CPSD is an advocacy network of 10 national disability organizations who have come to pursue modernization of the federal adult system of services and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, so that they can become employed, live independently in an inclusive community, and rise out of poverty.

Value Framework

CPSD presumes competence in the ability of all citizens with significant disabilities to work and live independently in integrated settings and to contribute meaningfully to their communities. CPSD believes that that public funds should be focused entirely on helping individuals become self-sufficient, productive members of society, through integrated employment at competitive wages with commensurate benefits: working and living side-by-side with other community members in integrated settings.

Mission Statement

CPSD will promote policy reform aimed at empowering individuals with complex intellectual, developmental and cognitive by:

  1. Providing opportunities for meaningful engagement in the areas of education, employment, social interaction, and community engagement;
  2. Eliminating current obstacles and creating viable incentives to empower individuals to live and work in integrated settings, generate income, and save for their future; and
  3. Customizing public supports based on the unique needs of individuals with significant disabilities throughout the lifespan through self-direction and individual budgeting to promote their lives as productive citizens within their communities.

CPSD believes there is a need for a clear focus in federal and state policy leadership that affirms high expectations of citizens with significant disabilities to live and work independently in typical community settings. This focus includes an emphasis on public resources that center on assisting individuals with disabilities in attaining meaningful employment in integrated settings at competitive wages with commensurate benefits. Employment is a means to economic advancement of these citizens through income generation, asset building, and savings. Thus, the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination seeks to promote opportunities and eliminate barriers to working and saving while ensuring the continuation of individualized supports (as necessary). Such reform requires a system that allows for an environment of “continued attachment” for individuals who have successfully achieved partial self-sufficiency but require continued public assistance to offset the tremendous costs of certain long term supports related to their disability.

Policy Objectives

  1. Allow individuals with disabilities who have significant support needs to work and save assets without jeopardizing access to necessary publicly funded resources by eliminating asset & income limits used in determining eligibility for an array of public supports.
  1. Advocate for an Employment First agenda that supports competitive, integrated employment as the preferred outcome for all citizens with significant disabilities and requires that systems have a statutory responsibility to align their policies, processes, and reimbursement practices toward incentivizing, encouraging and funding services and supports that lead to this preferred outcome.
  1. Aggressively campaign for massive systemic reform at all levels of government that leads to the effective coordination of services and blending of resources, aimed at promoting coherent, self-directed planning centered on the individual, leading to employment and independent living.
  1. Push for the provision of customized long-term supports for all individuals with significant disabilities, beginning with the successful transition of youth into adulthood and extending throughout the lifespan, that are focused on assisting individuals in pursuing independent, productive lives in integrated community settings.




Education is a fundamental component of preparing all children, regardless of disability status, for lives in our communities. The Collaboration advocates for inclusive education practices and high expectations for students with disabilities.


CPSD presumes competence in the ability of all citizens with significant disabilities to work and live independently in integrated settings and to contribute meaningfully in their communities. Personal autonomy, access, accountability, and responsibility over one’s life decision-making processes result in better outcomes and improved quality of life for people with significant disabilities.


The Collaboration came together around Employment Policy as the critical lynchpin to ensure people with significant disabilities are included in their communities.  The Collaboration embraces the concept of “Employment First” which is a paradigm that presumes that all people, including people with the most significant disabilities, can work for competitive wages and in their community, given the proper supports and services.


Providing opportunities for people with significant disabilities to save is critical to ensuring that individuals attain economic empowerment.  Current policy often requires people with significant disabilities live in poverty in order to receive the services they need to fully participate in their communities, or receive the medical care they need.

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