Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Self-Direction - 5 Ways The World of Disabilities is Changing

Today in the Democrat and Chronicle (A USA Today affiliate) was an intriguing article about Self-Direction and the overall direction that states are moving to provide services.  

Our own country's history is one of tiny steps in the form of civil rights, acceptance and self-determination.  We've seen this progression on race, we've seen it for gender, we're watching it on sexual orientation and we're on the brink for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities (I/DD).

1. SELF-DIRECTION - Allowing individuals to drive the decisions for their care and their lives.  Imagine not having any say in where you live, how you spend your day?  Many with I/DD live that life every day, I've seen it personally with my sister.  But more and more opportunities to drive the direction of their everyday lives are springing up.

2. QUALITY OF CARE - The echo of institutions still ring throughout the country but more states have completely closed their institutions for I/DD and the environment for I/DD has improved dramatically over the last few years as more resources and understanding are put toward those programs that provide care.  

3.  OPPORTUNITIES - Because there's a greater understanding of I/DD, and less people are untouched by I/DD, opportunity continues to grow.  Whether it's employment opportunities, residential opportunities, or life opportunities, there are more programs than ever that help people with I/DD to work, live and even go on vacations!

4. COMPETITION - Services for I/DD have become so important that states are actually competing over who has the best system, the best care, who's improving.  They understand that families caring for someone with I/DD will up and move to a new place that provides better services for their family and they are responding.  Here are the 10 Best States for People With Disabilities

5. LIFE EXPECTANCY - The life expectancy has grown greatly because of the increase in quality of care, the opportunities and the resources that are designated for people with I/DD.  Learn more here!

WaiverMarket is addressing all of these.  We are designed for self-direction, just log-on and search for the service you're looking for.  We vet all of our providers to ensure that only legally licensed and approved service providers have profiles.  We encourage all service providers to have at least a free profile if not a premium profile because choice is important to us.  This increased self-determination increases competition which increases the quality of service and encourages new service providers to pop up every week!  All of this will not only improve life-expectancy based on the report referenced, but will continue to improve the quality of life for those individuals living with I/DD.

That's our goal, and it's personal for us.  We'd love for you to join us, share our blog and sign-up for our newsletter.  We will continue to post news and opinions on disability issues and keep you informed of what's going on across the country.  


  1. It's pretty amazing, I remember my sister in the "resource room", she just sat there and played with toys, they didn't even try. I'm so glad that we've come this far yet so far to go. How can we get large organizations like www.TheArc.org adopt your platform. I went and checked it out, it makes a lot of sense!

    1. We're working on it. We have a few ARC firms in Colorado and have had discussions with several others. If you have a contact at The ARC nationally, please contact us directly at seth@waivermarket.com

  2. Another key point is the involvement of families in the lives of people with disabilities. They are much more involved and the institution or seclusion of children has given way to a much more informed active family network. Choice and self determination is also about involving natural supports.