All people want to enjoy and maintain good quality, and meaningful lives. Persons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are no different in this respect and deserve nothing less.
In many poverty-stricken areas around the world, people, of all ages, with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities do not have the necessary professional support, and in many cases, nor do they have the personal relationships they need to lead their lives to the fullest extent.
In addition, they are frequently faced with the stigma of the community, encountering attitudes and barriers that hold them back from participating and contributing to their communities.
People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities must have the opportunity to lead lives that offer them a meaningful quality of life.
A meaningful quality of life exists for them when they:
Policies, regulations, and funding must promote these desired outcomes. In addition, public agencies, private organizations, and individuals providing services and supports must:
Joint Statement with the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD).
1 “People with intellectual disability and/or developmental disabilities” refers to those defined by the AAIDD classification and DSM IV. In everyday language, they are frequently referred to as people with cognitive, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities although the professional and legal definitions of those terms both include others and exclude some defined by DSM IV.