DSA’s Perspective on Disability
- Disability resides not in an individual, but in the interaction between the individual and his or her environment.
- Disability exists only as long as an individual cannot freely access what he or she needs within a particular setting.
- Disabilities can be reduced through a combination of personal development, appropriate support and an accessible environment.
DSA’s Service Philosophy
At Developmental Support Associates, our supports and services emphasize the unique nature of each person in the context of his or her environment. We believe that many factors must be considered in order to provide positive behavior supports and high quality person-centered services:
§ Behavioral Principles: The principles of behavior modification and applied behavior analysis are central to an understanding of motivation and behavior.
§ Intrinsic Motivation: Each individual has unique needs, interests and preferences. Learning and daily functioning are best supported when activities and materials reflect already existing motivations.
§ Development: Learning and behavior usually reflect stages of development, and most effective learning occurs when the supports and teaching strategies are developmentally appropriate. Also, most tasks are learned more easily when they are broken down into developmental steps.
§ Wellness: Physical, emotional, social and spiritual health must be supported in order to achieve a positive and fulfilling quality of life.
§ Culture: Each individual represents a unique expression of beliefs, values and behavioral expectations. Effective supports must reflect both the individual and the cultural setting.
§ Environment: Relatively minor reshaping of the environment can have a profound impact on learning and performance. In the proper environment, disability is minimized.
§ Rights: Appropriate supports must be designed in a manner that promotes autonomy,protects health and safety and promotes human and civil rights.