ERIC Number: ED420947
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
One Day at a Time: Changing a System To Realize a Dream.
O'Brien, John; Browning, Ray; O'Brien, Connie Lyle
This article on systems change focuses on the efforts of a mentally retarded man with cerebral palsy and his advocates to obtain the resources necessary for him to be able to leave a nursing home and live independently. First, the article identifies two kinds of change: change within the system's rules and changing the rules or the system itself. The specific issue is framed as a description of changes needed in a system which would pay for someone to live in a nursing home but not for the necessary personal assistance to live independently. The young man's testimony before the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance Hearings is included in full. Also included is the text of his request for assistance, which he distributed to anyone possibly able to help his cause. This effort resulted in over more than 100 people offering help and eventually a place of his own with the necessary support services. Lessons for systems change learned from this example are summarized and include the need to build a base group for systems change; learn the political processes for changing the system rules; find a question that challenges the beliefs that shape the system's rules; and always keep a human face on the issues. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.; Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.