For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, you don’t always (and very rarely) have full or any autonomy. As you might imagine, having to rely on others can be frustrating and feel disempowering.
“Nothing about me without me” is a way for neurotypical folks to remember that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have their own lives as well. This is something that is incredibly important to us at Stephen’s Place!
Rather than taking a cup away before a person has finished, making huge life decisions for, or speaking over someone with an intellectual or developmental disability, it’s imperative to consult the person who’s life it is. The following examples of moments experienced by many individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities are those that can be avoided:
- Not being given the opportunities that neurotypical peers have
- Being treated differently to neurotypical people
- Having dreams and aspirations disregarded
- People assuming that you can’t work
- Regularly having your personal space invaded
- Being spoken over
- Not being empowered to live an independent life
- Talked about in earshot as if you’re not there
- Spoken to in baby talk
- Given no choice in even the smallest activities
- Having things done for you that you can do or learn to do yourself
- Not having opinions taken into consideration
- Being rushed along
- Not having control over finances
- Also, hidden agendas can be confusing
The large majority of this list would be identical for many neurotypical people as well. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve the same chances and the same access to independent decision making as much as the next person. If you help a person grow, you have the opportunity to grow as well.
Always remember “Nothing About Me Without Me.”
What is Stephen’s Place?
If you have a loved one with developmental or intellectual disabilities, who is looking for a community to live in, please contact us for more information.
Stephen’s Place is a private-pay apartment community due to our state-of-the-art amenities and programs. We are a nonprofit and do not profit from our community. We are private pay because we spend more than some housing communities to ensure that our residents are comfortable and can safely live their lives with independence and dignity.