You came to this Discussion Category because you care about inclusive and welcoming communities. Please feel free to introduce yourself and tell us about something exciting you are involved with.
updated by @deb-wisniewski: 02/24/23 12:21:50PM
Hi Everyone, my name is Marnie Harris and I work at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA with the EXCEL program, a four year certificate program for students with intellectual disabilities (www.excel.gatech.edu)
I recently wrote a blog post on using an ABCD approach to build a Peer Support Network - http://serve-learn-sustain.gatech.edu/csls-blog. Would love to hear thoughts or see examples of people who are doing similar things!
Hi Marnie - It was great reading your blog. I have long been interested in the connections between a strength-based support model and ABCD. I love reading about work that is closely connected to what I've been doing. It seems to me that they both start by sharing a common values base - that both build upon the gifts and talents of individuals.
I believe that there are a number of challenges for the strength-based support model, one of which is to get beyond "interested." I often see an effort to identify the interests of individuals with disabilities using person-centered planning, but then the process can stall after that. Many people don't seem to know what do do after identifying interests. For example, rather than thinking about the interests as a way to contribute to the community and to build relationships, I see what I call "drive-by" community. That is, support staff may not know how to connect people with disabilities to meaningful community roles, even after identifying interests. I think ABCD is a key practice that can help us make the leap from from shallow connections to real contributions and the development of mutually beneficial relationships.
I've been doing some training in this area and would welcome a chance to talk with you about this. Let me know if you'd like to connect sometime. Also, I'm wondering if you know of the Cutting Edge Program at Edgewood College here in Madison Wisconsin. I know a number of people who have been or are currently involved in that program, if you'd like to know more about it.
Keep up the good work. It sounds very interesting and exciting.
Hi Deb- I totally agree with you about the "drive-by" community. I think in the same way that ABCD seeks a results driven approach to actually capitalize on people's strengths, we can do to facilitate inclusion.
I would be glad to be introduced to the Cutting Edge program staff. It looks like their website is down.
Thanks for reaching out!
my name is keith kelley....a few years go, i retired from working with community volunteer groups in new york state through service with the state substance abuse agency and correctional department. it involved mobilizing community volunteers as well as bridging relationships between large agencies and community volunteers and their groups. further, for the past 25 years, i've been teaching community building for leaders of wilderness treks - sort of a "soft" skill in what is often considered a truly "hard" skill environment. my introduction to ABCD came from attending programs conducted by mike greene, henry moore and bob francis.
why am i here? first, it may be mindless momentum; but, it is blended with a sense of my rural area "coasting" along to whatever tomorrow brings - a future that may be short of citizen intention and effort...so, maybe i'm here looking for a spark.
Hi Keith - Welcome! I hope you'll find.. and share!... many sparks here at ABCD in Action. This community is like your neighborhood - it depends on the involvement of all who are a part of it. Let us know if you have any questions about how to participate here. We're glad you're here!
I'm Louie and I am based in Leeds, UK. I am employed part time through a local charity called Touchstone but my role is paid for as part of the city wide ABCD work across the city. My role is primarily to develop knowledge and deepen understanding across all agencies in the city. Basically I am paid to talk and learn about ABCD!
The Objectives of the city wide approach are to:
I am also a trans man and own my own Community Interest Company called Learnest, our company works to promote opportunities for LGBT people to use their skills and find meaningful employment. In Learnest we have embedded ABCD principles at the heart of our company and I am very interested in the power of ABCD to support otherwise marginalised communities to thrive in their neighbourhoods. I have seen the power neighbourhood solidarity can have on a persons sense of belonging, safety and trust and believe ABCD approaches are essential in thinking about human rights at a localised level.
Anyway, I am really happy to be here and I have been invited to start a discussion about ABCD for LGBT communities. I look forward to interacting/learning from you all.
Hi Louie - Welcome to ABCD in Action. So great to have you join this community. I agree that ABCD approaches are essential in thinking about human rights at a localized level. It sounds like you are involved in some interesting stuff in Leeds! I’m interested in hearing more from you about how you are using ABCD to increase the sense of belonging in a neighborhood.
Hi Deb- Regarding the "drive-by" community, I completely concur with you. I believe that we can do to promote inclusiveness in the same manner as ABCD pursues a results-driven strategy to truly capitalise on people's abilities.
Please introduce myself to the Cutting Edge programme personnel. It appears that their website is down.
Hi Duckey - I don’t personally know who’s working for Cutting Edge right now but I did find their website is working. You can find it here: https://www.edgewood.edu/cutting-edge
Welcome to ABCD in Action!
My name is Peter Gottert. I first learned about ABCD 3 years ago when a colleague mentioned that a program I was working on "sounded like ABCD." I went on the ABCD website, watched several John McKnight and Cormac Russell videos and became an enthusiastic ABCD advocate. Since then, I've been working on a USAID-funded food security program in Madagascar. We are learning how to design an effective social and behavior change strategy based on ABCD principles. The project includes health, nutrition, hygiene, agriculture and resiliency activities in 1000 rural communities.
We call our approach "ABCD at Scale." Our learning curve is steep. I would love to connect with anyone who has employed ABCD principles to large scale programs in Africa.
Hello Peter- I am sure some Africa based practitioners will chime in but wanted to mention the work of Agroforestry and Lisa Fuchs- https://apps.worldagroforestry.org/downloads/Publications/PDFS/PO20058.pdf
Five and Ten Network out of Canada might also be a good connection.
Janine Ward can connect you with ABCD Africa- https://abcdinaction.org/janine-ward
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