SESSION ONE: Imagining Better - A Brighter Future Ahead
Mon, Nov 8th 6 PM - 8 PM / Thurs, Nov 11th 10 AM - Noon
Too often, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live in a parallel universe where being separated from other citizens and grouped together is the norm. Some refer to this as Special Needs Land. In this world, expectations for a bright future are very low. People are terribly lonely. A burden mentality permeates everyone’s experience. But we know that this doesn’t have to be the reality! This session focuses on how people with disabilities and their families can break from these long-held disability traditions and imagine better – much better! We will explore the positive possibilities that arise when we engage a different mindset.
SESSION TWO: Discovery – The Path to Person-Centered Possibilities & Supports
Mon, January 10th, 6 PM – 8 PM or Thur Jan 13, 10 am - noon
There are many prevalent mindsets and misconceptions about people with disabilities. ‘They’ are often viewed through a one-dimensional lens, as children who crave one another’s company and enjoy similar interests. Too often these preconceived ideas prevent us from more deeply exploring the wonderfully unique aspects of who a person is. Additionally, people’s deficits are often magnified while their talents and assets are overlooked. This session focuses on a guided discovery process which explores an individual’s unique interests, assets, and conditions for success. Clarity about this information is critical to imagining positive possibilities and designing person-centered supports.
SESSION THREE: The Power of Roles – A Robust Alternative to Busy Making
Mon, February 7th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, February 10th, 10:00 AM - Noon
Many supports for people with disabilities focus on activities – fun and entertaining ways to keep people busy and satisfied. We refer to this as the ‘caregiving model.’ In this model, people are usually kept safe but the opportunities to learn challenging things, contribute to society, and build a robust social network are limited. This session focuses on replacing a caregiving mentality with a ‘Good Life’ one that focuses on valued social roles that positively impacts the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families.
SESSION FOUR: Relying on Typical – Just Like My Sister
Mon, March 14th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, March 17th, 10:00 AM - Noon
You don’t have to look far in the experience of people with disabilities to find the word ‘special’ used in some capacity. This word, which in other contexts might mean extraordinary, is actually code for ‘different’ when used in the disability context. People are often thought to be different, want something different, need something different than other citizens. This session focuses on moving from special and different ways to instead relying on a typical way to think about who people are, what they need, and how to provide that.
SESSION FIVE: Discovery – Genuinely Fulfilling Valued Roles - Image & Competency
Mon, April 11th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, April 14th, 10:00 AM - Noon
In order to fulfill valued social roles and therefore have access to the good things in life, one must pay attention to the image and competency requirements of the desired valued role. Does a person look the part? Does the person possess the competencies to play the part? Assisting people to enhance their social status, and therefore their access to the good things in life, requires that we consider ways of enhancing image and competency. This session focuses on developing a mindset and action plan specific strategies, on an individual level, to enhance image and competency.
SESSION SIX: Employment First
Mon, May 9th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, May 12th, 10:00 AM - Noon
Employment is an expectation for adults in our society. Employment brings so many life-sustaining benefits to the employee: improved physical and mental health, relationships with colleagues, opportunity to learn and to prove oneself, enhanced standard of living, purpose, confidence, and more. People with disabilities are left out of the workforce at an astounding rate. The problem lies less with the person’s disabling condition and more with the way Employment Providers have gone about supporting people to get and keep good jobs. This session focuses on understanding why the employment rates for people with disabilities are so low and how we can embrace new ways of supporting people to get good and keep good jobs over the course of their adult life.
SESSION SEVEN: A Home of One’s Own
Mon, June 6th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, June 9th, 10:00 AM - Noon
Many adults with disabilities continue to live with their families until their parents are too aged to provide the support needed. Then people are often moved into a residential system where they live with either a host family (like foster care) or in an agency’s group home, staffed by 24-hour workers. By design, these systems rarely offer the benefits many of us experience from living in a home of our own: dominion, equity, privacy and more. There are less well-known alternatives. This session will focus on what it looks like when housing is separated from support takes whereby the person or their family rent or own the home and receive supports from an organization providing individualized services. Stories, resources, and strategies for a fundamentally different way of life will be reviewed.
SESSION EIGHT: Building Relationships
Mon, July 4th 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM / Thur, July 7th, 10:00 AM - Noon
Relationships are pivotal for our well-being. Being known and understood by invested others is fundamental to our safety and self-esteem. Many of us take for granted a robust network of friends, colleagues, and neighbors. This is often not the case for people with disabilities. In fact, the number one complaint of people with disabilities is loneliness. This session focuses on intentional strategies to building a strong and sustaining network of relationships over time.
Thank you for registering for the "Good Life" series!