“Living An Inspiring Life…” Beliefs Shifts Framework Principles Actions. Presented by: Gail Fanjoy, Executive Director KFI 1024 Central St., Suite A, Millinocket, ME 04462 [email protected] On the Road to Regular Lives… Beliefs:. Work in the community (real jobs),
On the Road to Regular Lives… what should not be done at all.”
SHIFTS IN SERVICES
“None of us makes our life alone We each rely on a variety of formal and informal resources to create better life experiences.”John O’Brien, A Guide to Lifestyle Planning
5 Essential Areas of Accomplishment:
The sharing of ordinary places that define community life.
The experience of autonomy both in small, everyday matters and in large, life-defining matters.
what to wear
what to buy for groceries
what to eat for meals
with whom to spend time
what to do for work
if or how one worships
The opportunity to perform functional and meaningful activities with whatever level or type of assistance is required. Without focused effort, people with disabilities will be deprived of:
Having a valued place among a network of people and valued roles in community life.
having a regular job versus working in a sheltered workshop with only people who are disabled.
having a regular home or apartment in the community versus living in a group home or boarding home where only people with disabilities live.
having opportunities for recreation that are not limited to only people with disabilities.
having friends and acquaintances that include people without disabilities.
The experience of being part of a growing network of personal relationships that includes close friends.
Without focused effort,
people with disabilities will have unusually small social networks whose membership is restricted to clients and staff of the services they use and perhaps immediate family members.
many of the contacts of people with disabilities will be impersonal and temporary.
typical community members will not have the chance to meet and get to know people with disabilities.
“It is important for us to remember that we have allowed public dollars to become an instrument of isolation and an artificial barrier between the person with a disability and the wider community.”
~ Beyond Managed Care: Self Determination For People With Disabilitiesby Donald Shumway and Thomas Nerney, September 1996, UNH Institute on Disability/UAP
-- the real hurdle
KFI, 1024 Central St., Millinocket, ME 04462
Everyone needs friends.
Individuals with disabilities typically have few real friends.
Individuals with disabilities frequently spend most of their time segregated from their communities.
Communities are typically deprived of the participation of individuals with disabilities.
When individuals with disabilities participate in community activities, it is often as part of a group which makes it difficult for them to connect with others.
The community is a welcoming place, although our initial attempts to connect people may not always meet with success.
Individuals with disabilities will benefit from developing new friendships and connecting with others. They will respond with rewards that new friendships and community opportunities have to offer.
The community will benefit from the gifts and talents that individuals with disabilities have to share.
Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies, University of Maine
Although obvious, one needs to be in the community at some point to make connections. Having goals, meetings and documentation does not create the connections. Being out there, talking with people, interacting with others and participating in everyday life of the community is what builds connections.
Gary taught us that having presence in an area establishment over time could result in a lasting friendship and an unforgettable vacation.
When you know someone’s name, the relationship or connection switches from the anonymous to the personal.
Robert taught us that when someone knows your name, the relationship switches from the “anonymous” to the “personal” and good things – like paid employment – can happen!
The work is not easy. Relationships and connections don’t happen overnight.
Kathy taught us that if we stick with it and allow time and creativity, new friendships can blossom and a new valued roles can emerge.
There are places and events in our communities where people tend to make connections. In past years people used to hang out at the local barber shop, game arcade, church, etc. Every time period and every neighborhood seems to have places that act as a natural meeting or gathering place. You may not make connections by taking someone to a movie or shopping. We need to identify where the natural gathering places are in our neighborhoods and communities.
Shirley taught us that identifying a rather unusual natural gathering place in her small town could open the door to a volunteer job.
Most importantly, seek out success stories and dream big!