Impact Feature Issue on Consumer-Controlled Budgets and Persons with Disabilities

From the Editors

This document has been archived because some of the information it contains is out of date. (Effective June 2009)

Nearly 150 years ago John Stuart Mill, in “On Liberty,” made the simple observation that “liberty consists of doing what one desires.” In a nation founded on the promise of securing “the blessing of liberty” for all, people with disabilities have found themselves often forced to exchange their personal freedoms for the services and support they need. Unwilling to accept that the need for support is incompatible with personal freedom, growing legions of individuals with disabilities, their families, advocates, public officials, and service providers have developed and promoted new ways of increasing the control that people with disabilities have over their own lives and futures. This issue of Impact focuses on various aspects of and experiences with supporting personal freedom through self-directed supports and individually managed budgets. It includes articles from policy, service, and individual/ family perspectives illustrating what is possible when self-determination guides service provision. While control over one’s own services and supports and the resources that finance them does not directly and unequivocally yield liberty, in these pages readers will find evidence of the enormous contributions that such approaches to human services can make to lives of greater independence and personal satisfaction.