INDEPENDENT CHOICES: A National Symposium on Consumer-Direction and Self-Determination for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Self-Determination Initiative: Year One Impact Assessment Report

John Agosta


The changes that are emerging in systems of support for people with developmental disabilities are part of an evolutionary process that began decades ago. Over this time, the inhumane conditions associated with institutions were exposed; community residential, day and family supports were created; and federal and state legislation supporting the civil rights of people with disabilities was passed. Along the way, ideals like normalization, inclusion, and participation were used to criticize prevailing practices and inform further change. It is as if the closer we think we are to the realization of these ideals, the more they demand of our skills and creativity.