ERIC Number: ED380941
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Unfolding Capacity: People with Disabilities and Their Allies Building Better Communities Together.
O'Brien, John; O'Brien, Connie Lyle
This paper offers a perspective on people learning to build community, across the imposed social barriers that separate people with substantial disabilities from other people. The paper presents the story of a woman who was able to move from an institutional setting to her own home because of the community-building carried out by her support circle. Such community-building involves negotiating entry into new settings and new roles, usually as the first person with a substantial disability to do so; arranging adequate systems of personal assistance; acquiring appropriate technical aids and devices; and finding adequate funding. Five types of person to person commitments which people involved in community building have found useful in understanding and extending their efforts are discussed. These include: (1) anchoring the individual who has a disability, (2) allying with the person to make meaningful change, (3) providing assistance in dealing with the effects of disability, (4) forming associations of groups of people created to further their interests, and (5) organizing political action to ensure just and effective public policies. People who share these five commitments and nurture them are likely to create new ways to build and be a community. (Contains 10 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.; National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Research and Training Center on Community Living.; Responsive Systems Associates, Lithonia, GA.