What does self-direction mean to you? 

ISSUE SPONSOR | MRCI For six-year-old Cara, self-direction means she gets to enjoy riding her scooter and going to summer […]

Published September 01, 2022


For six-year-old Cara, self-direction means she gets to enjoy riding her scooter and going to summer camp! Her camp allowed her to make new friends and her parents couldn’t be happier for her. 

For 28-year-old Dalton, self-direction means the opportunity to ride “Big Mable” right alongside his cousin on a family camping trip. 

Self-direction means different things to different people, but it’s based on one premise: choice.  

When an individual with disabilities can self-direct, they can hire the caregivers they want, decide the type of services they need and then design the supports that are best for them. A self-directed plan is based on an individual’s challenges and strengths to help determine the supports that help them reach their unique independent living goals. 

Since 1998, MRCI-CDS has worked with families throughout the state to provide self-directed services to individuals and families who choose to self-direct their own services. MRCI-CDS offers 10 different programs under five different waivers. As a Financial Management Services (FMS) for the state of Minnesota, CDS helps support MRCI’s overall mission of providing innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals at home, at work and in the community. 

In the community is where you can find 16-year-old Guy, who loves to visit water parks and splash pads. Or you might find five-year-old Daisy, who likes feeding duck and geese at the local park.  

Many people choose to self-direct because they want to hire people they trust – family, friends, and neighbors. They want more control over the services they get and who provides that service. They want to stay in their home and avoid group homes or assisted living/nursing homes. It may be that they want to hire people who speak their language, understand their culture, and cook their native foods. Or perhaps they live in a rural area and cannot find services needed near them. 

Why is self-direction important to the family of 13-year-old Keagen? It means he can enjoy one of his favorite treats while on a bike ride with two of his brothers in his cargo bike. 

Eleven-year-old Oscar is another CDS client. His family was able to use waiver funds to purchase an adaptive tandem bike. Oscar is now able to enjoy biking with the family! 

Here we have mentioned just a few examples of how self-direction can transform a life. MRCI CDS helps individuals and families navigate the complexities of self-directed care by providing Financial Management Service, PCA Choice and 245D Licensed Services. 

For more information, please call (800) 829-7110 or visit https://www.mrcicds.org/ 

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