In 1997, in New Jersey where I live, a new option for residential placement was made available for people with disabilities. This option is called “self-determination.” Self-determination is a concept that supports people with disabilities, helping them live inclusive lives in their communities. The principles of self-determination are:
My transition from childhood to adult life and self-determination in New Jersey have both shared the common goal of encouraging full participation in community life. How grateful I am that my parents never lost their inclusive vision that has led me to a life of independence. I am also grateful to all the fine people who listened to what I felt was important in my life and continue to support me on my journey. It is a great journey, and I am enjoying my life.