This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of “What do we mean by inclusion?“.
This edition contains the following articles:
From the Committee
It is so close that you can touch it and smell it so why aren’t people with disability able to pierce the membrane into community?
Ann Greer is the Manager of Community Connection in Townsville, an organisation she helped to establish in the early 1990s. Community Connection was established to provide individual customised support for people with disability to build a good life based on full and valued participation in community.
Ann has particular skills in the areas of behavioural strategies, communication and lifestyle planning and she is also the mother of 3 adults, two of whom live with disability. She has a long history of working to promote community inclusion as both a family member and worker, including with people at particular risk of community exclusion.
What is inclusion? What’s not?
Kathie Snow lives in Texas, USA, and is the parent of two young adults; her son, Benjamin, has a disability and recently earned his Master’s degree. Before the births of her children, she was a broadcast television writer, producer, and director and a print journalist. She combines her earlier career in the media with personal experiences in the disability arena to ignite positive and long-lasting change.
Kathie is the author of Disability is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities (now in its third edition) amongst other influential resources. She also presents keynotes and workshops at international, national, and state conferences; provides day-long trainings for parent groups, schools, and human service agencies; and has coordinated conferences and developed training curriculum.
This article has been republished from her website: https://www.disabilityisnatural.com/inclusion-what-is.html
Foundations for a good life
Rob and Virginia Lonsdale
Rob and Virginia Lonsdale are the parents of two boys. After a youth spent living and working around the world, they are committed to investing in their local community and ensuring that Elijah, who has a disability, has the same opportunities as his brother Thomas.
In this article they explore how their family is consciously building a foundation for Elijah to be included in community. Virginia and Rob’s understanding on how to make a good life for Elijah is underpinned by the theory of Social Role Valorisation (SRV) and conversations with local parent leaders, courses at CRU, and through some time spent with Queensland Parents for People with a Disability (QPPD).
Whose Inclusion is it anyway?
Peter Gregory has been involved in the lives of people with disability in Queensland since the 1970’s. As a young worker he became involved in the disability rights movement of the 70’s and 80’s that saw strong advocacy for the closure of large State run institutions.
His work with like-minded people, exploring how to put the ideas of self-direction and self-management into action with people, was a fantastic grounding for what is now being delivered by the NDIS. Coupled with a background in community development, Peter believes we have lost sight of the reality that people and relationships lie at the core of successful inclusion for those who sit on the margins. Beautifully constructed accommodation support buildings, voluminous quality improvement plans and sophisticated technological innovations cannot replace an open and welcoming community that recognises that diversity is the key to its continued health and vitality.
Supporting an experience of Inclusion
Deanna Parker currently works as a teacher’s aide. She has been closely involved with Luke & his family for the last 6 years; assisting Luke’s “inclusion” from Years 7 through to 12 at Coorparoo Secondary College, Brisbane.
She began her working life at Basil Stafford Training Centre, Wacol supporting people to leave the institution for community living during the 1980’s & 90’s. Her interest in supporting people to live rich and inclusive lives led her to complete studies in Social Services. As a support worker she worked with the one family for 25 years and continues to be involved in their daughter’s life both as a friend and a circle member.