Advocating for the Individual in Family Relationships

Advocating for the adult-child with a disability is difficult, but important.  Care agencies can seek the help of governmental agencies who pay for care in order to establish the rights of individuals with disabilities.  Individuals with disabilities have the same rights that everyone else has.  They may have a guardian who can handle certain things for them, but this does not take away their rights.  In Ohio, their rights include:

·         The right to be treated at all times with courtesy and to be treated equally as citizens under the law.

·         The right to an appropriate, safe, and sanitary living environment that recognizes the persons' need for privacy and independence, including both periods of privacy and places of privacy.

·         The right to food adequate to meet accepted standards of nutrition.

·         The right to practice the religion of their choice or to abstain from the practice of religion.

·         The right of timely access to appropriate medical, dental, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, behavior modification and other psychological services.

·         The right to receive appropriate care and treatment in the least intrusive manner and to refuse to participate in medical, psychological, or other research or experiments.

·         The right to communicate freely with persons of their choice in any reasonable manner they choose and to have social interaction with members of either sex.

·         The right to ownership and use of personal possessions so as to maintain individuality and personal dignity and to be free from emotional, psychological, and physical abuse.

·         The right to opportunities that enable individuals to develop their full human potential and to pursue vocational opportunities that will promote and enhance economic independence.

·         The right to participate in appropriate programs of education, training, social development, and habilitation and in programs of reasonable recreation.

·         The right to participate in decisions that affect their lives; the right to select a parent or advocate to act on their behalf.

·         The right to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services without restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.

·         The right to be free from unnecessary chemical or physical restraints.

 

Remembering and reviewing these rights can help us advocate for the individual when family disagreements arise.  While families usually have their loved one’s best interest at heart, it can be hard to be objective at times.  It can help to respectfully remind them of the individuals rights to advocate for a solution that respects everyone’s rights.