Beliefs, Shifts, Milestones, Questions…
- Work in the community, live in the community, be a part of the community, contribute to community.
- Resist the temptation as a human service agency to be the employer, the landlord, or the sole supporters of people with disabilities. It is a formula for disaster.
- Act as an aid to community integration, not as a barrier to it.
- Change one person at a time.
- Abandon the notions of “readiness”, the continuum of services, and that people need “fixing”.
- Assure there are no double standards (services should reflect what you’d want and need).
- Scrap groups, programs, and buildings. It only works for individuals with supports in the community.
- Invest in “values training”. It is the most important investment you can make.
- Reinforce (or establish) participatory management.
- Listen to the gurus.
- Talk about your dreams, set your sights high.
- Work in a state of discontent. Know there are always better ways.
- Business as usual ? Make the vision work
- Sheltered Work ? Real Jobs
- Artificial training in artificial environments ? Real skill acquisition in real environments (home and community)
- Programs for groups ? Supports for individuals
- Training Curriculum ? Consumer Choice and Person Centered Services
- Foster, group, boarding, ICF’s, anything agency owned ? The person’s own home
- Wait until “they” fix the funding, find more money, etc. ? Do what’s right and figure out the money later
- One staff person experienced PASS Training [intensive values training] (1979)
- All agency staff went to conference featuring Lou Brown [more values training] (1984)
- Began finding people jobs in the community (1986)
- Moved “day program” from residential area to “downtown” location; closed sheltered workshop (1987)
- Abolished all sheltered work (1989)
- Served first person in supported living (1989)
- Restructured center-based services to include home-based instruction and evening hours (1992)
- Proved that even people with the most challenging disabilities can live in their own homes (1992)
- Changed job descriptions to reflect “connecting role” for direct service staff (1994)
- Achieved final phase-out of center-based day hab services (1996)
- Why do people with disabilities go to day programs?
- Why do people have to leave their homes during the day? Is that really home?
- What do you look for in staff? People who are already connected to the community?
- Who else in the community can/should do what you do?
- Who (what people) can you begin with?
- How can families help?
- Where are there opportunities to implement the vision?
- If it was your life, what would you want?