Shortly after we published the Quality Measures 2005®, a colleague remarked that the new material reminded her of CQL's 1990 Standards for Services for People with Developmental Disabilities. I found her statement surprising since we developed our new quality measures without reference to our work of two decades ago. But after some discussion with her and after looking through the earlier standards, I came to the following conclusions:
- Values matter. CQL has always focused on the individual. We have published one set of standards and quality indicators for people without regard to disability or type or service or support. The person-centered focus has provided a focus for our progressive traditions.
- CQL continues its emphasis on advocacy. The systems advocacy standards of the 1987 and 1990 publications have been reformulated as Community Life® and the networking of generic community resources. We’ve stretched systems advocacy from working within the disability system to developing linkages and partnerships with allies and resources within community systems.
- The previous emphasis on the organization’s habilitation system for the individual has evolved into the responsive service organization’s provision of supports to connect people within their communities.
- The Basic Assurances® and our new Basic Assurances® Certification up-date CQL’s traditional emphasis on person centered process to promote health, safety and security. Organizations make sure that procedures and systems work for each person. These assurances are closely connected to social capital.
- Our previous requirements for measuring “service outcomes” through the collection and evaluation of data have been reformulated in our new Certified Quality Analyst program.
CQL continues its focus on the person.
Our Personal Outcome Measures® remain at the center of our Quality Measures 2005®. This personal outcome approach supports our values of choice, autonomy, and self-determination. The Personal Outcomes Measures® also enable us to measure choice, autonomy, and self-determination at the individual, community, and systems levels. But, we now recognize that personal outcomes, choice, autonomy, and self-determination are best promoted and optimized within communities of concerned and caring citizens.
Social capital and Community Life®, Basic Assurances® and Responsive Services®, personal outcomes and the measurement of personal outcomes flow from our work of the late 1990s. Consistent values connect the present with the past – even when we’re not looking backwards. That’s why values matter and even tradition can be progressive.
James Gardner, Ph.D.
Former President and CEO, CQL