What is Self-Determination

The meaning of self-determination since its inception a decade ago has always rested on a set of 5 principles

Self-determination is a process that assists the person in designing and exercising control over their own life and directs a fixed amount of dollars that will be spent on authorized supports and services, often referred to as an “individual budget.”

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be

The Principles of Self-Determination

Self-Determination is a process that is built upon these 5 principles:


    To decide how one wants to live their life.


    Over a targeted amount of dollars.


    To organize resources in ways that are life enhancing and meaningful to the individual.


    For the wise use of public dollars and recognition of the contribution individuals with disabilities can make in their communities.


    Of the important role that self-advocates must play in a newly redesigned system.

The Budget

A person's budget allows them to:

  • Find and get the support needed to lead a full and meaningful life
  • Choose services
  • Choose where and with whom they want to live
  • Get involved in the community
  • Choose their own Service Providers rather than having an agency do it- this allows them to evaluate and control the quality of the services

The Michigan Partners for Freedom is an alliance of people with disabilities, family members, advocates and organizations working together to make Self-Determination a reality for everyone.
The video to your right, “Owning the Process: Individual Budgeting” explains how individual budgets work in the state of Michigan and how they’re used to direct a person’s services.


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