Principles of Self-Determination
from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Program Self-Determination for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Freedom. . . . to plan a real life
The ability for a person with a disability, along with freely chosen family and friends, to plan their own lives, with necessary support, rather than purchase a program.
Authority. . . . over your resources
The ability of a person with a disability to control a certain sum of dollars in order to purchase supports.
Support. . . . for building a life in your community
The arranging of resources and personnel—both formal and informal—that will assist a person with a disability to live a life in the community that is rich in social associations and contributions.
Responsibility. . . . to give back to your community
The acceptance of a valued role in a person’s community through competitive employment, organizational affiliations, spiritual development and general caring for others in the community, as well as accountability for spending public dollars in ways that are life enhancing for persons with disabilities.
Self-Determination is:
  • having a choice
  • knowing more about ourselves
  • having dreams and goals and going after them
  • being in control
  • making our own decisions
  • spending money our way

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