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Self Direction is the thought and belief that each person, with or without disabilities, has the right to plan and structure his or her life as he or she pleases and sees fit. Everyone grows up with dreams of what the future can look like and all individuals should be given the opportunity to fulfill those dreams within the natural scope of supported guidance (i.e. parents, siblings, school/community counselors, employers). The point is that everyone should be given the opportunity to take ownership of his/her own life. This is self-direction. Self-direction asks “Where would you like to work/live/recreate/worship/go to the doctor/study further?”

As time goes on, more and more states (including New Jersey) are getting on board with this concept and implementing new policies and programs which support the individual’s right to take charge and map out plans for life.