As an organization we believe that the most important resource we have in achieving our mission is our staff. WE BELIEVE THAT IT IS CRUCIAL TO RECRUIT AND RETAIN STAFF WHO ARE COMPETENT, WELL TRAINED, CONTINUOUSLY LEARNING, CREATIVE, ENERGETIC PEOPLE WHO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MISSION AND VALUES, WHO SEE THEIR WORK AS A CALLING, AND WHO ARE TREATED RESPECTFULLY AND FAIRLY COMPENSATED.
People with disabilities themselves deserve to make decisions that govern their lives, their work, with whom they socialize, and what services they receive. Quality of life is defined by a person enabled to make informed choices, and achieved in the attainment of personally defined outcomes. We affirm with Thomas Jefferson that all people are "...endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
People with developmental disabilities have a right to full inclusion in the community and to the same opportunities and choices as all citizens regardless of range of challenges or supports needed. We believe and work in support of the COMMUNITY IMPERATIVE: THAT ALL PEOPLE HAVE THE FUNDAMENTAL MORAL, CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO LIVE, LEARN, WORK, PLAY AND WORSHIP IN SAFE HEALTHY COMMUNITIES OF THEIR CHOOSING.
People with disabilities deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe that people with disabilities are people first and we support "people-first" language and language that avoids labeling or demeaning characterizations. We believe that all people with developmental disabilities have strengths, abilities and inherent value and are equal before the law. We believe specifically that people deserve the dignity of risk—the right to try and fail as well as to try and succeed. There is a learning value in failure as well as success. We believe specifically that people deserve positive supports delivered in the least restrictive manner possible. We reject any procedure or practice that is dehumanizing or that may cause physical or psychological harm.
We value interactions, supports and leadership with people that are consistent with the CONCEPT OF NORMALIZATION. Normalization is "the use of culturally valued means to enable people to live culturally valued lives." The concept of normalization holds that people with developmental disabilities ought to be supported in a manner that is consistent with what the larger community of non-disabled persons values with respect to age-appropriateness, proximity, and integration, in the attainment of life outcomes that are also valued by the larger community.