Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1301.02. Statement of purpose.

(a) It is the intent of the Council of the District of Columbia to:

(1) Assure that residents of the District of Columbia with intellectual disabilities shall have all the civil and legal rights enjoyed by all other citizens of the District of Columbia and the United States;

(2) Secure for each resident of the District of Columbia with intellectual disabilities, regardless of ability to pay, such habilitation as will be suited to the needs of the person, and to assure that such habilitation is skillfully and humanely provided with full respect for the person’s dignity and personal integrity and in a setting least restrictive of personal liberty;

(3) Encourage and promote the development of the ability and potential of each person with intellectual disabilities in the District to the fullest possible extent, no matter how severe his or her degree of disability;

(4) Promote the economic security, standard of living and meaningful employment of persons with intellectual disabilities;

(5) Maximize the assimilation of persons with intellectual disabilities into the ordinary life of the community in which they live; and

(6) Provide a mechanism for the identification of persons with intellectual disabilities at the earliest age possible.

(b) To accomplish these purposes, the Council of the District of Columbia finds and declares that the design and delivery of care and habilitation services for persons with intellectual disabilities shall be directed by the principles of normalization, and therefore:

(1) Community-based services and residential facilities that are least restrictive to the personal liberty of the person shall be established for persons with intellectual disabilities at each stage of life development;

(2) The use of institutionalization shall be abated to the greatest extent possible;

(3) Whenever care in an institution or residential facility is required, it shall be in the least restrictive setting; and

(4) Persons placed in institutions shall be transferred to community or home environments whenever possible, consistent with professional diagnoses and recommendations.