Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are first and foremost citizens and as such are entitled to all of the fundamental rights, both explicit and implied, that are guaranteed to, and enjoyed by all people under the Constitution of the United States. They have the right to opportunities that enable them to make choices for themselves and to exert a measure of control over their physical and social environment, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or incarceration. It should be recognized that they may need some accommodations and supports to enable them to exercise these rights and inherent responsibilities.
It is The Arc New York’s position that fundamental rights include but not be limited to the right:
- To choose a place to live to do productive work, engage in leisure time activities, and to worship.
- To acquire and maintain adequate financial resources for independent living.
- To marry and have children.
- To full information and access to appropriate childcare and parenting skills while the decision to have children is being considered and access to ongoing supports and services once the decision to become a parent has been made.
- To receive appropriate education and training, rehabilitation, guidance, and counseling.
- To access all governmental programs in concert with all people.
- To receive individualized services and technologies designed to meet specific needs and help ensure optimal functioning.
- To receive appropriate, affordable and accessible wellness services, medical, dental and mental health care.
- To enhance quality of life through respite care, personal assistance, specialized training, individualized family assistance, retirement and old age planning.
- To be free from discrimination and the right to receive fair and equal treatment in the criminal justice system.
- To vote in fully accessible polling places.
- To protection and advocacy services during all stages of life.
- To be protected through the application of federal, state and/or local protection laws and regulations, from decisions or lack thereof, made by parents or guardians or service providers when the individual’s life, health, safety or general well-being are compromised.
- To membership, employment and leadership in The Arc New York, Inc.
- To any and all other rights enjoyed by all citizens.