Moments in Disability History 12
"The Dignity of Risk"
The evolution of community services contributed to the adoption of the concept of "dignity of risk" and the establishment of principles in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that were reinforced in the 1999 United States Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. In the wake of the Olmstead decision, the federal government issued a series of directives to states and suggestions for how to comply with the ADA that included affording people with disabilities the opportunity to make informed choices.
In the video clip Chris Lyons, a nationally recognized attorney specializing in the defense of community service providers, illustrates how building the "dignity of risk" into the lives of people with disabilities represented a cultural shift, a change in philosophy and a paradigm shift in service delivery that influenced the ADA.
Article: "The Dignity of Risk" by Robert Perske
This article includes references to Changing Patterns in Residential Services for the Mentally Retarded, a book that carries the "dignity of risk" theme across discussions about new service models.
Please Note: The book was published in 1969. We recognize that the book title itself as well as the chapters on various topics refer to and contain language and terminology that were acceptable at the time but are now disrespectful and offensive. The resources here are historical, and the language and terminology used is retained due to the historical context in which they were written.