Who Are You? Why are you here?
ABCD and Inclusive Communities/People with Disabilities
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.