The SDS Network has drafted a statement for consultation on best practice on self-directed support.
Self-Directed Support means organising help and assistance so that people who need help are able to live with freedom and are included as full and valued citizens within the community. This document provides a set of standards based on global learning.
During 2021 to 2022, a small group of self-direction advocates (who identify as people with disabilities, researchers, and providers) met regularly to plan an international gathering to expand and enhance self-directed support. The event was part of the International Initiative for Disability Leadership and built from a previous events in 2019. The goal of the convening was to develop a statement describing the essential elements self-directed support. Over several virtual meetings in 2022, 30 participants from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Finland, and England engaged in discussion and sharing and reviewed, discussed, and amended the draft standards. The standards were then presented during the IIDL Learning Exchange in Washington, D.C. in October 2022 with additional discussion amongst participants.
The SDS Network has been established to publish this statement and to revise and improve it over time. You can find out more about the SDS Network here.
We all have the right to live a life of freedom and full community inclusion. These fundamental rights were articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities underscored that human rights apply to all people regardless of the challenges they face. To ensure human rights for all, we must organize systems that maximize autonomy, choice, and control. The following are essential elements of a robust self-directed support system:
We are looking to members of the broader global self-direction community to review and comment on the standards. Eventually, we would like to engage signatories across all contributing countries and ratify these standards so that they can be used as a reference point for what constitutes a robust and high-quality self-directed support system.
Please take a look at the one-page statement we developed and share your impressions, ideas for improvement, and thoughts about whether and how this statement could be helpful in advancing self-directed supports globally.
This is a draft statement and we would welcome your views on how we can improve it by 31st January 2023. Please contact any of the SDS Network Board members (listed below) with your comments.