People with disabilities are routinely denied the exercise of choice in their daily lives. There are strong efficiency arguments for the promotion of greater choice and autonomy for disabled people. There are equally strong moral arguments for an investment in the capabilities of disabled people to allow them to participate in both the educational system and the labour market. This investment will not come cheaply nor will the pay-off always be of such magnitude to justify the expenditure on narrow cost-benefit criteria. Those who value efficiency above everything else must, however, set out the system of justice implied by such a choice. The conclusions of a narrow efficiency argument may turn out to be unacceptable to the majority of citizens. Likewise, however, those who value equity at all costs must consider the implications of their approach for individual freedom, economic growth and technical efficiency. This paper is an attempt to explore the meaning of efficiency and equity in the context of independent-living programmes for people with disabilities.