1994 — A Journey of Renewal for All Americans
Report to the President on Self-advocacy
- The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID)
- Publications, Annual Reports to the President
- Annual Reports
In April 1994, leaders from the field of mental retardation were gathered together in a forum sponsored by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR). They were asked to evaluate the needs of Americans with mental retardation in the context of the Administration's domestic reform agenda. The Report to the President represents the synthesis of the forum's technical papers, deliberations, and analyses in the areas of education, housing, employment, health, welfare, and long-term care. Three core themes bind together the sections of the narrative and accompanying recommendations.
First, there remain great unmet needs. A significant transformation in the nation's care and treatment of its citizens with mental retardation has occurred. However, it is a transformation yet in progress. The report reflects the tension of the juxtaposition of accomplishments against the sense of urgency for critical tasks yet to be completed. For too many Americans with mental retardation, the reforms of the past three decades are merely unfulfilled promises. This is a central theme for the report's discussion of education, housing, and employment.
Secondly, the real revolution will see the end of the premise of dependency that permeates our systems of care and support. This theme is embedded in key concepts throughout the report—in the principles of choice and control, in the view of persons with mental retardation as citizens and constituents, and in the calls for meaningful inclusion.
The third and final theme is the fundamental importance of individual dignity. It lies at the heart of report's discussion of health care, welfare, and long-term care. The report's recommendations are made against the backdrop of changes in the landscape of American governance since the April meetings.
While we understand there are no convenient and readily implemented solutions for these domestic reform challenges, the needs and injustices described in the report will be as pressing tomorrow as they are today. For Americans with mental retardation, domestic reform must remain on the agenda.