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.


Anonymous said...

Who cares if J is satisfied? I disagree with the statement in the first paragraph. When spending the public dollar, the State's interest do, and should, trump. It then becomes incumbent to affect the State's interests, through testimony at hearings, voting, letters, emails, etc.

Doug said...

Anonymous, I don't see how there's a disagreement there. The issue is where the state's interest lies.