Protecting human rights has increasingly become a focus of regulation regarding individuals with Intellectual Disability (ID). While this focus on rights has succeeded in protecting people with ID from many of the most insidious abuses of the past, an over-emphasis on the human rights of people with ID while ignoring other aspects of their personalities and environments can create challenges. This article proposes the use of a dialectical model to address challenges raised by the relationship between two equally valid but often unequally considered approaches, namely, rights-based and person-centered. Suggestions are provided for using this model to meaningfully support individuals to reach their person-centered goals while continuing to recognize and address their individual rights, responsibilities, and challenges.

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