Self-Direction and Individualized Supports

Every person values the right to make personal life choices in all areas, including housing, work, friendships, travel, leisure activities and more. Yet, most individuals with developmental disabilities have a restricted range of choices and, most often, they have to rely on paid supports and traditional services, which can be limiting. However, many individuals are now choosing Self-Direction as an option that is given them greater control and customization over the lives they choose to live.

Self-Direction is a service option that is available to anyone eligible for OPWDD services and who is enrolled in the Home and Community Based Service Waiver. Self-Direction gives people a voice in how their funding allocation can be utilized to enrich their personal experiences. It allows them to hire their own staff, to engage in community classes and activities and to get reimbursed for expenditures that allow them to live more independently in the community. At the core of Self-Direction is the believe that people have the right to make their own choices about the supports and services they want, and that each plan should be designed according to the desires, changing needs, talents and supports that are needed by each individual.

Some of the successes of the individuals receiving Self-Directed supports from IAHD are listed below. We invite you to read through them and to envision what supports and achievements might define your self-directed journey.

Individuals receiving Self-Directed supports from IAHD have………

  • Moved into their own apartments
  • Procured employment at Marshalls, Stop and Shop, Staples, a bakery, Adams Farms grocery store
  • Trained and participated in marathons
  • Enrolled in art, ornament blowing and pottery classes
  • Taken ballroom dancing, guitar, drum, acting and horseback riding lessons
  • Taken classes on university campuses
  • Taking swimming and horseback riding lessons
  • Gone to sleep away and day camp
  • Use budget to pay for monthly cell phone to FaceTime relatives who live out of state
Adult college student with cerebral palsy, taking a test.
Businessman suffering from Cerebral Palsy sitting in a motorized wheelchair