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Shopping for Services

Why This Is Important

Shopping for Services Everyday people who need help because of a disability and the people they trust for advice are asked to make more and more decisions. Everyday more and more different options are available for people to choose from. This is a good change from the past when there were few choices and professionals were usually the ones who made them. But making decisions about what kinds of services a person or family wants and who to buy those services from can be a hard decision. It involves shopping carefully. It involves knowing what a person or family is looking for, asking the right questions to people who might be able to provide those services and looking for other information that might be helpful in locating and choosing an individual or organization to provide the services that are needed. Good shoppers plan their shopping trip. They know ahead of time quite a bit about what they are looking for. They have gathered information. They have already decided which products or services that they do not want to use. They have narrowed their choices to certain products that look pretty good to them. They have decided what the important things are that they want to see and learn about a particular product or service before they buy it. Information about services for people with disabilities is growing. It is growing because more and more people are looking for information that will help them be better "consumers" of services. Information is also growing becuase public and private agencies want people who need services and the people they trust to be involved in making their own decisions about services. This department contains various products that have been developed to help people who need services find the information and think about the questions that may make their decisions easier and better. The department contains some products that report information about service agencies that can be useful to consumers who want to learn more about the types and quality of services provided by different agencies. The department contains other products that assist consumers in thinking through the questions that they need answered before they choose indiviudals or agencies to provide services to them.

This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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