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1221 S. Hartmann Drive, Suite F, Lebanon, TN 37090 1-615-377-0950

Fundamental Rights

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Fundamental Rights are defined as:
Rights that are considered by the court to be explicitly or implicitly expressed in the constitution.

Examples of Fundamental Rights:
• Voting or registering to vote.
• Having a relationship or getting married.
• Participating in a political rally or protest.
• Traveling throughout your state or country.
• Choosing your religion or place of worship.

• The right to direct one’s own life.
• The right to decide one’s own future or destiny.
• The right to control how, where and with whom one lives.
• The right to self-advocate, take risks, and work towards goals.

• The right to participate in political rallies.
• The right to hold meetings.
• The right to participate in sit-ins, strikes, events, or protests, both in-person and online.

Freedom of Religion:
• The right to choose to practice religion or not.
• The right to change beliefs or religions at any time.
• The right to wear religious clothing or participate in religious worship.

Freedom of Speech/Expression:
• The right to speak, write and share opinions.
• Free and public expression without censorship.
• Individuals are free to express themselves without government interference or regulation.

• Everyone has the same right to equal treatment.
• The right to equal justice under the law.
• Prevents discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, color,
ancestry, gender, or disability.

• The right to be left alone.
• The right to not have personal matters publicized.
• The right to not be subjected to governmental interference with regard to rights and decisions.

Movement (interstate and intrastate travel):
• The right to travel from one place to another.
• The right to leave one’s country and return to it.
• The right to move freely throughout one’s country, choosing where to reside.

Examples of Privacy Rights recognized by the Supreme Court:
• The right to marry or be in a relationship.
• The right to procreate or use contraceptives.
• The right to care for and have custody of children.
• The right to live with family or those one chooses.

Indicator 4.6: The expectation is that agencies are encouraging and supporting persons to exercise their fundamental rights.

Derek set a goal to attend college. Derek’s staff provides transportation to his classes at MTSU twice each week.

Not an Example:
Derek’s staff selected a yellow t-shirt for him to wear despite Derek requesting his blue button up shirt.

Betty attends a monthly focus group and quarterly advocacy group.

Not an Example:
Betty meets with her roommates to make a grocery list.

Cara decided to become Methodist and chooses to go to church with her friend. Cara’s staff assist her with transportation to and from her friend’s home.

Not an Example:
Cara is Methodist but her staff goes to a Baptist church and makes Cara join them at their chosen church instead.

Emily’s staff takes her to a protest for women’s rights with her neighbor.

Not an Example:
Emily’s staff tells her protests are too dangerous.

Elijah’s staff discussed voting with him then assisted him with getting registered.

Not an Example:
Elijah’s staff tells him he cannot vote because he has Autism.

Dalia wants to date, but staff tell her that isn’t allowed.

Not an Example:
Derek’s staff selected a

Amy plans and goes on vacation with her staff member.

Not an Example:
Amy chooses to go to her backyard every evening.

How can agencies encourage persons to exercise their fundamental rights?
• Have routine discussions of rights with persons and document the person’s desire to exercise or not exercise their rights.
• Work with each person to develop an individualized plan of how they want the agency’s support.
• Provide information and resources on fundamental rights in the person’s preferred method. (i.e., videos, printouts, pictures, focus groups, etc.)
• Provide support for persons to control their own lives, travel, live as independently as possible, vote, attend and participate in religious ceremonies, attend political rallies or protests, etc.

What is the provider’s role?
The expectation is that providers give people information and resources to support them to make informed decisions and be aware of their rights. It is a person’s right to choose whether or not to exercise their fundamental rights and how they want to do so. If a person isn’t interested in commonly identified
fundamental rights, such as voting, participating in an advocacy group, or practicing a religion, the agency should document the person’s choice and what
information and resources they provided the person. The provider should also inform persons of other fundamental rights, such as traveling, having a
relationship, the right to privacy, and choosing who to live with. Supporting the person to make an informed decision is supporting the person to exercise their fundamental right to self-determination.

Scenario (What it should look like):
Mary is non-verbal and communicates using gestures and pictures. Mary’s staff discusses the importance of fundamental rights with Mary for the second time this year. During the discussion, the staff member provides Mary with pictures as examples during the discussion. The staff member tells Mary that it is her right to choose if she wants to vote, practice religion, participate in an advocacy group, travel, be in a relationship and how she wants to live her life. Mary gestures no to voting, religion, advocacy groups and relationships, but she gestures yes for travel letting her staff know she is interested in learning more. Mary and her staff then watch a few different travel videos on YouTube so that Mary can better understand what it means and how it works. During the third video, Mary gestures that she isn’t interested and points to the picture of her home letting staff know that she wants to remain there. Mary’s staff then documents this discussion and her efforts to educate Mary in the daily notes and r ports that Mary has expressed her desire to not participate in any of the items discussed at this time.

Scenario Explained:
In this scenario Mary’s staff communicated with Mary, in her preferred method of communication, so that she could fully understand her rights and make informed choices about whether or not to exercise those rights. Mary choosing not to vote, practice religion, participate in advocacy groups and travel is Mary exercising her fundamental right of self-determination as Mary is clearly in control of her life and decisions. Mary’s staff provided resources and talked with Mary then documented this discussion, therefore satisfying the requirement of indicator 4.6, as the discussions have occurred routinely (this is the second time this year). It is important to remember that routinely does not have to be daily, weekly, or even monthly, but staff and providers should educate persons on their fundamental rights periodically.

app2vox is a free app that non-verbal persons can use to assist them with exercising fundamental rights:
Accessibility as a human right #AccessibleAccessibility – app2vox

Resources that can be provided to agencies:
we-have-human-rights.pdf (harvard.edu)
Home – Disability Rights (disabilityrightstn.org)
Fundamental rights – Wikipedia

1221 S. Hartmann Dr., Suite F, Lebanon, TN 37090 +1-615-377-0950 ext. 2453