ERIC Number: ED464454
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Paying Customers Are Not Enough: The Dynamics of Individualized Funding.
Discussion of the dynamics of individualized funding for providing services to people with developmental disabilities focuses on how individual funding may drive the changes necessary to develop services that offer highly customized assistance. This discussion considers why the concept of paying customers is powerful but misleading in light of such realities as the mismatch between what is wanted and what is offered, the lack of competition in the market for developmental disability services, and the need for customized services to be provided not at a single point but over long periods of time as people's requirements change. It suggests that what is needed is a market that stimulates innovation. Policymakers are urged to harness three interlocking processes: variation (many agents pursue different strategies in a shared environment); interaction (agents create exchanges, make use of things, and inform themselves about other agents' strategies; and selection (of some strategies over others). The paper suggests that a system with the best chance of continuing adaptability and success must have: (1) lots of agents; (2) some connections among agents; and (3) willingness and ability to try and tell. Policies and structures are judged by the criterion of whether, over time, people with disabilities and their families are more able to act as agents in customizing the assistance they require. (DB)
Descriptors: Adults, Decision Making, Delivery Systems, Developmental Disabilities, Financial Support, Individualized Programs, Personal Autonomy, Self Management, Services, Systems Approach
Syracuse Univ., Center on Human Policy, 805 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244-2280. For full text: http://soeweb.syr.edu/thechp/IFDynamics.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.
Authoring Institution: Responsive Systems Associates, Lithonia, GA.; Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.