The philosophy which guides the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of services for people with intellectual disabilities includes the following elements:
- Individuals with intellectual disabilities are, first and foremost, people with basic human needs, aspirations, desires, and feelings; second, citizens of a community, who are afforded all the rights, privileges, opportunities, and responsibilities afforded other citizens; and finally, includes who happen to have a disabling condition.
- People with intellectual disabilities are recognized as having diverse needs, concerns, strengths, motivations, goals, and abilities which can best be addressed through the coordinated and cooperative efforts of an inter-agency network of human services providers.
- Family units, both traditional and nontraditional, are frequently the most important resource and support to people with intellectual disabilities.
- The rights, wishes, values and needs of people with intellectual disabilities and family members are paramount in planning and operating the intellectual disabilities services system.
- The system is sensitive to other members of the intellectually disabled population.
- For the majority of people with intellectual disabilities, the natural setting in the community is the best place for providing services.
- Local communities are the most knowledgeable regarding their local environment, issues, strengths or gaps in the service system, and opportunities.
- Staff who work effectively with people with intellectual disabilities are highly regarded and valued resources of the system.