This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of “The importance of true community living”
This edition contains the following articles:
A Matter of Life and Death
Kathy Buckler works for change from a range of roles: parent, educator and organisational change consultant. The imperative for change can come from many sources such as a passion for social justice or a vision of a better life. In the Buckler family, there was an even more compelling reason.
Leadership and Change
Lesley Chenoweth has worked as a change consultant, social worker and academic to further the interests of people with disabilities and families, and to encourage personalised, responsive services that support them. In this article, she points out that there are several aspects to leadership that are particularly important for change efforts.
Actions for Change
Brian Martin is chair of the board of Illawarra Citizen Advocacy and has been involved with social movements for several decades. In this article he says that individual action, small group actions, and large social movement all play a role in creating a better future – different actions are needed at different times, when change is sought.
Being Accepted and Valued
Francis Vicary describes herself as someone who is totally reliant on others for eating, dressing and bathing, yet lives in an unmodified unit, by herself, and does not have or want ‘twenty-four hour care’. In her early life, Francis was involved in individual action for change, and has more recently been engaged in collective action through membership of various disability groups, including Queensland Disability Network.
Charmaine Clark is an activist, writer and poet. In the early 1990s Charmaine demonstrated that even with significant disabilities, it was possible for her to live in her own home with the support of friends and paid service. She continues to fight to have what other people take for granted – living in her own home and having control in her own life. This poem is from Charmaine’s recent book of poetry, ‘Pieces of my mind’.
The Search for Meaning
David Barnes, who works with young people, helping them to find their spirituality, shares his own search for meaning. He found that ‘giving’ brings meaning to life. The community living movement is underpinned by the belief that people with disabilities, like all of us, are givers as well as receivers.
“Who am I to Impose my Values?”
John Armstrong warns that being ‘abandoned to choice’ is one of the perversions of community living. In this article he encourages more helpful responses towards those who are vulnerable. John is an associate of CRU and is well known for his teaching and advocacy work.