services.

Pat Carver, Center for Self Determination

A conference in the autumn of 2005 illustrates how eleven national organizations concerned with issues facing people with disabilities can work together to develop and advance a common agenda. The Alliance for Full Participation's 2005 Summit brought together over two thousand people with disabilities, their family members and people who work alongside of them.

Two statements came out of that gathering. The first was by SABE (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered). The founding groups were looking for a statement of priorities for the future, and SABE gave a clear direction  – Just Do It!! The "it" included the following:

  • Get rid of the infamous and hurtful "r" word, do not label us. We will not put up with the "r" word continuing as part of an organization's name even as initials. If you are working with me and for me then do not disrespect me.
  • Close institutions
  • Get us real jobs. Close sheltered workshops
  • Give US the money to live OUR lives. Money follows the person means it is OURS not programs
  • We have the right to make our own decisions with or without the support from others. WE CAN RUN OUR LIVES. You receive millions of dollars in our name. We want to control this money. As we are the EXPERTS.
  • Support our movement. IT IS OURS.