The next few years will likely go down as a period of reform of government programs across the board. Much of that will be due to staggering, debilitating debt at both the federal and state levels. Some of it, however, will flow from a political philosophy that favors smaller government in principle-- and some will be fueled by a desire to match government resources more closely to specific human needs.
A coalition of disability groups is now engaged in an attempt to get Indiana to build more flexibility into its programs designed to care for individuals who need assistance in terms of housing, personal care, etc. The push by the coalition is to provide individuals and their families with more options, and more flexibility in using state-provided funds. The effort seems to be making good progress. Ideally, Indiana can create a model other states can adopt and build upon, opening society to increasing opportunities for people with disabilities.
Ideally, too, the process won't stop with the disabled. Humanizing government social programs, both in scope and in approach to services, can put the focus back on individuals at a time that too often sees people as members of particular, specific special interest groups. The soul, therefore, becomes a political character rather than a unique, worthwhile expression of its own. Maximizing personal independence is finally about more than homes and aides, and about more than respecting the elderly and the disabled.