The essence of American citizenship is the right of free participation in all that affects the community interest.
The best use of resources available for supports is the free choice of what is needed by the customer. Forcing people to receive services that are not needed, because of bureaucratic requirements, teaches people that they are dependent and that they must "game" the system to get what they need. The best way to assure efficient use of supports is to focus on the use of supports for full citizenship, instead of trying to build bullet-proof entitlements.
Grass Roots Initiative:
People with disabilities must organize locally to achieve full citizenship in their chosen communities. Facilitated skill-building, at the direction of local groups, can support effective grass roots advocacy; but, ultimately, people with disabilities must take responsibility for their own futures.
The best support for the disability community in achieving full citizenship is the creation of personal and community economic self-sufficiency. Disability benefits are not an adequate substitute.
Technology as a Citizenship Tool:
Michigan's disability community must seize technology as a critical tool in its fight for full citizenship. The Internet and other collaborative strategies must be a key part of our common struggle. We must lead this effort, not wait for the rest of society to deem our technology issues a priority.
"Nothing about me, without me."