I support self-directed services (SDS) because in concept, SDS programs empower people with disabilities by removing some control from service providers (including both Regional Centers and direct service-providers,) because an effective SDS program lowers the cost of quality in services and supports by involving the person best able to control costs in the negotiation for price, and because without SDS the integration and sovereignty sought by the DDS system for people with disabilities are largely absent from its workings.
The current proposal adopted by the legislature's budget conference committee certainly will implement the initials SDS and may well lead to the actual manifestation of its meaning. The ban on using SDS while a client lives in a congregated facility or uses a day program certainly limits both the choice of clients and the benefit to the system and the state. The failure to specify the role of service coordination staff in SDS, which may or may not occur in writing the regulations, leaves up in the air how much actual control will pass to people with disabilities and, therefore, whether or not this new program meets its goals or produces significant benefits.
Fears as to whether the regulations being developed will follow the normal process of public input have placed many erstwhile supporters of SDS into a skeptical state.
All of that said, this proposal is the most promising reform to come this close to implementation. So, I endorse the SDS proposal with the anticipation that legislative and regulatory corrections will be needed to implement SDS itself.