Self-determination has become a powerful movement which advocates that individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) have the right to control every aspect of their lives and live with dignity. Self-directed services provide flexibility and individualization that result in higher satisfaction and better quality of life outcomes, making it a best practice for serving individuals with I/DD.
While the evidence in favor of self-determination is strong and has influenced federal policy and allocation of funds for self-directed services through Medicaid, information about how to best implement and access these services is lacking.
The SORCe (Self-Determination Online Resource Center for Empowerment) aims to close this gap by offering a “one-stop” resource for best practices in the design, development, and management of support services and service systems for individuals with I/DD. SORCe is free to the public courtesy of the Optum SPARK Initiative that brings together leaders in government, non-profits, and the private sector to discuss solutions to better support individuals with I/DD.
SORCe offers a searchable repository of curated information organized by topic and user, as well as specific resources that best fit needs based upon a role-specific self-determination. Content is organized by user/stakeholder type, geography (states), National Core Indicators (NCI), and specific topics (details below).
The goal of SORCe is to promote creation and utilization of person-centered services and systems that embrace the principles of self-determination.
About the Spark! Initiative
A Focus on Helping Individuals Live a Self-Directed Life
Optum-developed SPARK Initiative brings together leaders in government, non-profit, and private sectors to discuss solutions to better support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For the more than four and a half million Americans* living with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD), the ability to make their own choices and live independently is high on their list of desires – yet among the most challenging in our current health and human services environment.
Fragmented delivery systems, pre-conceived stereotypes, funding issues, social stigmas, insufficient community supports and training, and lack of coordination in areas that affect lifestyle and well-being – such as education, housing, and employment – all of these are obstacles that individuals with I/DD face as they attempt to live more self-directed and fulfilling lives.So how can government agencies, advocates, providers, the health system, and other stakeholders work in a collaborative fashion to help these individuals live the lives they choose?
Some 25 of these stakeholders – all experts in the I/DD area – gathered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, to begin the discussion about the challenges facing Americans with disabilities, the problems with the system that serves them, and a potential direction for solutions. The group convened as part of the Optum “SPARK Initiative” – developed by the health services company to “spark” new thinking on major national health and human services issues.