Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Further on the topic of choice

On the topic of choice, I have expressed some opinions. I would like to elaborate on a related issue. In weighing the relative merits of choice and integration, I still remain committed to the idea that choice should trump and that neither the State nor Regional Centers, nor agencies have a compelling enough interest to push integration on those who prefer to live and receive services in a segregated system.

That said, after hearing a very compelling speech just yesterday on the topic, I also agree with two embellishments on that position.

The first additional point is that the boundaries of choice as a policy goal may vary in the advocacy of different people, but these distinctions are philosophical not moral. I may disagree with those who believe the state should differently fund integrated and segregated services in order to support the choice of integrated services, but I do so on practical grounds and with no truer compassion or greater honesty than those who take the opposite position. To the extent that state, regional center or agencies believe they have a compelling interest in limiting choice to a more integrated environment, it is appropriate for those entities to better support integrated services than segregated ones.

The second additional point I'll confess is that I agree absolutely with value-based funding as an improvement on the collossally irrational system we have now. I also agree that the supports necessary to sustain people with developmental disabilities in integrated lives are more valuable than those that support the same individual in a segregated setting, given that the former is harder to accomplish. If integrated services were to receive biased funding in their favor on the basis of value rather than cost, I could support such a policy.

OK, satisfied, J? And I posted in November, too.