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It was only a few short years ago that we as a society felt that the best place for people with an intellectual disability was in a special program. This meant that people’s choices were limited to the special programs that were available in their community. The most extreme example of this was with people who were admitted to institutions like David.


Whether you lived in an institution or not, many people feel that compared to everyone else in their community, their choices were very unfairly limited.


Thankfully, as a society, we now appreciate that every person belongs and contributes to their community and that each person is an individual with their own preferences and gifts and has the right to choose and control every aspect of their lives just like everyone else.

  1. Ask everyone participating in your group what they appreciate about making decisions in their life - why is having control in their own lives important to them?

  2. Ask each person to share how they think they might feel if they lost control over critical decisions in their lives.
    Imagine being told by others:
    • Where you will live.
    • Who you will live with.
    • When and what you will eat each day.
    • Where you will go and what you can do.

  3. Loss of control over one’s life is not limited to people who live in an institution. Do you have situations where you wanted to try something but weren’t given the opportunity or you were told that you were not being realistic? Share that story and how it made you feel.

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