Covenant Care is committed to assuring people with disabilities have the supports needed to design and achieve lives of quality and meaning. Such lives are characterized by opportunity, inclusion, and participation.
Supports for people with disabilities should be provided in a manner that recognizes people’s inherent competence; reflects the personal preferences of each individual; conveys that the person receiving services is a valued, respected community participant; and assists individuals to achieve self-determined lives of mastery, satisfaction, and meaning. Such supports can only be provided in community settings. We therefore refute all arguments for institutionalizing anyone on the basis of disability.
All people have fundamental moral and constitutional rights. These rights must not be abrogated because a person has a developmental, psychiatric, or physical disability. People with significant behavioral issues and those with significant health concerns can be provided quality care and lead quality lives in the community.
All relevant research supports the fact that community settings result in improved quality of life in areas such as: opportunities for integration and social participation, participation in employment, opportunities for choice-making and self-determination, quality and duration of services received, contact with friends and relatives, adaptive behavior, and other indicators of quality of life. The most recent research (Gardner, 2003) establishes the fact that there is no trade-off of health and wellness, freedom from abuse, or safety when community affiliation, choice, and self-determination are increased.
Therefore, in fulfillment of fundamental human rights and in securing optimal opportunities, we support the continued trends toward building community capacity, institutional downsizing, and the elimination of institutional care for people with developmental disabilities.