Whose Choice Is it? Two Views
In its October 2013 issue, EP Magazine published "When Equitable Does Not Mean Equal: Respecting Diversity and Choice: VOR presents its Key Principles in Support of Ensuring the Rights and Opportunities for All People with Disabilities," VOR's perspective on individual choice and diversity of needs. The article included VOR's "Key Principles in Support of Ensuring the Rights and Opportunities for All People With Disabilities" and VOR's request to the broader community of advocates to support these person-centered principles.
In response, Alison Lozano, the Executive Director of the New Jersey DD Council, wrote a letter criticizing VOR's choice position and article, arguing instead that "Everyone [with developmental disabilities] must live alongside everyone else in a regular neighborhood, enjoying their community to their fullest extent. This is what is called diversity." Alongside her letter, EP Magazine also published VOR's rebuttal to Dr. Lozano's claim. Geoffrey Dubrowsky, a VOR Officer and New Jersey DD Council Member, corrected her characterization of VOR and explained VOR's position in support a full array of residential options, from small homes to larger licensed facility based care, based on individual need and choice. His positions in both VOR and the New Jersey DD Council, and his role as an advocate for his son (who lives at home), his nephew who lives at home and will need community-based services in the future, and his niece who receives facility-based care, lent credibility to his (and VOR's) position in support of legitimate choice based on individual need.