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Thoughts on Self-Direction

Post by: David Horvath

 What does it mean to self-direct your services and supports?  Two words come to mind: “Choice” and “Control”.  You have choice over the services you purchase, who provides them, and how much you pay for them.  You have control over when and how those services are delivered.  You are in the driver’s seat.  You call the shots within the program rules set by state and federal agencies.  Our job is to support you.  Much of what we do, such as paying taxes on your behalf, goes on behind the scenes.  If we do our job well you might not even notice us.  That’s how it should be.  We want you to be able to stay focused on living your life.  

Self-direction is also a means to an end.  It’s a way for you to be able to live the life that you want to live on your own terms as much as possible.  The people who designed self-directed programs wanted you to be able enjoy the freedom, authority, support, and responsibility that comes with managing your own life.  For some people, this means deciding what time to get out of bed, take a shower, and eat meals with the help of paid employees or natural supports.  For others, this means deciding how much to pay employees, whether to hire family members, or whether to save funds for a big purchase that will increase independence.  For all, it means greater “Choice” and “Control”.