A FULL, MEANINGFUL AND INCLUSIVE LIFE

DESCRIPTION OF ONE DAY WORKSHOPS

These workshops are for those involved with marginalized and socially devalued people (including family members, human service workers, etc.).  The format of workshops includes presentation, reflection and both small and large group discussion. 

THE POWER OF ROLES

 

The purpose of this event is to offer participants a practical introduction to the concept of Social Role Valorization (SRV) and some of its main elements. SRV was developed by Dr. Wolfensberger. It is a theory that is based on positive assumptions, principles, and practices, which have proven to be important as a framework for supporting persons who are or are at risk of being devalued by society. In particular, it is designed to help participants understand some of the devaluation process that society and even human services perpetrate upon persons. And then to assist participants to understand the power of social roles to counteract some of the effects of devaluation and to their importance in assisting people who have been marginalized to have access to a full, meaningful and inclusive life, etc.

 NOW IS THE TIME FOR VISION

 

“Without a vision, the people perish”

Families, people with disabilities, and human service workers have learned that an essential tool in bringing about a full, meaningful, included life is having a well defined and articulated vision to focus, guide, and inspire action in the face of attitudinal obstacles and other set-backs.This workshop will help participants to clearly conceptualize their vision and encourage everyone to "keep their eyes on the prize" and not acquiesce to prevailing standards of what is "realistic." The personal experiences of individuals and families will be shared; barriers identified, and successful strategies for overcoming them will be brainstormed. 

WHAT IS A HOME

 

This day of reflection, discussion, and discovery will focus on one of the most important aspect of a good life -- a true home. Some of the topics that will be covered are the following: How a true home is different from a place to live; the importance of home in life, what can be done to create home with and on behalf of people who are societally marginalized, and how to deal with obstacles to the creation of true home. The workshop will also include some inspiring stories of people who have created their own homes and the difference having a true home has made in their lives.

DO IT NATURALLY: BUILDING CONNECTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS

                 

We all know that relationships are one of the most crucial parts of life. Indeed research has shown that relationships significantly contribute to a person’s well being even to the point of increasing life span. Often in an effort to assist people to make connections and build relationships with typical people in community all kinds of “programs” are developed and processes are used that are unnatural. While these programs may bring some benefits, there is nothing like using the natural, time tested, and effective ways of connecting, developing and sustaining relationships with one another.

This workshop will give participants an opportunity to learn, think and brainstorm together about the following topics:

  • Practices, which lead to exclusion and profound loneliness of people who are societally devalued.
  • The natural pathways for developing relationships that exist in our society and how to effectively use them.
  • Dealing with the challenges that present themselves when working to facilitate contacts and relationships between persons who have been excluded and those who are part of the mainstream. 

SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING:

COMMON SENSE, WISDOM AND LIFE EXPERIENCE NEEDED

 

Just like everyone else, the people who are vulnerable and use human service support have to make many decisions about and in life areas such as home, relationships, financial situations, health, employment, spirituality, etc. It is challenging for anyone to make decisions about life and even harder for people who require support from others to assist with decision-making.  

 

This workshop will cover many of the important considerations that others need to be aware of if they are to be the best possible support for vulnerable people to make decisions (from small to very important) for their lives. Practical guidelines on how to advise people with disabilities on will be offered. 

LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

Building Inclusive Futures Based On Talents, Gifts, and Capacities

 

Typically graduation from High School is one of the most exciting times of life. However, for many young men and women with intellectual disabilities it can be a time of great vulnerability to being put into an adult service world of day programs apart from typical peers and /or staying at home all day.   Instead life “opening up” it may become smaller and insular. Fortunately this does not have to happen. Instead the future can be a bright one full of opportunities and possibilities.

 

This workshop will give participants an opportunity to think about typical pathways and experiences that are available to high school graduates, offer ideas on how to develop a big vision of a big and exciting young adult life, and, discuss practical ways of making a vision a reality.

INCLUSION WORKS

 

Inclusion is a leading concept for those of us who are working to create more accepting communities within our schools, neighborhoods, places of employment, and community organizations. Although there have been many positive community building efforts, it is still very challenging to foster true and full inclusion with /for people who are societally devalued. In this workshop we will reflect on the value of inclusion, develop or renew our vision of inclusive community, look at some building blocks needed for inclusion, and share strategies of how to deal with resistance to inclusion.

THE CHALLENGES OF SOCIAL INCLUSION

 

For a number of years, people with disabilities, families, advocates and human service staff have worked to bring integration about in the lives of people who have been marginalized and excluded by society. However, we find that, despite our best efforts many people with disabilities are still excluded from the societal mainstream and lead a segregated and congregated life. As a result, some people have become disheartened about integration and have abandoned a vision of inclusive schools, neighborhoods, communities and society. This workshop will focus on the challenges facing us today as we try to move forward toward a vision of full personal social integration and valued social participation for citizens who are marginalized and excluded.

THE DIFFERENCE A WELCOME CAN MAKE

 

People who are marginalized and excluded from society may rarely (or never) have experienced authentic welcome in other people’s hearts and minds or in many (or any) of the typical places community members frequent. A true welcome is what makes the difference between merely being present and belonging. This workshop will look at how we can create conditions of welcoming in minds, hearts, and places. Participants will reflect on how they have personally experienced true welcome and what the ingredients of a genuine welcome are.

PARTNERING WITH FAMILIES:  BUILDING CONSTRUCTIVE STAFF FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

 

Positive relationships between families and staff are an important part of effectively supporting persons who receive supports and services. This workshop is designed to help staff and families understand one another's perspectives and to encourage the building of good staff-family relationships. Positive examples of constructive staff-family relationships will be offered and participants will have the opportunity to think about actions they can take to improve the quality of staff family relationships.

NURTURING OUR SPIRITS:  A REFLECTIVE AND RENEWING WORKSHOP

 

Walking with marginalized people on their life's journeys can be very exciting and also challenging.  At times we may grow weary in our spirits and lose our focus on what we can bring into the lives of others.  It is difficult for us to nurture the spirits of others when our own spirits are discouraged, frustrated or worn out.

This workshop will give participants an opportunity to reflect on what they can do to refresh and renew their spirits.  The day will include some presentation and plenty of time for personal reflection and discussion.

YOUR UNIQUENESS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PRESENCE IN THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE YOU SERVE

 

Everyone who provides support to people who are vulnerable is unique. Each supporter whether family member, staff, advocate has gifts, talents, and interests that can be very helpful to the person who is being supported.   The presences and giftedness of supporters can add much richness and fullness to the lives of the people who are vulnerable and need support to have access to the good life.  

This workshop will give participants the opportunity to:

  • Think about their unique identity (including personal gifts and interests)
  • To reflect on ways that they have made a difference in the lives of the people they have served by sharing their interests and gifts
  • To identify more opportunities to offer the people served the benefits of their own personal experience, talents, gifts, and interests.
  • Brainstorm new pathways to use personal gifts, talents, and interests to support the people using service to have access to valued social roles that are furling and meaningful.

 MISCONCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL ROLE VALORIZATION

 

Dr. Wolfensberger developed social Role Valorization (SRV). SRV has been the foundation for community services throughout the world. As SRV has been used during the years, many misconceptions of the core ideas of SRV have developed. These misunderstandings have often distorted the understanding of SRV and even worse ended up contributing to poor supports and services for people who are devalued. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to identify and deconstruct misconceptions and perversions of SRV as well as some ideas for dealing with them.

Note:  Attendance at a 3 or 4 day SRV workshop required for attendance at this event.

 

MODEL COHERENCY:  CREATING COHERENT MODELS OF SUPPORT

 

If services are going to support people to have access to the good things in life, they must be coherent in their design and implementation. Dr. Wolfensberger created the concept of Model Coherency as a guide for the creation and analysis of coherent models of support. Model coherency embodies the idea that all the elements of practice in a service should be in harmony with each other and follow from a set of unifying principles and values. Model Coherency challenges us to think about the following questions: What is the identity of the person(s) receiving support? What is it that would be required to support people well? Who can do the work well and how can the work be done in a way to ensure that the people served have a high quality of support.

Model Coherency is a very unique and helpful tool that helps services to conceptualize positive service models and develop a framework that increases the likelihood of a coherent match between people’s identities, their most pressing needs, and the supports to actually meet those needs.

This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to learn about the concept of model coherency and to apply it in their support work.

Note:  Attendance at a 3 or 4 day Social Role Valorization workshop is required for attendance at this event.

 


***Please Note: The workshops listed here the most popular of the one-day events offered by Darcy. Other workshop descriptions (e.g., Sharing The Vision Over Time, Sources Of Hope In These Times, The Strength of Families, Why Inclusion? The Good Life, etc. are available upon request).