TASH Resolution on Choice and Community Living

Adopted September 2011

Whereas, most people with disabilities live lives far different from other Americans who enjoy the right to live where they want and with whom they want, and

Whereas, people with disabilities, especially those people with more significant disabilities, do not enjoy those rights to choice, even if they live in the “community”, and

Whereas, people with disabilities enter the community service system referred to agencies where, if accepted, they move into a house or apartment where a vacancy exists among a group of other people receiving services from that agency without the freedom to live elsewhere and with others of their choosing, and

Whereas, this system exists as designed by those who manage the system, not people with disabilities or their allies, and

Whereas, agencies around the country are proving person centered and individualized supports are a better alternative, and

Whereas, person centered and individualized supports honor the rights of people with disabilities to choose, and “ The findings document consistent benefits of residential support provided in very small settings – with choices of where and with whom to live, and

Whereas, people with disabilities choosing where and with whom they live generally means, like other Americans, they will choose to live near family, friends, where they work or where they go to school, existing social networks are maintained rather then disrupted, and

Whereas, agencies providing person centered and individualized supports do so by finding and organizing other supports not paid for by the state DD system thus offering their supports at no greater costs than the current congregate-based system, and

Whereas, sufficient examples exist of person centered and individualized support’s ability to assist people, including those with more severe disabilities, to own or rent homes of their while also making possible superior outcomes,

Therefore Be it Resolved that TASH, an international disability rights organization, calls on state and federal governments to institute policies and practices that provide explicit information in an effective manner to people with developmental disabilities explaining their rights to live where they choose and with whomever they choose and that afford citizens with disabilities the opportunity to live and receive individualized support in typical and socially valued homes of their own.