The Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities defines Self-Determination as:

Individuals are the primary decision maker in their lives, pursue what is important to them and have a meaningful role in the community. This includes five key principles:

  • Freedom: Individuals will live a meaningful life in the community and make choices about their lives.
  • Authority: Individuals will have meaningful control over a set amount of dollars that can be used to build the supports they need by purchasing only what is needed and paying for what is received.
  • Support: Individuals will have support to organize resources in ways that are life enhancing and assist them in reaching their dreams and goals. Individuals have a circle of supports made up of family, friends, and both paid and unpaid supports.
  • Responsibility: Individuals assume responsibility for giving back to their community, for seeking employment, and for developing unique gifts and talents.
  • Confirmation: Individuals are recognized for who they are and what they can contribute, having a leadership role in developing policies that affect their lives and helping others reach success.

For more information on Self-Determination including resources and training information visit: