Choice and Control
Self-determination means you have the power to make decisions and truly be in control of your life. This means that you have the right to choose what you will do with your life and with whom you will do it. This can include being the boss, having the authority to hire the people you want to provide your supports, and being in charge of your own budget.
Dignity, Respect, and the Right to Take Risks
You have the right to be treated with dignity and to be respected as a whole person. You have the right to take risks, make mistakes and grow from them. Many of life's greatest lessons are learned when we make choices that we later realize were mistakes.
Relationships are the building blocks of a happy life. You have the right to choose the people you want to have in your life and to have a circle of friends and family. They can also provide support, guidance, and assistance as you make choices about what is right for you.
Contribution and Community
You have the right to participate and be a contributing member of your community. This means having opportunities to give of yourself and to establish a feeling of belonging and identity. Being a member of the community also includes having the opportunity to be employed, have your own home, be truly involved in the routines of the community, and make a difference in the lives of others.
When you have control over how you use the funding for your supports and services, you also have the responsibility to live within a budget and to wisely use public dollars. Having choice and control over your budget allows you to purchase the supports to get what you need, pay only for what you get, invest in goods or services that will produce long-term benefits, spend money more thoughtfully, look for ways to spend less money to get the support you need, and make changes to your supports as your needs change.