What are advocates saying?
As the homes and other settings where citizens with intellectual / developmental access support are being threatened by changing policy and regulations, advocates are raising their voices and saying their choices should not be restricted, but expanded.
In the following presentation, self-advocates who live in different forms of intentional communities from around the country speak to national policymakers and disability organizations at the National Home and Community Based Service Conference in Washington, DC. It is clear that the intentional communities they call home are their preferred home option and should not be restricted or stigmatized as isolating them from the broader community:
Along with self-advocate voices above, there are other everyday family members and advocates raising their concerns about limited options and the need for more options:
People with autism deserve to live and work in their communities. We need the support at a federal and state and local levels. There is so much bureaucracy, rules keep changing, and families don’t get the help they need!
I am a sibling of an individual with intellectual disabilities. After he finishes school at 21 he would love to move to intentional community built for people with disabilities. However it is not only difficult to find these types of communities, but we have also found that there are more and more restrictions being placed on them. I have never understood why states can restrict choice of where to live when they are so adamant about not restricting choice! I would love to be another voice in the pursuit of community choice for all.
I have four developmentally disabled adult children ranging in age 45 to 28. They are all presently living at home with me, but if they ever need to go into assisted living or a group home, I want them to be able to live in a community with their friends. To have a choice of that community, and not be dictated by the number of beds in a building. I don’t want their choices to be restricted!!
I want to have the health and well being of those less fortunate be first in people’s minds when making decisions that affect their lives.
Denying choice of living arrangements to individuals with disabilities is a denial of their civil rights.