The Value of Dignity of Risk

The concept of dignity of risk is the right of a person to make an informed choice to engage in experiences meaningful to him/her and which are necessary for personal growth and development. Normal living often includes risks. Dignity of risk allows people to lead normal lives. Overprotecting people with disabilities keeps them from many life situations that they have the right to experience, and it may prevent meaningful connections and fulfillment of their hopes and dreams.

Rather than protecting people with disabilities from disappointments and sorrows, which are natural parts of life, support them to make informed decisions. This enables them to experience the possibility of success and the natural risk of possible failure. Occasionally, as support staff we believe we know the outcome for those who “dream too big.” Dignity of risk demands we try to help people investigate and reach for their dreams, while keeping health and safety at the forefront of our services.

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