CRUcial Times 18: Ways we get stuck in supporting people to have roles of substance

This edition of CRUcial Times focuses on the theme of "Ways we get stuck in supporting people to have roles of substance"

Download CRUcial Times 18 - July 2000 (PDF)

This edition contains the following articles:


Jane Sherwin

CRU Presidents Report

Mike Duggan

Diminishing the dignity of others

Bob Lee writes of an experience that led him to deeply reflect on the impact that is made on people when there is a mis-match between what people need and what they get. In recounting the experience, Bob gives readers great insight into the kind of demeaning roles that are often imposed on older citizens.

"A unique life to live" - an excerpt about client hood

CRU recently received a publication that has been a true inspiration. “A Unique Life to Live” reports on a project undertaken by a South Australian organisation called Community Options: Aged Care and Housing Group. Unlike many reports that focus on such things as theories of management, strategic planning and statistics, this report is destined not to sit on a shelf or be forgotten. The publication is a celebration of what is possible when thoughtful people deeply engage with the experiences of the people who receive support from their service, and learn from them. The following excerpt from the publication is offered to readers as a way of illustrating how easily ‘clienthood’ can displace meaningful roles in the life of a person.

Employee: a potential role

In this article Tara Woollett offers some helpful principles for facilitating the development of workplace relationships that are likely to support the valued role of being an employee.

The need for roles and relationships

At the heart of the teachings of Social Role Valorisation (SRV) is the acknowledgement that people with disabilities experience social devaluation, and that this has multiple ways of impacting on a person. Jane Sherwin provides an example of what an SRV frame-of-reference offers when thinking about the most helpful forms of support that could be offered to someone she knows, called Anthony.

Good friendship - a fragile and precious thing

Ann Greer lives in Townsville and has three adult children. This contribution is about an important long-lasting friendship in the life of her daughter, Jane.

Person centeredness: a characteristic of people, not systems

In this excerpt from his keynote address to a conference early this year Michael Kendrick shows that when modern technocratic methodologies are applied to human services, people with disabilities are once again cast into the role of object, thus denying the uniqueness of their personhood.

Anne Cross says thankyou

After twelve years I have resigned as Director of CRU. During this time I believe we have witnessed greatly improved expectations about what is possible for people with disabilities and seen the development of a community-living movement which progresses these heightened expectations. I think we have also seen many practical changes and improvements, which have benefited some people with disabilities. I am proud that CRU has a key role to play in much of this work, and that I have had an opportunity to be part of that. During this time, however, many new challenges have emerged for people with disabilities, their families, and the field. In my new role, I hope to have the capacity to talk with many people in Queensland and across Australia about these challenges, and to look at what else could be done.

I have taken up a new role within CRU as Director, Strategic Development on a part-time contract basis. In this role I will continue to be involved in assisting CRU to develop its programs and services, and I will undertake some specific pieces of work on CRU’s behalf.  I am delighted that Jane Sherwin will take over the Director’s job, and I look forward to working with her in that position.
The past twelve years have been enormously rewarding and interesting for me.  Many people have supported me and challenged me, and I thank each of them.  I’m looking forward to the next phase with great enthusiasm.