The emphasis on self-advocacy, value of the contributions consumers make in their local communities, consumer choice and an increase in non-paid interaction between consumers and members of the community started in the 1990s spurred continued action in 2000. Consumers worked vigorously on integration and acceptance issues. Self-advocacy groups like Power for Independence grew in strength and numbers, giving people with disabilities a forum and voice in their local communities.
All of the factors mentioned above contributed widely to a movement to provide services to persons with disabilities in their home communities rather than in segregated, facility-based settings. After carefully assessing its facilities, and noting that a growing number of services were being provided in the community rather than in these facilities, ADEC made the decision to sell the property at Williams Street. ADEC sold the facility to the Elkhart Community Schools in 2001. The services formerly located at Williams Street were not abandoned, but were shifted to existing locations in Elkhart and Bristol where space was available.
ADEC’s focus on advocacy, self-advocacy and consumer choice continue to be key concepts and focal points as we move forward. Person-centered planning is used to assist people with disabilities to realize their dreams and pursuits. Helping people to realize their dreams also means working with them to remove barriers – attitudinal, physical and financial – wherever these barriers might exist.