Holding Everything Together: A Whole Self-Directed Life

GSA’s mission is to support adults with moderately severe and complex symptoms of Autism who are very different from one another. Most feel uncomfortable and even extremely upset when grouped (without consulting them and perhaps against their will) with others who are considered to have similar problems. When we shift our focus to listen deeply to them and to see their lives from their point of view, it makes sense to think of support that is person-centred and self-directed. We know that the more complex the needs, the more individualized the supports must be. It is vital to keep speaking up for the principles of self-determination, citizenship, flexibility and ease of access to direct individualized funding, and ensuring safeguards through independent planning and facilitation.

As GSA is an independent charitable corporation and not a transfer payment agency for the purposes of Ontario government funding, a special Personal Support Agreement has been devised, to safeguard the quality of life of any active member of GSA and to ensure accountability. As with other GSA documents, it is expressed in the first person, and there is a plain-language version too. The appended statement of Continuous Quality of Improvement is a systematic summary to guide all who support a person in his good whole life.

Excerpts from introduction to chapter in CREATING A HOME AND GOOD LIFE OF MY OWNStrategies and formal agreements developed by Guelph Services for the Autistic in its role as housing trust (2008). 
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