Self-Direction in Action: Participant Stories

People with lived experience are in the best position to talk about the freedom and independence self-direction has brought to their lives. The stories shared here provide just a glimpse into the empowering impacts of self-direction and the individuals leading the movement.

John is standing next to his ice cream stand with a red umbrella


At age 22, John and his parents sought to replace the exceptional services he had received at school. The solution, a combination of self-directed and traditional programs.

Ray sitting in a recliner by the window

Irma and Ray

The Consumer-Directed Community Support Program allowed Irma and Ray's daughter Donna to be their paid caregiver.

Picture of Kevin outside


Picture of Kevin who is wearing a hat and has his wheelchair parked in the grass

a group of people posing for a photo


As an adult, Ari lived in a group home 100 miles away from his family. Finally, at the age of 25, he was able to move home to Wolf Point, Montana located on the Fort Peck reservation.

Marissa is a smiling young person with brown braided hair

Kim and Marissa

Marissa is in a self-direction program but, prior to COVID-19, was unable to hire her mother as a paid worker.

a black and white photo of Tommy in uniform wearing a hat


A World War II Veteran battles Lewy Body Dementia at home. Tommy was the first family enrolled in the VD-HCBC program in Central Texas.

Robert a young man using a wheelchair

Pam and Robert

Pamela chose to raise Robert in an inclusive environment as opposed to an institutional setting.

Rosie accepts an award and hugs a man who has presented the prize


Rosie’s advocacy has led to positive change in technology, patient safety, and healthcare practices. Rosie continues to live a self-determined life and uses her own journey and has served as a catalyst to bring people up.


Ryan lives an independent life, driving a modified vehicle and working at Granite State Independent Living Center.

Tim presenting at a webinar

Stories of Self-Direction Presentation

View a session from the 2023 Self-Direction Virtual Conference Series where Tim, Mel, Nate, and Kathy shared how self-direction changed their lives and advice for others thinking about enrolling.