The Book of Encouragement: A Guidebook in Self-Determination for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Revised

by Ronald L. Oliver, Ed.D. Copyright 2007


“He, who by understanding, becomes converted to the gospel of service will serve kindness so that brutality will perish… and he who is strong, will serve the weak that they may become strong. He will devote his strength not to debasement and defilement of his weaker fellows, but to making of opportunity for them to make themselves into men rather than into slaves and beasts.” Jack London, American Writer

“Mountains of Creation” image taken from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope of Cassiopeia galaxy’s star-forming region. Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Allen (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)


This book is dedicated to my mother, Vivian Lea Rouw Oliver (1916-2005), who lived by a gospel of service.

In Appreciation
Warmest thanks and appreciation are extended to my family: for the moral support of my wife, Gloria, and my sister, Marilyn Graham, who provided both valuable writing and editing assistance for sections of the work. Also, appreciation and thanks go out to Duane Roy, Executive Director, Southern Colorado Developmental Disabilities, Inc., Trinidad, Colorado who has kept me busy for many years now. Appreciation is also extended to Mrs. Nancy Le Doux, Assistant Director of Citizens for Developmentally Disabled Persons in Raton, New Mexico, who sent along some fascinating material that was included.


Table of Contents
Introduction ……….…………….…….…………………………………………………..9 Introductory Activity: Stargazing & Wishing ………….……..…………………….11 I. Chapter One: Grounding Activities ………………………………………………....12 Introduction ……………………………………………..………………….……….12 A. Finding One’s Own Spots ……….……………………………………....12 B. Finding the Belonging Spots …….……………………………….……....14 C. Do Spots change? ……………….…………………………....…….….…15 D. It Starts with a Crawl……...…….…………………..…………...….…….16 E. How We Walk ………...….….….……………….………………….…….17 F. Making An Impression.…….……..………….…………………………...19 G. Taking a Step…………………….…………..…..………………………. 21 H. Moving from SPOT to SPOT……....………………...…………………...21 I. Moving as Expression …………...…….……..…………………………...22 J. Moving to Delight ………....…….….…………..…………………..…….23 K. Moving to Health …………………..…………………..…………………25 L. Tumbling Along ……...…….……….……..…………………………..…..27 M. The Dance is The Thing ………..…..…………………..…………….……28 N. The Laughing Earth ……………….………….…..……..………………...29 O. Let´s Get Started …………..………………………..………..……………30 P. Planning for the Hurdles………..….……….………..…………..….…….32 II. A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q. Chapter Two: Making a Home……………....…………………………....33 Introduction ……………………………..…………………………..…….33 Let’s Celebrate Freedom ………….….……..……………………………..33 The Home Bee …….……………………………..………………………...35 Knowing the Ingredients.……..…….………..……………………….……36 Making the Most: Making it Last …………………..……….……….……37 A Date for Cooking: Learning to Cook …………………….………..…… 38 Cooking? How Easy Can it Get? ………..………………………………....39 What’s Entertaining ……..………..…………….……….……….……..40 Where are You? …………………..……………….………..…………...…41 Taking Safety With You……. .…….…………………..…………...……....41 Getting Your Act Together: Rehearsing Safety ……….……….…..……....42 Passing it Along: Sharing Safety Actions ….…………..……….…….……43 The Places that Matter ………….……….…………………..….……..........44 Joint Expeditions: Forming New Links to Others ………………...…..……44 Planning to Give ………………………………………………..…….….…45 Giving of Yourself ……………………………………………….…….…..45 Giving, But Not Planning …….……………..………………………….….46 Growing Feelings of Home: Home Improvements Projects ……….........…47 Adding a Personal Touch ……………………..………………………47 Adding Greenery ……………………………. …..………………..….48


R. S. T. U. V. III.

What About the Light? ……………………..…….………………..….48 Color Counts ………………………………………………….……...49 Sharing Dreams of Home ………….…………………………………50 It´s Time for a House Warming Party ……...................................................51 Let’s Go Shopping ………..…………………………...……………..….….52 Making Songs and Sounds of Home ……..………….……..…………...….53 What About Pets? …………….………….…………………..……….......... 54 Sharing Stories …………….………..………..…………………..…………55

Chapter Three: Community-Making ………….…………..……………………… 59 Introduction ………………..…..……………………………………………………59 A. Basic Square Dancing …….……..………………………………………59 B. Filling in Blanks…………….……... …………………………………....63 C. Shadowing a Leader ……….………..………..………………………….64 D. Growing the Best ………….…………………..………………………..64 E. Making a Dream Sign ……….…………………..………….…......…….68 F. How Do You Make Things Happen?.….……..........……………………70 G. How About Inspiration? ……..........…….…………..….………………..71 H. Imagining You’re There……….....………..……………………………. 72 I. Paths in the Community .……....…………………………......…………73 J. How Does the Plan Work?..........…....………………...............…..……..74 K. The ATM Machine ……...……….……….……………………..……….75 L. Making a Community Poster ….………..….……………………..……..77 M. Polishing Your Social Skills ……..…………..………………………....79 Phase I …………………………………………………………….……..80 1. Getting in the Door …………………………………………………..80 2. Introducing Yourself ……………………………………………..…..80 3. Introducing Others ………………………………………………..….81 4. Conversational Skills ………………………………………………...81 5. Showing Appreciation …………………………………………….....82 6. Accepting Compliments ………………………………………..……82 7. Asking a Favor ………………………………………………..……..83 8. Keeping Agreements …………………………………………..…….83 9. Being on Time …………………………………………………..……84 Phase II …………………………………………………………………..84 Phase III …………………………………………………………………85 N. Working with the Opposite Sex ………………….………………………86 O. Tutoring: Community Peer & Support Groups …….…………………….86 P. Work Interviews: What to Do? ……….………………………………….87 Q. Taking Stock: What Does My Community Web Look Like?……...….…88 R. What Are Your Limits ………..…….……………………………………90 S. What Are You Going to Do About It? …………..………….………........93 Chapter Four: Through Good Times and Bad ………………………….………....95 Introduction ………….…………………………………………………..……..…95 A. Starting with Trust …………… …………………………………..……...95



B. What is a Friend?..................................... …………………………..…….96 C. Joining In …………………………………………………………….…...97 D. Having a Friend by Being a Friend ……………………………….….…..98 E. Skinning Onions and Building Trust ...........…………………………..… 98 F. Friendship-Keeping Skills …………….………………………………….99 G. What Do Friends Sound Like? ……………….…………………..……...101 H. What Does it Take to be a Good Listener? ………….…………..………101 I. Showing Friendship Skills ….……………………………………..…….103 J. Conflict Resolution ………..……………………………….…………….104 K. Does it Work for You? …………………………………….……………105 L. A Contest? Making a Game of Conflict Resolution ………..…………...105 M. Safe Relations…..……………………………………………..………….107 N. What About Someone Special? ….……………………….…….……..…108 O. Teasing? It’s Like a Coin ….…………………………………….……...109 P. Our Rights in Relationships …………………………………….………110 Q. Knowing About Physical Abuse ………………………………………..111 R. Knowing About Verbal Abuse ……..….…………..…………….……...113 S. Knowing About Sexual Abuse ……..….………………………..………114 T. When is it Abuse, and When is it Not? …………………………..…......117 U. What are Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships? ………….….……....….118 V. Stopping Abuse ………………..…………………………..……..……..119 W. What is Neglect? ………………….…………………………………….120 V. Chapter Five: Stories of Strength and Courage …………….……………..……122 Introduction ……………………………………………………….……………..122 A. Three Stories of Courage: Let’s Talk About It…………….…………….122 1. Alberto’s Story ……………………………………..………………....122 2. Gene’s Story ………………………………………..………………....124 3. Glori’s Story …………………………………….…..………………...126 B. Collecting Stories of Courage……………………….,………..………...128 C. The Mule’s Story ………….………………………….……………….…129 D. Finding Courage in Your Hand ……….…………………………………133 E. The Starfish Story: Finding the Courage to Make a Difference….………135 F. The Courage to Be a Self Advocate …………………………………….137 G. An Empowering Story ……………………………………………….… 138 Chapter Six: What Else Is Needed?...............................................................143 Introduction ………..…………………..………………………………………....143 A. You Need Good Work Habits ………….…………………………..……143 B. You Need Values To Guide You……..……………………………….....144 1. Asking Others …………………………………………….……..…...144 2. Using Your Imagination …………………………………………..….145 3. Follow-up Activities …………………………………………….....…146 a. Sharing …………………………………………………..……146 b. What if? ……………………………………………….…..…..147 c. Making a Plaque …………………………………………..…..147



C. D. E. F. G. H.

I. J. VII.

You May Need to Improve Your Coping Skills …...…………………….147 You May Need to Simply Solve Problems ………………………..……..148 You Need to Laugh About It ……………….………………….…..……..150 Humor Resources …………………………….……………………..……152 You Need Positive Thoughts …….…………………………….……....…152 You Need an Encouraging Song …..…………………………….……..…153 You Need to Carry On: Coping with Grief and Loss …………..…......….154 1. Factors Affecting our Response to Trauma……………………..……155 2. Common Reactions …………….……………………………………..156 3. Some Helpful Things to Do………………………………………..….156 Where Never is Heard a Discouraging Word…………………………..…157 It is Okay to Make Mistakes or How Going Backward May Really be Going Forward ………………………………..………....158

Chapter Seven: The Community Side: Path Lighting.………….…...………..….160 Introduction ……………,,…………………………………….……………...…..160 A. Starting with Teamwork ……………………..…………………..………160 B. Reviewing Model Programs…..…………………………………………..161 C. A Community Resource Website …………………..………....................165 D. Reviewing Lessons Learned in Community Support …………….....……166 E. Sharing Dreams and Empowering Communities ……………..….……….167 F. The First Two Tools ………..….…………….……………………………168 G. Building on Positives ………………………….……………………….…168 H. Identifying Community Needs ..…………..……………………………...169 I. Perhaps You Just Need to Dodge the Bullet ...…...……………………….170 J. Community Improvement Ideas ….. ….…………………………………..171 K. Community Gardens………………..……………….…………………….172 L. Community Kitchens ………………..……………….…………………...173 M. Community Environmental Campaigns and Activities. …………..……...174 N. Community Crime Prevention …..……………………………………….175 O. Building the Community Image …………..……………………………...176 P. Suggestions for Statewide Initiatives ………..……………….…………...176 Q. Ideas for Individual Initiatives ………..…………………………….……178 Chapter Eight: Attitude Change ……………………..…………………….…...182 Introduction …………………………………………..…………………….…..182 A. What is Needed? New Attitude and New Actions……..………………...182 B. Barriers Unseen …………………………………………..……………...184 C. Working on Communication ……………………………..………….…..185 D. Finding Space in Community Business …………………….…………..186 E. Looking at the Common Ground ……………………………..………... 188 F. What’s it Like?………..…………………………………………….……189 G. Walk a Mile ………………………………………..…………………….190 H. Let’s Make it a Date…………….…………………..…………………....191 I. Frat Chat ……………………………………………….………………..192 J. Let me Bend Your Ear ….…………………………………………….. 192



K. L. M. N. O. P. IX.

We have this Speakers Bureau ….…………………………………….... 193 We have this Volunteer Bureau ..….…………………………………….194 Let’s Talk About the Joy, and More of It……………….……………....194 What About Those Potholes? …………………………….……………..195 How Does the Community Story End? ……………………..…………..196 A Closing Friendship Wish ………………….……………………..…. 197

Chapter Nine: What If It’s Just Not Happening ……………………………..…198 Introduction …………………………………………………………………….198 Question 1: Where should I look?...................................................................198 Question 2: What should be avoided? …..………………………………….199 Question 3: Certain behaviors .……….…..……………………….………..201 Question 4: More than behavior? …………..……………………………….203 Question 5: Can new problems be created? ..……………………………….204 Chapter Ten: Supplemental Resources ………………….………………………..206 A. Sample Checklist for Evaluating Social Skills……..………………….…206 B. Sample Worksheet for Coping Skill Development…...…………………..207 C. Sample Worksheet for Problem Solving Activity ……..…………………207 D.Case Study: Will’s Story ………………………………..………………...209 E. Developing the Supports You Need……..………………..………………209 F. Safety Tips for Women.………………....………………………………...210 G. Physical Activity Planning Resources ..……...…………..…….………...211 H. Supplemental Annotated Listing …………....…….……………..….……219 I. Supplemental Nutritional Information ….……..…………………………..225 J. Resources for Questions About Pets ……………...……………………....230 K. Questions on Technology and Technical Assistance …...….………..…...231 L. Supplemental Money Management Tools ……………..…………………231 M. Supplemental Community-Building Resources .…….…….………..…...231



This is a revision of a curriculum guidebook originally published online in 2007. The purpose of this revision was to make it more visually appealing and user friendly. In reviewing the work, however, I did notice the degree to which an attitude of paternalism was evident. It seems now that it is the major shortcoming of the work. If anyone finds it offensive, I extend an apology and write it down as a consequence of excessive arrogance. I don´t have the opportunity at this time to do a major rewrite and so the book will have to stand on its own merits. This is a time of transition for persons with developmental disabilities. The transition in aspirations affects individuals, families and extends to human services planning, policy, and programming. We are all now better adapting and growing toward a better future quality of life, and there appears to be a clear need for a book to respond to these changes. That is the purpose of this book. The book started by asking the question, “What does a person need to make a home, earn income, and to belong more fully to the community?” This question led to an exploration of the meaning and realities of making a home, finding one’s place in the community, and truly belonging. Rather than simply providing answers, this book seeks to point out pathways to explore where individuals and families might find their own answers. It will look at ways to grow, ways to be more fully human, more fully alive to all possibilities. A model of positive individual and community encouragement, strength and capacity building is presented. It supports pathways toward growth that are both socially constructive, life affirming, and community enriching. In supporting this way to grow, several series of progressive activities are detailed for the individual and supportive others to explore together. In general, these explorations may be undertaken either in the home environment or in small group settings often available in community human service agencies. These explorations are then expanded to the community level as a whole. Ways of supporting the growth and development of neighborhoods and enriching community life are explored. As appropriate, these activities are at times further divided into those appropriate for individuals with considerable independent-living skills, versus those requiring assistance that is more direct, coaching and intervention by others. This is expressed through headings which note the levels of Able, and Abler. By this means, the hope is that this book will better meet the needs of a broader array of


individuals seeking to be more fully alive, more fully at home, and more fully a member of their community. The choice of encouragement came from a recognition and appreciation of the pioneering work of Alfred Adler. He addressed psychosocial development from a positive perspective that viewed mutual encouragement as necessary for human beings as water and nutrients were for plant and animal life. As an early proponent of a holistic approach to the problems of the human condition, he asserted that most lapses in development and the source of most daily distress arose from states of “discouragement.” It seems that this perspective on personal development that seeks to cultivate the human spirit and promote strengths is infinitely more life affirming than the more common deficit models that seeks to pigeonhole people into categories of disability, defect and deficiency. This model also justifies itself by recognizing the heightened degree of loneliness and discouragement that vulnerable members of the developmental disability community face on a daily basis. While will it will be often recognized that the book’s activities are most appropriate for individuals with ability to verbalize their experiences, still the focus remains on providing as full a range of learning experiences with as full an array of learning modalities as possible. The goals of learning should be set only by the individual, as it is all too clear that intrinsic motivation is a much more powerful force than extrinsic motivation. The focus will be on direct, hands-on, applied experience of the most concrete nature possible. This is clearly the most productive path to pursue in exploring the community and making a home and income. Whether you are only beginning the journey or are already making bold strides of progress, the hope is that you will find this book to be friendly. While you may find something to inspire you, as well, more than anything else it is hoped that you find this book offers some fun and enjoyment along the way to growth. Let’s start it all with a toast, here is to “CHEERS!” and “SALUD!” and have a Good Journey… Bon Voyage! Buen Viaje!”


Introductory Activity: Stargazing & Wishing
Finding the Big Bear, the Big Dog and the Swan: The purpose of this activity is to point out some major constellations and to look at interesting relationships between stars. The purpose is also to encourage the development of a sense of wonder at the way that pictures may be seen in the heavens. At the conclusion of the exercise, the instructions will be to encourage each participant to “make a wish on a star about their life in the coming year.” Participant(s) may choose to make a private, as well as a public wish, as later they will be encouraged to develop a plan for acting on their wish. This activity is best used with small groups of three or four per teacher or guide. Materials Needed: If done in the colder seasons, a blanket, coat or sweater may come in handy, a pair or multiple pairs of binoculars (70x50 binoculars offers a comparable less expensive alternative to a beginner’s telescope), a simple star chart (see www.stardate.org), a flashlight (red paper wrapped around the light end will be less intrusive) to refer to the star chart, and a notebook with pen or pencil to make note of wishes or observations. Directions: The host will want to choose a mutually agreeable evening to meet as a group. A clear and moonless night is best. You will want to avoid any city lights or streetlights for the best view of the stars and allow several minutes for the eyes to adjust fully to the darkness. Guide each member of the group to locate the Big Bear (Ursa Major), the Big Dog (Canis Major), and the Big Swan. (Note: in September in the northern hemisphere, Ursa Major will be located above the northwestern horizon early in the evening. The bottom of the dipper’s bowl will be parallel to the horizon and the tail will extend upward. The bowl represents the bear’s hindquarters while the handle of the dipper represents its tail.) You might tell the class that many different peoples and cultures over the ages have seen these stars as a bear. For example, some North American tribes in the eastern Canadian provinces believed that heavenly hunters would try to kill the bear each autumn. This resulted in the bright colors of autumn and the bright coloring of some birds. The Big Bear always managed to escape, however, and would return to his den only to reawaken in the spring from the long winter’s rest. You may also wish to note how the North Star contained in the dipper’s handle was the star of freedom and hope for slaves fleeing north, which gave birth to the traditional spiritual song “Follow the Drinking Gourd”. Explore these questions: “What stars have particular meaning or importance to you?” “Why is that?” Talk about it and take the time to share star stories.


Chapter 1 Grounding Activities
Introduction The process of reaching beyond oneself begins with a sense of security about where one is at now. In other words, a supportive home base is needed. The process of venturing out is easily observed in the behavior of toddlers first learning to walk – only after they assure themselves that they can stand with safety do they risk launching out. The identification and recognition of these anchors or bases of safety and strength is the first task at hand. This means that we will want to fully know and recognize the places we safely enjoy – the places where we feel safe and are confident in the mastery of tasks and skills that we have learned along the way. We honor our strengths and then go farther by adding to and building on our strengths. This chapter is then about pointing out the safe places, or spots, and the support found there before starting to venture beyond. This safe spot derives from a successful involvement between one’s own self and the world at large. You might say that this serves as the ground on which we stand. The questions to explore then are, “How safe do we feel?” How comfortably do we stand our ground or place ourselves on it? How well are we connected to our surroundings and environment? A healthy animal has found a home on earth, has discovered the part they play, and is connected and in harmony with the environment. In other words, they have found their spot. Therefore, the starting point for our journey is with an activity called “finding one’s spot”. All of the activities in this chapter have a similar objective of assuring that one, in fact, has safe, favored places to be. One needs to be certain of this and fully aware that there are such places and that they may be counted on to continue to play an import part in the future day-to-day life and adventures in growth, as well. A. Activity: “Finding All of One’s Spots” Movement Level: Space Requirements: Low Enough for seating all participants comfortably and allowing table space to work on a two foot by three foot poster board. A wide array of illustrated magazines, travel and chamber of commerce brochures, and newspapers with a wide variety of photos and pictures; a variety

Materials Needed:


of colored pencils, crayons, or colored markers, preferably those that don’t permanently stain and are washable. The individual might be asked in advance to bring home photos of favorite place that may be used with the activity. Use of a tape recorder is optional and may be needed when working with more two or three persons for purposes of allowing for review of the task, as needed. A standard-sized poster board is needed for each person. Thoughts and Instructions: This activity attempts to identify the best places for each participant(s). This may include places in both the home and community, as well as the wider world. We are going to call these special places, SPOTS. One’s spots are one’s places, and they are simply the best places to be. They are the SPOTS where one feels most fully alive, most powerful, and happiest and safest. Does having SPOTS mean that we might be in some strange way be a bit like a leopard, or a spotted horse, an Appaloosa, or even a Dalmatian? Sound too strange? Well, think about it. Explore the following questions with participant(s). Do all of your spots have a name? Have you found them all? If not, try closing your eyes and picturing all the places that leave you feeling the best. Say their names aloud. Talk about them. What are they like? How does it feel to be there? If you can’t find the right photo or picture, can you draw a picture of the place? Is there a sign or mark that fits it well? Or, maybe, there is a sound or a texture that reminds you of it) What is the sound? What is the feeling? Try and say it. Try and draw it. How well does the picture or drawing fit for you? Is it just right or does something need to be changed to make it better? If so, do it. After you have finished collecting all your spots, arrange them on the poster the way that looks best and feels best to you. Make it look just the way you want it. You may want to add a border or other highlights. You may choose to later frame it and keep it near as a warming reminder of all the best out there. If you would like, please share your thoughts on what it is like to have all your spots in one place. Instructions to Teacher or Guide: As each mark, sound, or picture is recorded or placed on the poster board, engage the student in expressing all he can about the place, i.e., how it looks, smells, feels, how it might sound or might taste and the things most liked about the place and the names of the emotions it brings out in him. If there are pictures, marks, words or objects that are representational, then find a way to have it represented somewhere on the poster. The placement of pictures, words or marked images is important only to the degree that they express what the person wants expressed. For example, the most important images might go at the top and in the center. The following activity provides more of an opportunity to


explore the question of importance and meaning and permanent affix the images chosen. B. Activity: Finding the Belonging Spots The purpose of this activity is to find the best spot(s) for each individual involved. The best spots will be called “the belonging spots.” This is a searching and deciding activity that leads to making choices that are more permanent. This is expressed in the act of affixing them to the poster. The importance of the spots is highlighted and the meaning is further explored. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Low Enough for seating all participants comfortably and allowing table space to work on an approximate two feet by three feet poster board. Again, use the materials noted in the previous activity. In addition, each participant will need craft glue and a frame for the poster

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: Ask the participants to choose the one “best place to be” from the several they identified in the first activity. If choosing only one place is difficult for the individual, ask them to imagine that their best friend has just pleaded with them to borrow all but one of their picture places to look over at their leisure at their home. You don’t really know how long your friend will decide to keep them. Now, which one of the pictures or photos do you choose to keep for yourself? After the first decision has been reached, ask the person to place it exactly where they want it to be. In other words, find the best place for it on the poster, the place where it really stands out. Then ask them to choose the next best, most important spot for them. Then have them place that picture on the poster. When all of the important spots are chosen and arranged, ask them to glue them all on the poster and arrange less important pictures around them. Again, you will want to try to make experience as meaningful as possible. Have each person to point out the reasons for their decisions. Ask them to name the things about the place that make it important and desirable and the feelings the places bring out in the person. Continue the sharing experience until each participant has had an opportunity to verbalize or somehow express the strength and safety felt in the belonging spot. Talk about how the feelings of power and strength are there for us inside each time we need them. They help us to have courage we need to take on new places and try new things in life. You may wish to illustrate further the idea of power spots by relating how early native people t used their power spots, their


belonging spots, to renew their energy and recoup their strength. Another suggested illustration would be that of a plant or vine that if placed in the window will grow toward the source of light, the source of power, and growth they need. C. Activity: Do Spots Change Over Time? The purpose of this activity is to guide each individual present toward an active acceptance of the certainty of change. Introduce the activity by discussing our common fear of the unknown. In other words, it arouses fear within us when we don’t know what to expect about a place, or perhaps, even a person. As the future is full of unknowns, it seems that the best way to lesson the fear of the unknown is by finding out as much as we can ahead of time. In other words, knowledge is friendly. After all, we are most fearful about things that we know the least about. This means that if we are to feel the most at home in our favored SPOT in the future, we need to figure out how it may change over time, given the way that most things are and the way they change. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Low. Discussion only. Enough for seating all participants comfortably and Visible to the teacher or guide. A large poster-sized page of a writing pad, darkcolored marker that is easily seen, scissors and glue.

Thoughts and Instructions: You might begin this activity by speaking matter-offactly about how things have changed in your life over the years. You will want to use the illustration as a way of pointing out how you change and things change over time, but at different rates and in different ways. Some things change by growing and adding on to their size, changing colors as in the seasons, or simply weathering away from the forces of nature and aging. Learning to accept the things that some things can’t be changed is part of what it means to be human. However, pointing out that some things may be changed is equally important. Seen from this view, it makes good sense to expect that both you and your favorite spot(s) will be changing over time. The first question to ask and explore is “How might your favorite spot change over time?” Try to get as many of the participants involved in the discussion as possible, while allowing each person the option of not sharing with the group as a whole, if they so choose. However, offer the option of discussing the matter in private at a later chosen time. If so, make the arrangements as soon as possible. Otherwise, record each response on the blackboard or writing pad. As a follow-up question, ask: “Will the forces of nature and aging affect your favorite place to be in the future?” You might offer the example that if your


favorite place is on the top of a nearby hill, that hill is not going to be the exact same place ten years from now. Explore how that hill is going to look after years of rain and wind, and possibly ice. Further explore the question of aging with the person. Ask, “How will aging affect you, as well as the spot?” For example, if the mall is your favorite place and spending the day shopping is your favorite activity, then are you going to have the energy and desire that it takes to go shopping all day five years from now? Another follow-up question would be “How will your wants and desires affect it?” Do we always want the same things? Or, do want something new in our lives from time to time? You may also wish to illustrate this point by pointing out how one’s favorite spot today may not have been one’s favorite spot last year or five years ago. Ask the participant to talk about how the personal meaning of the spot has changed for them over time. At the end of the activity, group the responses by cutting and pasting. In other words, use a separate sheet of paper to group similar ideas and concepts. One grouping per page is suggested with the top of the page labeled by a descriptor. This will help to point out similarities in thinking and experience between the participants. Instructions to the Guide or Teacher: As you simply want to stimulate thinking on the participant’s part, encourage any approximation of an expression or observation from a participant. Your confidence and ability to assure the participants the ground rules for confidentiality will be honored, that they are safe in sharing, and that there are not any “wrong” answers will go a long way in creating the sort of environment needed. End the activity on a positive note. For example, assure them that as a result of their explorations they are now better prepared to deal with the future. Assure the individual or group that way down deep, “the facts are friendly” and despite the certainty of change, there is also a certainty that certain things will likely remain much the same. D. Activity: It Starts with a Crawl The purpose behind this activity is to both energize the individual or group with a crawling exercise and to review the fact and provide a reminder all that we all started out by crawling first. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate to high levels of movement. A large, open, carpeted space or harder surfaces or floors covered with carpets, foam rubber sheets or mats.


Materials Needed:

Blackboard or writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Inform the individual or group that this activity is designed to serve as a reminder of what it feels like when we were first starting out in life --- we were all once down on our hands and knees, scuttling along quite slowly. Remind them that it is where we all started, when we first started growing and moving. Ask each participant to get down on the floor and try crawling in different ways, trying to find the “best way to crawl.” After approximately five minutes of time for experimentation, ask the group, “Just how many different ways of crawling are there?” “What different speeds are possible?” “What are the limits with crawling?” With a marker and large writing pad in front of the group, record each of the answers to the above questions. If the participant(s) is reluctant to participate, ask them simply to observe you or others doing the crawling and then repeat the questions to consider all the lessons one might learn from crawling. Instructions to the Guide or Teacher: Hopefully you will discover ways to have some fun with this activity. While it offers a chance to celebrate the act of crawling, it also is helpful in illustrating important points about the nature of progress and change. It may serve as an important reminder to the individual and serve as a good starting point for added explorations of movement found in this chapter. By simply pointing out the differences found in crawling and the individual differences in methods used may produce very similar results and outcomes. E. Activity: How We Walk and What it’s Like This activity focuses on movement by walking. The purpose is to increase each participant’s level of awareness concerning the differing feelings that surfaces have and what may be learned as a consequence. The differences in the give-and- take of each surface constantly challenge us to adjust accordingly as we travel about. The activity will provide a direct opportunity for experiencing a variety of surfaces and examining the characteristics of walking. The lessons to be learned concerning walking and the ongoing need for adapting to different surfaces will be explored with the participant(s).

(Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flat_feet_steps_lk.jpg#file)


Movement Level: Space Requirements:

High A variety of spaces will be needed. An experience for the individual or group to walk safely on a concrete surface, an asphalt surface, a gravel surface, a sand surface, and a grass surface will be needed. A chunk of concrete for display and a concrete sidewalk or walkway, sample of asphalt paving, a and walkway of the same material, a tray of sand, gravel, and sod (or extended surfaces composed of these materials). A rope or a number of orange, plastic cones to mark off the walking area to insure greater safety. A large writing pad or tape recorder. A washcloth for each participant. (As an option, you may wish to use a video camera for the purpose of looking more closely at their stride and gait.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: A variety of surfaces should be available to enrich opportunities for experiencing and learning. You will need to provide experiences on surfaces of concrete, asphalt, gravel, sand and grass or vegetation beginning with a chance for each participant to examine and describe the sample containers of each. At the beginning of each walk, have the participants take off their shoes and socks so that they may have direct contact with the surface. After each participant has walked over the surface, have them find the best word to describe the experience with the surface. Record all impressions immediately following the walk on the writing pad, if not recorded otherwise. Second, have each person describe in any way they can the feelings they had while taking the walk and any changes they noted in the way they walk when they first set foot on the surface. Ask, “What would have been different if it had just rained and the surface was wet? Third, have each participant describe in one word the “way they walk.” Ask, what messages does the way you walk send to other people? For example, if you walk briskly or drag your heels, how might other people choose to interpret that style of walking? (They may wish to look at the sole of their shoes for any clues that may provide about their typical style of walking) Finally, ask and discuss the replies, “Are there any times or occasions when you might wish to change your walking style?


Instructions to the Guide or Teacher: Encourage each participant to be as honest and straightforward with their answers as possible. They are not being challenged to “think long and hard” but to merely respond with the first thought that enters their mind. Serious attempts to address the questions honestly should be encouraged. Discussion of the final two questions concerning may well be the most difficult. The questions may be rephrased as: “What does the way you walk say about you as a person?” You might ask, “Is it springy or light? Determined and strident? Bold and authoritative? Cautious or reserved? As an option, you might label “heavy” at the top of the page and “light” at the bottom and draw a connecting line to indicate a progression or continuum between the two opposites. Similarly an intersecting line might be drawn from right to left between headings “Bold” and “Cautious”. Point out the strengths and positives associated with each descriptor. Then ask each participant to describe the style of their walk in terms of deciding where they best fit on each of the two axes. F. Activity: Making an Impression This activity involves making plaster casts or moldings of the participant’s feet. The focus is on learning more about the design of the foot and how it works in supporting the body. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: High A large open area with preferably concrete or linoleum covering that is easily cleanable. Plastic bags to cover the feet while in the mold. A small, plastic child’s swimming pool; approximately a cubic yard of soil, sand, or clay (whatever the chosen media might be). A one gallon plastic bucket. Approximately five pounds of modeling clay for each participant. An additional sandbox to be filled with a layer of plaster.

Thoughts and Instructions: As a demonstration, have the participants shake talcum powder on the soles of their feet and then walk over a variety of surfaces --wood, earth, linoleum, concrete, etc. Then ask them to describe and discuss their footprint and what may be learned from it. Then have participant(s) step on clay, dough, and plaster. Start by filling the shallow tub or children’s swimming pool with topsoil. The soil will need to be moist and pliant and able to hold an impression of a footprint. Each participant will be asked to step into the pool and leave impressions of both feet to a depth of at least one half inch. About one square foot of soil will be required for each participant. After all students have an opportunity to leave an impression of both feet, mix the plaster according to instructions and add water while stirring continuously. About three-quarters of a


gallon of Plaster of Paris in a one gallon bucket will be required. Gently pour the mixture into each of the footprints. Allow sufficient time to dry (waiting overnight is recommended). Subsequent footprints may be made using a variety of media, e.g., such as by treading on clay and cooking dough or oven-baked clay (for more information on types of clay available, see http://www.michaels.com/art/). Use the diagram and information below from Wikipedia to learn and discuss more about the human foot.

Structure: 1. Ankle 2. Heel bone 3. Instep 4. Metatarsus 5. Toe Human beings use their legs and feet for bipedal locomotion, also known as walking. The structures of the human foot and hand are variations on the same basic five-digit anatomy; in common with many other vertebrates, (the thumb and big toe have two phalanges, while the other fingers and toes consist of three). They are also the most complex, comprising half the bones in the body. The medical specialty related to treatment of the feet is orthopedic foot and ankle subspecialty. Footwear In many societies, it is customary to cover the foot in most social situations, particularly outside. In many cultures (including the Americas, Europe, Japan, others) people wear protective clothing over the foot. Such footwear has special names, such as sandals, shoes, and boots. Consistent wearing of footwear, particularly in hot climates or during exercise, can lead to foot odor. If footwear is ill-fitting or badly designed, it can cause both short-term (blisters, for example) and long-term foot problems. On the other hand, carefully designed orthopedic footwear is an effective treatment for many foot, leg, and back problems.


(Foot (anatomic), taken from Nordisk familjebok (Uggleupplagan, 1904-1926). Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Foot.png)

G. Activity: Taking a Step This activity calls for the making of stepping stones, out of clay, plaster, and finally concrete. While the evenness of the surface makes for a more practical and safe surface for walking, the emphasis in this activity is upon individualizing and personalizing the object. It may wind up on the person’s wall rather than being included in a functional walkway out of doors. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: High Requirements are similar to the preceding exercise of making an impression. A small, plastic child’s swimming pool; a cubic yard of concrete; a one gallon plastic bucket for mixing plaster. Approximately twenty pounds of modeling clay will be required.

Thoughts and Instructions: For making the clay stepping stones, an approximate one square foot of one half inch thick slab clay is recommended. The foot squares of clay are best prepared ahead of time and may be rolled out on wax paper with a rolling pin with sheets of waxed paper separating the steps. Concerning the plaster steps, a one-foot square mold of plaster or wood will be needed. The tops of the steps may be inscribed, marked or personalized in any way the participant chooses. Perhaps the individual may wish to add objects from nature, e.g., twigs, leaves, small stones, or the participant(s) may wish to personalize it by embedding objects of personal significance in the plaster. Note: The participants will need to wear protective gloves when working with concrete. Disposable plastic gloves work well, as do aprons and washable, cotton work clothes. H. Activity: Moving from SPOT to SPOT and Looking at Choices The purpose of this activity is to introduce the concept of movement, or mobility, as a practical activity. While movement will be later viewed as having three sides or characteristics: the practical, the expressive, and as a visual art form, we want to consider first the practical side. Movement is simply the best way of getting from one point to another. In other words, it is the best way of getting from Point A to Point B.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

High Approximately nine square feet per participant. Enough large block letters of A & B (perhaps stenciled and cut from cardboard), each about one foot in height and of differing colors as desired. There should be enough for each participant to have one of each, as well as a demonstration set for the teacher.

Thoughts and Instructions: The activity begins with an introduction to the idea of movement as locomotion; in other words, as the simplest way of getting from point A to point B. This should be demonstrated visually by having big block letters of A and B placed on the floor in front of the individual or group and having the instructor move from one letter to the next. Then each participant will be handed block letters of A and B and asked to place the letter “A” where they are now, under their feet, and to place the letter “B” as where they want to be for the next few minutes taken on the activity. Then have each participant place the letter B wherever they may choose. Ask for then to move in any way they choose from their present place to point B safely. They ask each person to label their home as their typical point A and to identify what their most typical point B may be on each day of the week. Then talk about all the different ways that are currently available to them to move each day from Point A to Point B. Then ask and explore the following questions: • Is walking an option? • Have they learned to drive a car or some type of cycle? • Is there public transportation they might use if they wanted? • What other movement choices do they have and now know how to use? • If the day arrived when they needed to find another way to get from Point A to Point B, would they know how to do it? • If not, what type of movement do they need to learn more about? • What is the best way of learning what they need to know? Abler: If interested, sign up for driving instruction classes or seek out a personal coach to learn to use at least one alternative means of transportation, e.g. bus or train. Note: This activity is a simple demonstration of the practical side of movement and an exploration of options. Depending upon the current needs of the individual, this activity may be used to start planning for developing options they may need in the future. I. Activity: Moving as Expression The next type of movement to consider is self-expression. The purpose of this


activity is to provide a simple demonstration of how movement serves in this way. Introduce the activity by noting that our motions and movements are expressive to others, whether or not we choose to make have them work to our advantage or as a means to expressing our self.

(Image from: http://morguefile.com/archive/?display=94506)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

High Approximately nine square feet per participant. Flash cards with the words “mad,” “sad,” glad,” and “scared” printed boldly in block letters; a tape player; recorded music

Thoughts and Instructions: The full range of emotions will be demonstrated to the class: 1) anger or being mad could be demonstrated by raising the fists, grimacing of the face, and stamping the feet; 2) sadness, by showing a drooping face and posture, slumped shoulders and by wiping an imaginary tear or two; 3) gladness, with a broad smiling face and arms reaching outwards or upwards; and 4) being scared by cowering and withdrawing from the room or to a corner of the room. These emotions should be expressed through pantomime by the guide or teacher without the addition of words and after the individual(s) are first asked to guess what emotion is being expressed and shown. The flash card naming the emotion will then be raised to confirm the answer. In closing, point out how much information is sent simply by movement and without any words being spoken, and there is more information communicated by movement and expression and body language than there is through words for all communication. Note: If the individual or group is receptive to the suggestion, they may choose to volunteer to demonstrate a wider variety of ways there are to express each of the emotions identified above as a supplement to the activity. J. Activity: Moving to Delight


The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate how movement may indeed be a delight and a thing of beauty to behold. The object is simply to create an experience of visual delight in movement by watching a taped performance of any chosen coordinated dance routine, regardless of the type or personal preference involved.

(Image from: http://flickr.com/photos/cgp314/38177443/)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal. This is primarily a viewing experience. Minimal comfort space for each participant. Visual recording of a selected dance or ballet. For suggestions see http://www.bobrizzo.com/ or http://www.dancehorizons.com/

Thoughts and Instructions: Finally, movement will be considered as a thing of beauty to enjoy. At this point, place the television monitor and video player in front of the individual or group and play a selected dance or ballet performance of one’s choosing. After the viewing period, probably fifteen minutes would provide a suitable introduction, simply turn the television screen around and adjust the volume so that the students may clearly hear the music. The instructions are to simply now create their own pattern of harmonious movement by moving, swaying, bending or doing an imitative dance of their choosing. Abler: Sign up for a series of dance lessons at a local dance studio or purchase a set of instructional dance videos for any type of dance that you would like to learn about at home or with friends. Note: This exercise is meant to be a simple display and celebration of the beauty of physical movement. While the grace of movement is highlighted, the positive side of all movement should also be highlighted. Any chosen movements are to be recognized aloud and further encouraged through praise or applause. If it is in time to the music, then this


should be rewarded by acknowledgement and congratulated as a natural dancing ability… while some of us need to take many lessons just to get it wrong. It seems that while one is able to feel the music, others are less able in this regard. K. Activity: Moving to Health Several studies have shown that the fitness levels of people with developmental disabilities are significantly lower than the general population. It seems that this outcome is largely due to a more an inactive lifestyle, regardless of the reason. As a consequence, there is more likelihood that hypokinetic diseases will develop, such as high blood pressure. Some experts consider physical inactivity a major health risk among individuals with developmental disabilities. The following activities are ways of introducing greater movement and activity in, hopefully, an enjoyable way. Introduction to T’ai Chi: This activity consists of a set of three exercises that are both meant to demonstrate a range of motion and to celebrate motion, generally. They are simply some fundamental movements taken from the Chinese practice of T’ai Chi (tiechee). The health benefits of T’ai Chi are fully supported by medical research. T’ai chi has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, improve balance and prevent falling, reduce chronic pain, and stimulate the immune system. It is one pathway for building greater strength, flexibility and coordination. The form of the movements may be highlighted by turning them into dance movements accompanied by music of your selection. Point out how good movement and exercise are for each of us to maintain a healthy life and desired fitness. Note: An alternative method of instruction is for the instructor to model a range of motion demonstration and then leading the group in repeating the selected movements and motions in time with the music. Suggestions for individualizing exercise programs for each participant are discussed in the final section.


(Image from: http://flickr.com/photos/logancody/37246519/)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Moderate Approximately twenty square feet per person. Selected background music, blackboard or whiteboard, or large writing pad and marker.

Thoughts and Instructions: The first exercise consists of having each individual stand up, as appropriate, and walk forward for ten steps. Ask each to count each step out loud. Following this, ask each to do it again, but more slowly. Lift your right knee, set your foot down, “one,” pause; lift your left knee, set your foot down, “two,” pause. Then ask them to walk even slower. Ask if they noticed the difference in movement? Ask about how their balance was, as “How slow were you able to go?” The second exercise will be demonstrated by the instructor with a chalkboard, whiteboard or writing pad in place. Ask the participants to imagine the same board in front of them. Reach up and draw a number “1” as big as you can. Then do it again, but this time try to coordinate your movement with you breathing. Inhale, as you lift your arm. Exhale as you draw the number “1”. Ask the participants to follow your lead with their imaginary writing board. Ask them not to stop and to keep going drawing as many numbers between one and ten as they know. Then ask the group if their arms got tired and what they noticed about their breathing. Is it quick and shallow or deep and slow? Ask how good their imagination is? Ask them if they “see” the numbers they were drawing. You might reassure them that not everyone is able to imagine visual images, so there is no cause for concern if they found the experience difficult at first. The third exercise combines the first two exercises. Ask the participant(s) to stand up, take the T’ai Chi step (lift your knee, set your foot down). Inhale as you lift your arm. Exhale as you “draw” a number “1”. Take another step. “Draw” a number “2”. Continue stepping and “drawing” until you reach the number “10” or run out of numbers. Following the movement period, ask “How did you do?” Ask if it was more difficult keeping their balance with one foot forward in the stepping position? Ask if they could tell what adjustments or changes their body was making in trying to help it balanced? Instructions to the Guide or Teacher: Following completion of the three exercises tell the group, “Congratulations! You know how to do T’ai Chi!” Doing movement as an art form involves three parts: Moving your body, moving with your breath and letting your movements follow your breathing, and doing something with your imagination --- drawing or painting number shapes in the air. Tell them that as an art form you are able to express your self, explore your limits, and be creative. Tell them they can individualize these movements by letting their imaginary chalk travel with them, move between hands, to the ceiling, to the floor, drawing numbers all around you, standing on one leg as you draw a number, etc. Suggestions for individualizing an exercise program are found in Chapter 10.


L. Activity: Tumbling Along This activity provides a simple demonstration of rolling movements and serves as an introduction to tumbling exercises. Depending on the choices of the individual, this activity may be used as a starting point for an expanded series of instructions. It also provides an opportunity to delight in freedom of motion. The motion of the tumbleweed is used to illustrate the joy to be found in basic tumbling and serves as a guide in learning how to properly fall, if ever faced with that possibility. A tumbleweed, if available, could be provided for a concrete demonstration (or a large gym ball may be used as a substitute) of rolling, staying loose, and allowing natural forces to take over. The motion is reflected in this verse, as well, which may serve as a tool for introducing the activity: The Tumbleweed It ever moves, And never hurts, It takes the blasts, It scoots in spurts. A wheeling bush, Just balled up branch, It trips across Life’s endless ranch. The fence a dam To hold them back To pile them up, To stall in packs. In tumbled turns It lifts away, To ride the wind, To coast the way. A nest of spin, A rolled up home, With gift of wind, A world to roam. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Low. The length of a gym mat or padded mattress.

A gym mat, foam rubber mat or padded mattress.


Thoughts and Instructions: After first screening the individual to insure that there are no health or safety issues involved in learning this activity, the instructor places the mat in front of the group and demonstrates how by to do a simple forward roll safely. Then note how tucking into a roll is a relatively safe way to fall without being hurt. Then demonstrate how the form is exemplified in a tumbleweed or in a beach ball. Invite only those to wish to participate to try and copy the forward roll, and the activity leader will assist to ensure the complete safety of the individual(s). Abler: If interest is expressed for more tumbling instruction, see the guides available for teaching beginner tumbling found at http://www.amazon.com and at http://www.coachinggymnastics.com/ and http://www.humankinetics.com/ M. Activity: The Dance is The Thing This section presents an opportunity for simply movements and keeping time to the music. The purpose is to show how much enjoyment can be gained from keeping a musical rhythm or beat.

(Image from: http://flickr.com/photos/asim/32100641/)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Moderate. Approximately a three square feet is needed for each participant to allow free movement Suggested supplies include all types of music


makers, i.e., wooden blocks, triangles, tambourines, castanets, drums, etc., and accompanying guitar or piano, if available. Use of accompanying music may also prove helpful in making the activity even more enjoyable. Thoughts and Instructions: This is an opportunity to keep the beat in time to a simple 1-2-3 count. Starting with the 1-2-3 beat, the leader demonstrates the steps to accompany the beat and ask for volunteers to join. The instructions for dancing are; start by moving the left foot forward, then bringing the right foot to the side of the left then stepping right, and then closing them together with the left food beside the right. The movement goes: Forward, side, close… Forward, side, close, etc. (Note: If difficulties are experienced, a variation that may be helpful is as follows: Instead of starting with the basic waltz step: forward, side, close; ask them to take a big step, a medium-sized step, and then a little step. Put the participants in a large, single-file circle, and call out, "long, mid, short; long, mid, short;" Apparently, this stepping pattern is enough like walking that the beginner can do it comfortably and know full well which foot to step out with next.) If problems with keeping to the rhythm continue ask that the participants simply start with their left foot and take simple steps forward and back as they feel the beat. The activity leader may wish later to vary the beat for variety and should first demonstrate before asking others to join. Also, for variety, participants may be asked, if they choose, to volunteer to play solos, before bringing the other instruments in for a full chorus of sounds. N. Activity: The Laughing Earth – Happy Sights and Sounds

This activity seeks to demonstrate the sights and sounds in our lives that make us happy. It should begin by asking participants to name and describe the places they find especially happy for them. Ask: “Do you find quiet places or places with movement to be happier?” Then ask participants to identify what the happy sights and sounds are. They should then be invited to act out any of the sights and sounds that give them happiness. After all have had a chance to share, note how many of the sounds are like types of laughter, e.g., the quacking of ducks. Then ask the group if they have ever heard other sounds in nature that are like laughter, or possibly other sights that seemed like laughter. For example, flowers might be described as one way that the earth laughs. To be kept in mind is that the participants’ viewpoints should be drawn out during the course of this activity and shared to the degree that it is comfortable.


(Image from: http://flickr.com/photos/kodama/3979485/)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal. This activity may be done while seated.

A tape recording of nature sounds. As an alternative, if available, a videotape or CD of both sights and sounds from nature. As resources for this material, check out the following websites: http://www.purewhitenoise.com/?referrer=adwnaturesounds http://www.terraaura.com/ or search for nature sights and sounds at www.amazon.com

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity is designed to offer an opportunity to become more aware of and gain more enjoyment from the sights and sounds of nature. After listening or watching the taped presentation, ask the individual or group to discuss places they have been where they were particularly able to hear and enjoy the sounds of nature. As a homework assignment, ask each person present to try and discover somewhere at home or near their home where they would be able to sit quietly and listen undisturbed to the sounds of nature about them. O. Let’s Get Started: Planning for Physical Activity:

The Center for Disease Control has recommended a minimum of 30 minutes a day of physical activity, preferably every day of the week. This activity is focused on giving each individual involved some physical activity planning options to design their own basic and minimum level activity program. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal May be done while seated but will need approximately four square feet of table space.


Materials Needed:

8 ½ x 11 inch paper marked with the days of the current month, a pencil and set of colored pencils or markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: First, have each person record their current level of physical activity with a regular pencil or black marker on the calendar noting the length of time and type of each activity. Then after adding them together, if the total time is three and one-half hours or less per week, encourage each person to select one or more of the following activities, according to their own color coding scheme (or the one provided), and add to their program until they reach the goal of a total of 3 ½ hours per week. • • • • • • • • • Make walking trips to the store for needed groceries and household items. (red) Carry the groceries from the store and to the home. (pink) Go on longer weekend hikes to a local park or recreational area. (green) If you can walk to any daily destinations, do it. (yellow) Walk regularly with friends (if available, walk through malls during the winter months) (yellow-green). Take the stairs at all times instead of the elevator. (dark blue) Lift light weights (or soup cans if you don't have weights) while watching television. (purple) Do a regular exercise video that is not too strenuous. (orange) Join a health club or community exercise program (light blue) (Note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that recreational buildings and programs should be accessible to people with disabilities. Therefore, health clubs and other fitness centers must offer programs that are appropriate for people with mental retardation, and they cannot add a surcharge to that person's fees (unless every person is charged the same fee). This activity also provides an opportunity to start forming regular walking and exercise groups among the participants. Some encouragement may be needed, but emphasize the need for a commitment to the effort and the freedom to participate or not participate. A workable plan to recommend would be to plan for fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening for some type of physical activity, such as walking, stationary cycling, or climbing stairs as the other elements of activity are not always pursued daily, e.g., trips to the store. Keep track of the physical activity goals via calendars and explore ways the individual might reward themselves for meeting the goal. (Note: Before starting any programming initiatives involving physical activity, it is recommended that medical clearance and consultation be gained. Also, additional


resources for physical activity programming are offered in the Supplemental Resource section of Chapter 10.) P. Planning for the Hurdles: Two major barriers to improving the fitness levels of persons with developmental disabilities are motivation and opportunity. (Note: Many adults are not encouraged by others to join health clubs or to exercise on their own. In addition, most instructors in health clubs and other fitness programs do not understand how to develop an appropriate exercise program for unique populations and consequently are often reluctant to work with them). This is a brainstorming activity for the purpose of trying to maximize both opportunities and motivation to become physically active. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. May be completed while seated. A blackboard, whiteboard or poster board, and colored markers

Thoughts and Instructions: Divide the board or writing pad vertically down the middle and on one side note “OPPORTUNITIES” and on the other side note “WAYS TO ENCOURAGE”. Ask each member of the group to come up with as many ideas for activity opportunities as possible, and for each idea ask what is the best way to motivate or encourage people to take advantage of the opportunities noted. Tell the group that all ideas are welcomed. All ideas will be listed. At the end of the time allotted, ask the group to pick the best ideas from each list. Later, provide the information to all members present.


Chapter 2 Making a Home
Introduction This chapter looks at the elements that go into making a house feel like Home, the place one truly belongs. It looks at food choices, food preparation, and consideration of health and basic safety, as well as money management strategies and planning needs. It also looks at taking the first steps in making both more and better connections with others. A. Let’s Celebrate Freedom The following is a simple verse that celebrates freedom. Making a home is in its own way a celebration of freedom. Read aloud and note the response. Perhaps other individual(s) know or have other thoughts or verses about freedom that have meaning to them that they might wish to share.

(Image “Bees in Flight” from: http://pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=pdef&pg=8308)

Bubba the Bee
Bubba the bee simply lives To be free, To loop-i-ty loop… Even buzz out of key. He'll surge through the sky In that grand sort of way,



That takes seeming work To make seeming play. He can join with the others And buzz in a line, Then spin out in circles Much shaped like a vine. He tries out new buzzes, That spin from his head, That rouse up the life In the seemingly dead. But his Poppa explained, When really quite wee, "There's only three songs That are known to the bee. There's the song of the hunt, And the song of the fight, And the song of the hive ... That is all that is right." But Bubba was puzzled For he knew there was more “There's the song of the sea, There’s the clap of the shore. There’s the song of the wind, And the song of the tree, And the song meant for you, There’s a song meant for me.” Yet Bubba flew straight and kept to his work, Thought only of money… Though it lost all its perk “Just think about honey! Think only of it,” His Poppa said slowly, Quite ready to spit. Then Granddad said, “We must let Bubba be. He’s fit to be tied, Cause he’s made to be free.



We all need Bubba’s circles To show us the straight, We need his strange songs To lighten our weight. You must know what is wild, To learn what is tame, And keep something odd To like something same.” Now his friends stop to watch Bubba’s daring and grace And the fun broadly written All over his face. Today the bees smile, While they’re filling their hive, It’s so good to see a bee, That so loves to be alive. ----verse by Ronald L. Oliver B. The Home Bee Taken from a common practice among early pioneers in North America, a bee was a special group of neighbors, friends and family that formed for the purpose of getting something done. For example, neighboring farmers might get together to raise a house or a barn, harvest crops, or simply to sew warm clothes for the winter. While the practice has largely disappeared, perhaps it shouldn’t. Perhaps it is time and there is need for the practice to be renewed. It not only gets important work done, but it also sets the stage for bringing people together, allows for the sharing of memories and stories and provides a chance to both form, renew or cement ties and relationships within the community. The purpose for this activity is to suggest a method for getting an individual and their belongings moved into their own home and as a good way to start the settling process. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate, at least. Sufficient space to accomplish the task at hand and clutter-free walkways for increased safety. For planning, a writing pad and pencil or markers are needed. For completion, beverages, sandwiches (or a grilled dish, if preferred).


Thoughts and Instructions: Organization and coordination is needed to arrange for the time, date and location for the selected persons to meet, divide up the tasks at hand, and finish the task of moving into the home. This may be done informally by selecting and recruiting the desired participants by telephone, or more formally through written invitations with perhaps the added enticement of offering food and beverages for all afterwards as both a reward and as a bread-breaking experience to share. C. Knowing the Ingredients: Taking Care by Eating Right Learning to eat healthy is a need that most of us have. This is a simple educational activity that allows for information sharing and discussion. After pointing out how it is important to know all of the ingredients before making something that tastes good, similarly it is important to know all the ingredients of good nutrition so we will be able to eat properly. The question posed for discussion is, “What are all the ingredients to eating right?”

(Image from: http://morguefile.com/archive/?display=90049)

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Sufficient space for all involved to be seated comfortably. A blackboard, whiteboard or large pad, and orange, green, red, yellow, blue and violet colored markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Posing the question in a relaxed, non-threatening way will help encourage full participation. Respect all ideas by noting the thoughts of the participants. Then briefly discuss the six ingredients identified by nutritional authorities:


1. Grains (coded orange) Advice: Eat mainly whole grains 2. Veggies (coded green) Advice: Eat more dark green & orange veggies. 3. Fruits (coded red) Advice: Eat a variety of fruits 4. Oils (coded yellow) Advice: Limit solid fats like butter & shortening. 5. Milk and Dairy Products (coded blue) Advice: Go low fat or fat free 6. Meat and Beans (coded violet) Advice: Go lean on protein.

You may wish to refer to the U.S. Agriculture Department website for further nutritional guidelines and tips for healthy eating (see www.mypyramid.gov) where the above color-coding is used to provide more in-depth information. Instructional note: Individuals with developmental disabilities often have a higher tendency of being obese than people in the general population. General recommendations for maintaining or losing weight may be found at the NCPAD website, www.ncpad.org. Refer to the nutritional planning information in Chapter 10. (Also see the large graphic of the food pyramid & related information provide in Chapter 10.) D. Making the Most: Making it Last Listening to the Pros. Grocery shopping for healthy foods can be a challenge, especially if you are on a limited budget. Those who know best, sometimes called the Pros, are the people you need to talk to learn how to make the most of your money at the grocery store. This interviewing activity asks the participants to find out from persons with experience, i.e., The Pros, the ways and means of making the most from your food budget. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate If the interviewing is done in a classroom setting, then about two square yards or meters are needed to conduct the interview with persons seated comfortably facing one another. If the activity is conducted out of the classroom setting, then only seating space is needed for the individual to report what they found out to the group. May use paper and pencil to record information,

Materials Needed:


or a tape recorder or camcorder, if preferred. Thoughts and Instructions: The assignment is for each person to pick someone they know who has experience in making their money stretch at the grocery store. Each person is to interview the chosen person to learn at least three tips for making the most of their money in shopping at the grocery store. At a follow-up meeting, the interviewers are to share what they learned with everyone else. Note: As a means of maximizing the learning from this activity, below is a brief listing of tips (courtesy of www.extension.uiuc.edu) to compare and contrast the information gained: • Take the time to review newspaper ads, plan meals, and make a shopping list. This way you are more likely to find the best buys, avoid impulse purchases and eliminate extra trips for forgotten items. • • Read grocery store ads in the newspaper and plan meals around healthy foods that are on sale. Clip coupons: by using coupons for coffee, prepared foods, cereals, flour and flour mix products can save about 10% in most food budgets. (Caution: don’t use a coupon to justify buying a food that your family doesn’t need or that costs more than a store brand, even with the coupon savings.
If storage space permits, stock up on sale items used regularly Take advantage of seasonal specials. Foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, are generally less expensive when in great supply.

• • • • • •

Check ingredients and compare weights and prices on packaged food products. Note price differences between store brands and name brands. Note the fact that prices are usually lower in a large supermarket versus local convenience stores. Plan the use of leftovers. They can be used in casseroles, soups, and for snacks or lunch boxes.

E. A Date for Cooking: Learning to Cook Most people learn to cook by joining their Mom or Dad in the kitchen and watching and imitating what they do. In other words, they learn how to cook by example. This activity uses this simple learning method to teach basic cooking methods and skills. There are two steps to the activity: 1. observing the preparation of a simple meal from start to end (It is suggested than the meal be prepared with fewer than five ingredients.) and 2. giving the assignment of making a date with someone they know to repeat the activity and apply the information gained earlier. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate A kitchen setting with space to observe.


Materials Needed:

Basic kitchen utensils and appliances.

Thoughts and Instructions: All cooking utensils, including pots and pans, plus all ingredients of the dish should be placed out in open view. All cooking items are to be named and described prior to beginning the cooking activity. Then on a step-by-step basis, slowly walk through the preparation process for the dish while participant(s) observe the process. Allow time between each step to answer any questions the individual or group member might have and repeat the directions for each step and summarize all the preceding steps after each step is completed. Allow interested learners to participate in the process, e.g., measuring, stirring, blending, and pouring of ingredients. When finished, share the results with the participants and enjoy. When giving the assignment of making a cooking date, the activity leader will try to facilitate the process in whatever way helpful while leaving the initiative to the student. Have the group members share their experiences with one another as a follow-up activity. F. Cooking? How Easy Can it Get?

(Image from: http://morguefile.com/archive/?display=80112)

This activity looks at ways of simplifying the basics of cooking. Many of the ideas shared in this exercise were drawn from an article by Kathie Snow, entitled “Home, Sweet Home and Other Friendly, Welcoming Environments” or “Commonsense Solutions #7 – Self-Sufficiency” available at the website www.disabilityisnatural.com. This activity may be done individually or in a group setting. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. Comfortable seating only. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad and


markers. The information might also be prepared in advance for sharing. Thoughts and Instructions: Start by suggesting, “This is the age of fast food and easy-to-do cooking, so let’s think of all the things we might do to make cooking as simple as possible. Give me all your ideas and I will list them on the board so we can share them.” The activity then becomes an exercise in brainstorming and sharing. For additional ideas, the following could be used as needed: 1. Cook simple – like opening a prepackaged “meal” and tossing in a few ingredients to give it spice; try convenience foods, they’re both quick and easy. Even making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of cereal could be called cooking. 2. Change the kitchen – Think of the changes you can make in the kitchen that might make the difference between success and failure. For example, a step stool might help to reach the stove, sink or pantry. An angled mirror behind the stove can help someone who uses a wheelchair to see what’s bubbling in the pot on the stove. A toaster oven on the counter is often easier to use than a traditional oven. Or, cutting boards with a knife holder attached are helpful for persons who have difficulty with cutting. (Note: Check kitchen stores, specialty stores, and catalogs, often geared for “Seniors”, for other handy gadgets, appliances and devices. 3. Make it easy – If reading and following written instructions on boxed meals or frozen food packages is difficult, copy the directions onto plain paper, using large print or symbols (such as drawing a picture of the oven’s temperature gauge showing what the setting should be for fish sticks). If using symbols, tell the story of how to prepare that food. Make one of these instruction pages for each type of food, insert each page into a plastic sheet protector and place it in a threering notebook. Keep it small, keep it simple, and expect success. G. What’s Entertaining? Sharing a meal together with someone whose company you enjoy is a most pleasing and bonding experience. This planning activity invites the participants to plan a special meal that they have learned to cook and invite a friend or acquaintance over for a special lunch or dinner. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. Comfortable seating only. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad and


markers. Thoughts and Instructions: This is a mutual planning activity that starts with the question: “What is the best way to plan and prepare for inviting a friend over to share a special meal?” Encourage all participants to contribute to the discussion and honor all ideas by noting and discussing them. After a step-by-step guide is completed and reviewed, ask the group for other suggestions on how to make it an enjoyable occasion for all. Note all these tips also on the board or writing pad. All the steps required and all the tips given to make it a mutually enjoyable experience in entertaining a guest should be reviewed with the group at the conclusion. Offer encouragement and support to complete the assigned activity and to share their success and learning later with the group and others. H. Where are You? The next three activities center on minimizing the possibility of being lost or misdirected while out in the community and maximizing safety during community outings. Movement Level: Minimal in introducing and concluding the exercise; moderate in carrying out the exercise. Space Requirements: For making the assignment, only comfortable seating space is needed. For subsequently compiling the booklet, about three square feet or one square meter per person is needed.

Use of a camera; a small photo album or notebook; scissors, glue, and markers. Thoughts and Instructions: This is a visual map-making activity that seeks to identify one’s residence in as many ways as possible and to identify the best means of getting there from all directions. The outcome of the activity is that each person will make an individualized, illustrated notebook that identifies landmarks on paths through the community and many identified ways of returning home safely. Use of personally significant landmarks, significant places, identifying signs and symbols to communicate location should be included. If local photographs are not available, identify the best ways of obtaining them. You may wish to consider the use of a recyclable camera to allow each participant or member of their support team to take pictures themselves. Either the four primary directions from home or the available paths to and from home could be used to organize the collection. The subsequent assembly activity would include the use of all relevant photos, drawings, paintings, or landmark images. Also, a supplemental notebook of memories of home from the past might be made, i.e., a mosaic of the meanings of home. A related discussion of the times when you most felt at home or had the best feelings of home might be shared, if the group chooses. I. Taking Safety With You

Materials Needed:


This activity looks at how best to both prepare for and avoid accidents and misfortunes occurring while on community outings and involves making a personalized safety kit, i.e., traveling bag. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal. For making the assignment, only comfortable seating space is needed. For subsequent kit assembly, about three square feet or one square meter per person is needed. A safety kit may take several forms: 1. the size of a lunch pail, i.e., a small metal or plastic box with a carrying handle, 2. the size or shape of a briefcase or small handbag, 3. the form of a backpack or shoulder bag, or 4. the size of a fanny pack. The size and shape will vary based on individual needs and desires.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This assignment involves two stages: 1. identifying and listing all needed items; 2. outfitting a small safety kit which will contain all the supplies and devices that might be needed to best prepare for any possible accident or emergency while away from home. Planning should include items needed during both day and night, e.g., a flashlight. Possible items might include the location booklet from the previous exercise; needed medications, if selfadministering, or alarm devices if a reminder is needed; first aid supplies; cell phone, communication devices; needed monitoring devices; emergency contact numbers; special instructions to others in case of emergency, special dietary supplements or emergency hydration and dietary needs, e.g., small fruit juice or candy for individuals with diabetes; and coins or cards for emergency telephone calls. A planning checklist should also be added to each person’s calendar to assure that the kit is periodically checked and resupplied as needed. J. Getting Your Act Together: Rehearsing Safety

This activity has two components: 1. developing a safety plan of emergency safety procedures, including those for fire, flood, power failure, vehicular accident, burglary, and intruders, and 2. repeated practice and rehearsal of all applicable procedures, accompanied by photo or video-recording of needed actions. Both activities, but especially the first planning activity, will profit from the consultation and involvement of a trusted friend, parent, guardian, significant other, or perhaps service agency resource manager, program manager, or planning specialist. Step-by-step, simple concrete procedures should be specified. The length of time required to complete the evacuation of


emergency procedures should be recorded. This will include an accurate assessment of progress and learning needs. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal in developing the plan. Moderate to high levels of movement for rehearsals. While plan development and preliminary rehearsals may be done in a classroom setting or one with limited space, for the learning to be transferred, it is strongly recommended that the behavioral rehearsals occur in the home or appropriate community environment to maximize learning. Video-camera, if available; sound recording device and audiotape; camera; photo album; glue and scissors.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: While a written record of the plan should be made for evaluation by concerned professionals or safety consultants, for it to be of most practical value, the procedures for each type of emergency situation should be both video-recorded and sequenced by snapshots and made available to the individual for regular viewing and review. K. Passing it Along: Sharing Safety Actions The purpose of this activity is to promote positive relationships and connections with others in the community by letting them know that you care about their safety. The activity both identifies and plans for the best ways and means of best sharing the lessons learned from the previous activity with others. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. For purposes of planning, only comfortable seating arrangements are needed. Blackboard, whiteboard or large writing pad with Markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: First, identify the “key” lessons, or most important lessons learned from the previous activity. Make a list on the board or pad in front of the group. One example might be the directive, “In case of fire, drop to the floor and crawl away from any smoke and toward an unblocked emergency exit. If the first planned exit is blocked, choose the second one.” After a list is prepared, ask each person to identify at least one person they know with whom they believe it might be helpful to share this new information in the coming week. (Note: Point out how nearly everyone could profit from


reminders of good safety practices during emergencies; and reviewing action steps to take is helpful to everyone involved, both the giver and sender of the messages.) Doing this activity is also an opportunity to send the message to someone that you care about their safety. Then as a homework assignment, have each person make a plan of how, what, when, and with whom they plan to carry out this activity. As encouragement to follow through with completing this activity, inform the participants of the plan to talk about the results of this activity at an appointed time in the future. L. The Places that Matter: Identifying Favorite Places to Be

Now that we have explored safe travel, it is time to find and explore the special places most enjoyable to you as a person. This activity involves identifying places that you have found most enjoyable in the past. It also encourages making plans to explore places in the community you think you might enjoy getting to know more about. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal in planning, moderate in field work task. Space sufficient for comfortable seating. Blackboard, whiteboard or poster with markers

Thoughts and Instructions: This sharing activity begins with the activity leader modeling sharing by noting their favorite places that they enjoy the most in the community. If pictures or photos of the special places are available, it will make the experience more enjoyable for all participants by sharing them. After taking the lead in sharing favorite places, ask those present to share their favorite places with the group and note what it is about the place that makes it special. After everyone has had an opportunity to share, ask the participants to talk about the places that they would like to know more about or return to know better. At the end of this round of sharing, have each person make a plan for visiting at least one of these places in the coming week and then report on the experience at the next meeting of the group. M. Joint Expeditions: Forming New Links to Others Sharing interests and pleasant experiences with others is a good way to build new friends and new relationships. This activity builds on the experiences described from the previous activity by having the participants identify common interests with others and then using this shared interest as a bridge to developing plans for future joint outings and expeditions. The purpose of the activity is to provide an opportunity for participants to expand their circle of friends. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal Comfortable seating only.


Materials Needed:


Thoughts and Instructions: Before beginning the sharing of experiences of new places explored in the community from the previous activity, ask each member of the group to listen carefully to the travel experiences and plans for future community trips and decide which person in the group has interests in places most similar to their own. The activity leader should then facilitate the identification of themes of interest expressed. Then assist participants with the process of pairing off into small groups of two or three participants to do joint planning for a community trip in the coming week. At the end of allowing sufficient time for this shared planning activity, e.g., ten to fifteen minutes, ask the participants to report back on any problems or issues they had while completing this activity. Allow time for group coaching and problem solving, as needed and requested, at the close of this activity. On closing, ask that each person bring back at least two souvenirs from the outing, one which they will want to keep and one which they might like to give to others. N. Planning to Give: Sharing Souvenirs The purpose of this activity is to provide each participant with a concrete experience of giving to others after first giving it lots of thought, making a plan, and then following through with the plan. The objective is to help strengthen relationships with others and to help teach the value of giving and sharing. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Requires only comfortable seating None

Thoughts and Instructions: First ask the group to share their stories of the joint outing they took the previous week, but to not mention any souvenir of the trip. On conclusion, note the feelings that came from simply sharing stories of pleasant experiences with others. Then compare those feelings with the feelings of sharing “real” gifts, i.e., both giving and getting tangible gifts. How is it different? How is it similar? Then ask the group to think about and make a silent plan as to the best way of giving one of their souvenirs from last week’s trip to another member of the group. Suggest that they will need to consider such questions as: Should it be wrapped it or not? Should they attach a card, a note, or something else to the gift? When would it be best and where would it be best to present the gift? What will they want to say when presenting the gift? After a silent plan has been completed by each participant, ask each person to complete the gift-giving activity within the next week and report back to the group about how it went and how it felt. O. Giving of Yourself


This activity suggests that you explore the possibility of service to others by doing any needed peer mentoring or disability-adapted mentoring with people you know. (Refer to the definitions provided below.) Peer Mentoring may be defined as doing a type of coaching and support work for a person close in age to his or her mentee. One may act as a sounding board for ideas and plans and provide coaching, guidance and assistance in an informal manner. Disability-Adapted Mentoring: A person successful in making needed adaptation mentors another person, usually with similar needs. The relationship generally focuses on a specific area such as independent living skills, recovering from a traumatic event, starting a business, obtaining employment or being new to the workforce. The mentor serves as a role model and provides information and guidance specific to the mentee’s needs. Movement Level: Requirements: Materials Needed: Indefinite, but likely to be at least moderate in completing the activity Not applicable. Unknown in advance

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity simply involves exploring with the individual or group the possibility of doing mentoring work with others they know. If interest is expressed, follow-up assistance may be needed in identifying possible candidates in need of such a service and perhaps assistance in developing a plan to make the first contact and assistance, as needed and requested, in defining the relationship expectations. P. Giving, But Not Planning: Doing Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty

The purpose of this activity is to provide an experience of unplanned giving. The benefits of both giving and receiving are discussed and an opportunity to perform a kind deed is provided.


(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/greywulf/122585/ Giving a Hand

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Moderate in completing the activity Not applicable. None

and Instructions: To introduce this activity, have the participants share their stories of giving and receiving from the previous week’s activity. How did it go? What did it feel like? As a bridge to this activity share the Story of the Starfish (see Chapter 6) and note the different types of giving involved. How are they similar and how are they different? Ask if they know what nameless or anonymous gifts are? Have they heard about that before? Do they know anyone who has received a nameless gift? Then ask the participants to do something for someone or give something to someone in the coming week without them knowing where the gift or act came from. In other words, ask them to perform a random act of kindness in the coming week and then report on what happened and what it felt like at the next group meeting. At the follow-up meeting, give the participants an opportunity to discuss the experience and the feelings that were derived. Give the group an opportunity to talk about how planned giving and unplanned giving are similar and how they are different. (Note: An option in closing, is to mention that helping professionals have used this activity as a way of helping people who are suffering from depression, i.e., prolonged sadness in their lives.) Q. Growing Feelings of Home: Home Improvement Projects:

1. Adding a Personal Touch: This set of activities attempts to ensure feelings of being “settled in” to one’s home by doing things to make it feel more like one’s own home by doing simple home improvement activities. The first such activity has the objective of making the home feel more unique and personal. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal Only comfortable seating space is required.


Blackboard, whiteboard or large poster-sized pad, and markers. Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be done either on an individual or group basis. If done outside the home environment, ask participant(s) to decide if their home feels like it is truly their home or if someone else could walk into it and feel like it belonged to them. Ask them specifically to name the things in their home that tells them that it is their home. Ask them if it would be a more enjoyable place to live if it felt more personal. If the answer is yes, brainstorm for things they might do or add to the home that would help to make it feel more like it was strictly their home. Make a list of ideas on the board or pad and then make a short plan of task(s) for each person to accomplish in the coming week that would help to personalize their environment. If suggestions are needed, note simple tasks such as displaying photos or meaningful personal items on the wall(s) or on selected pieces of furniture, adding a favorite poster or print, using favorite colors in the home’s color scheme, or planting a tree or bush in the yard or potted plant outside. Additional suggestions include drawing pictures of home, collecting and arranging photos of friends and family for a picture board, making mosaics of reminders of home, finding a unique welcome mat at the front door, or even composing a home song that expresses all the feelings and meaning of home. Encourage one project be completed in the coming week. 2. Adding Greenery - A Plant Growing Activity: The purpose of this activity is to help make the home feel more alive by adding living plants or greenery to the interior. Of course, if weather permits, this activity could be done outdoors in a selected space, as well. While plants may be purchased at a store or plant nursery, this activity encourages greater personalization by having selected seeds to be planted in a pot and nurtured over several weeks. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal to moderate About a square yard or meter is needed for each participant. Clay or plastic pot, potting soil, hand space, selected seeds and water.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: Encourage each participant to decide what kind of plant they would like growing in their home and then explore the planting needs depending on the seeds chosen. Planting directions are often provided directly on the seed packet, but further research may be needed for other options. Consult with the staff at nurseries, with friends who have interest and experience with growing plants, an agricultural extension agent or for information available online, (e.g. http://gardening.about.com or http://www.thegardenhelper.com/ if questions remain about how to best proceed. 3. What About the Light? The purpose of this activity is to explore the way that the lighting in our home affects our daily lives. While proper lighting is needed to find the things we need and do the things we need to, it also affects our feelings and moods.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal. For purposes of discussion, only comfortably seated space is needed. None

Thoughts and Instructions: Ask the participants if they have ever noticed how much better they feel when going outside on a sunny day after sitting in a darkened room, perhaps watching television, for any length of time. Use this example to discuss how the amount and type of lighting in the home affects not only our daily home-making tasks, but also affects the way that we feel about things in general. Ask each participant to take notice of the amount and type of lighting in each room of their home and how it makes them feel. Then discuss any changes needed to make it better. You may keep the discussion going by asking, 1. Do you have enough light in your home to find what you need to find and do what you need to do when you need to do it? and 2. Does the amount and types of light help make your home a bright and cheerful place to be?
(Note: For further information, see National Association for Visually Handicapped website: http://www.navh.org/psycheff.html & http://www.iesna.org/100/PDF/CenturySeries/JohnFlynn.pdf)

4. Colors Count: Colors affect our mood, our appetite, and our energy level. They are able to bring out specific and sometimes strong responses. This instructional activity looks at the effects of the colors in our homes and ways to use them to add to our positive feelings about our home. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. Comfortable seating arrangements only. Poster-sized image of color wheel (see below) for demonstration purpose.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity asks the participants to consider the colors in their home after talking about the effects of color on our moods and feelings. After a brief presentation of the informational material, ask “How happy are you with the colors in your home or do you think that you might want to change or add to the colors?” The follow-up question would be, “If you would like to make some changes to the colors in your home, how would you go about making the changes? Use the remainder of the time to problemsolve and develop ideas around these questions.


Image from: http://images.google.com/imgres? imgurl=http://www.sheriftariq.org/design/images/color/color_wheel)

General Color Information: I. Warm Colors: The red, orange and yellow families are called "warm" colors since they make us think of heat, fire or sunshine. As a result, they make us feel warm inside. Red is a powerful color known to increase our blood pressure and heart rate. It may produce feelings of closeness, energy, and passion. It also stimulates the appetite and is often used in restaurants. So, it may be a good color to think about using in dining areas. Orange warms a room but less so than red. It is more friendly and welcoming than a fiery color and works well in living rooms, family rooms, and may be a good choice for children’s bedrooms. Yellow grabs our attention and catches the eye like no other color. In poorly lit entryways and hallways, yellow shows the way. In their bedrooms, elderly people report that yellow lifts their mood. But bright yellow can be too strong and may actually cause anxiety in infants, young children and the elderly. II. Cool Colors: Blues, greens, and violets are considered cool colors because of their references to country landscapes and ocean vistas. When we look at these colors, they bring out feelings of peace, tranquility and relaxation. Blue is known to be soothing and is an ideal bedroom color choice for adults and children. But that same blue that lulls us to sleep may also reduce our appetites, possibly because there are very few naturally blue foods. Green is the main color in nature. We are at home with green anywhere in the house. Light greens work well in baths and living rooms; mid-range greens may add a nice touch for kitchens and dining rooms. The calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools and work settings. Violet is often a favorite color for children, but many adults may dislike purples. Children's bedrooms and play areas may be good places to try with this color. 5. Sharing Dreams of Home: This activity offers the individual an opportunity to share their hopes and dreams for their home and what they would like to see it become. The objective is to increase the clarity of the directions for growth in the future.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Comfortable seating arrangements only None

Thoughts and Instructions: On a volunteer basis, ask the participant(s) to talk about what their hopes and dreams for the future concerning home is. Help each person to express themselves in as concrete manner as possible, i.e., ask for descriptions of the size, color, shape, number of rooms, personal space, and location. What would it feel like to live there; what would it smell like, sound like, etc.? After everyone has had a chance to share, talk about how hopes and dreams are helpful in giving us both direction and energy. R. It’s Time for a House Warming Party: What Does it Take? This activity involves planning a house warming party, a celebration of the recently completed home improvements made. On a step-by-step basis, it is meant to give participants an experience in group planning and problem solving connected with hosting a party for friends.

Image from:

http://flickr.com/photos/syldavia/6176661/ Minimal. Space for comfortable seating only.

Movement Level: Space Requirements:


Materials Needed:

Large flash cards with the words “Who”, “What”, “When” and “Where” prominently displayed; a large writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: The size of the planning group will depend on the total number of activity participants. It is advisable that planning groups would best be limited to no more than five individuals. If 5-10 people are involved with the activity, then the option of planning two parties at the same time is open. The person hosting the party serves as the group leader. If a group member has writing skills, you might ask that person to make notes on plans made by the group for the party. Otherwise, consider tape recording the meeting. Then start the planning session by asking the “Who” questions. In other words, who will be hosting the party? Who will be invited to attend? Who is willing to help the host/hostess to have a successful party? The “What” questions would be, what will the guests be served as drinks and appetizers or snack items? What food and drink items will be purchased versus what will be prepared? What decorations or party favors are needed? What games or shared activities will be chosen? What music will be chosen? What are the hours or limits to the party? The “When” questions include, when will the party be held? When will invitations go out? When will the purchases of needed items be made? When will future meetings and follow-up activities of the group be held? The “Where” questions the group needs to consider includes, where exactly will the party be held? Where will future planning meetings be held? After allowing the needed time for each group to answer these questions, ask the group to summarize their planning efforts so that any missing questions or actions might be added. S. Let’s Go Shopping In either completing plans and arrangements for a party, as suggested in the last activity, or in meeting the needs for groceries and daily living items, we all need to go shopping at the store eventually. This activity provides tips for shopping and the basic survival skills needed. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimum Comfortable seating arrangements and room for demonstration purposes Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad and markers

Thoughts and Instructions: Introduce the activity by identifying the need for shopping skills. Discuss with the individual or group the need for knowing how to act correctly and make the best of the experience. Brainstorm for suggestions and list all ideas on the paper or board. The tips and list of skills below may be used to supplement the information, as needed. Suggestions:


1. Plan ahead - know what you need to buy in advance and have a good idea about the cost so that you can be prepared for completing the purchase. 2. If it is an unordinary item or is expensive, you will want to ask around and compare prices to get the best deal for your money. Comparing prices and getting the best deal makes good sense for all your purchases. 3. On entering the store, greet the owner or attendant by looking at him or her and simply saying, “Hello.” It is the polite thing to do. 4. Be careful of how you handle things. If you break something, you may be asked to pay for it. 5. Prices are usually on the bottom of an object or on a tag or label. 6. If unsure, ask, “How much does this cost?” 7. In America, most prices are fixed. In other countries, people bargain for the price usually. 8. If you remove an item from its place, it is best to put it back the way you found it. 9. At most times, you will want to be quiet while in the store. 10. Say “thank you” as you leave the store if you do not purchase something. 11. Make sure you have a receipt for your purchase. T. Making Songs the Sounds of Home: Let’s Have a Howl! This is a creative music-making and sing-along activity, suggested for use in either indoor and/or outdoor settings, e.g., following an outdoor picnic in the park. It provides an opportunity for expression of feelings about home through the media of music and dance. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate A minimum of a square yard per person is suggested. Music makers – blocks, tambourines, kazoos, drums, triangles, whistles, etc.

Thoughts and Instructions: Introduce this activity by saying that songs about home are found among both animals and humans. Examples from nature might be those barking sounds that prairie dogs make to warn others when a potential home intruder comes near or the tail-splashing sounds that beavers make to warn others of possible enemies. Ancient legend has it that coyotes are said to be calling out for their home at night with their piercing howls. Among humans, songs about home are too numerous to count. Ask at this time if any members of the group would like to share a song they know about home. If no volunteering results, the leader may wish to start the music makers in keeping a simple beat while leading the group in the words to any well-known song about home, e.g.,


“Home on the Range,” “Country Roads, Take Me Home,” etc. Following this warm-up, ask any member of the group if they would like to compose a chant about home. If no volunteering results, the leader might suggest the simple chant: “Home’s just great, Home’s just good, Sits smack dab in My neighborhood! Yeah, Home!” After repeating the refrain several times, invite the music makers to keep a beat to the chant. Any simple repetitive refrain or rhyme might be used and only the imagination might limit the possibilities. Above all, have fun with the activity. U. What About Pets? This is a decision-making activity. The question to be considered is whether or not one should have a pet at home? Both sides of the question are to be considered, both the advantages and disadvantages of pet ownership. The objective is to increase the awareness of both the benefits and duties or responsibilities involved. If there are other members in the household of the individuals involved, they may be invited to also join in this activity. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only allowance for comfortable seating. A large writing board or pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Divide the paper into two columns labeled, Good Things and Bad Things, as a brief summary of the questions, “What are the good things about having a pet?” and “What are the bad things about having a pet?” After encouraging full participation, list all ideas presented. If the group members lack experiences with pets, persons with experience in pet ownership outside of the group might be asked to contribute. At the conclusion, summarize both columns and then ask about the needs for more information. The information provided below should also be provided in a brief, summary form (main elements are underlined). Then suggest that each person look at their own circumstances and visit more with friends and family for guidance in answering any remaining questions. (Note: Additional resource information on the proper care of pets and their health needs are located near the end of Chapter 10, along with information concerning how to find lost pets.) The following information was summarized from the website http://www.holistic-online.com/stress/stress_pet-therapy.htm


Research has shown that heart attack victims who have pets live longer. Even watching a tank full of tropical fish may lower blood pressure, at least temporarily. A study of 92 patients hospitalized in coronary care units for angina or heart attack found that those who owned pets were more likely to be alive a year later than those who did not. The study found that only 6 percent of patients who owned pets died within one year compared with 28 percent of those who did not own pets. Unlike people, with whom our interactions may be quite complex and unpredictable, animals provide a constant source of comfort and focus for attention. Animals bring out our nurturing instinct. They also make us feel safe and unconditionally accepted. We can just be ourselves around our pets. Research has shown that pet ownership can: • • Reduce stress-induced symptoms In a study people undergoing oral surgery spent a few minutes watching tropical fish in an aquarium. The relaxation level was measured by their blood pressure, muscle tension, and behavior. It was found that the subjects who watched the fish was much more relaxed than those who did not watch the fish prior to the surgery. People who watched the fish was as calm as another group that had been hypnotized before the surgery. Other researchers have found that: Petting a dog has been shown to lower blood pressure. Bringing a pet into a nursing home or hospital can boost peoples' moods and enhance their social interaction A study at UCLA found that dog owners required much less medical care for stress-induced aches and pains than non-dog owners. The only thing which matters is that the animal is of interest to you. However, it is important that the pet you have selected fit your temperament, living space and lifestyle. Otherwise it will be additional source of stress. So, look over the pet and see whether it fits well with your needs and space before you decide to adopt one.

• • • •


Sharing Animal and Pet Stories Pets are enjoyable in so many ways. This group activity provides an opportunity for participants to share their favorite animal and pet stories with others. The purpose is simply one of mutual entertainment and enjoyment by sharing amusing stories. This


activity also helps to break down barriers and it may also be used as an activity to strengthen relationships. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Room for comfortable seating only. Refer to photographs below. Other amusing photos of pets might be included from both the activity leader and participants.

Thought and Instructions: Each of the photos shown below tells a story about a pet and provides a good introduction to this activity. Share the first three photos below as examples of visual pet stories that show how they may overdo things at times. Note how people often overdo things at times, and pets are no exception. The fourth photo tells a story of unlikely affection and companionship provided by animals. The fifth photo is a good example of pet peculiarities, and cats fondness for enclosed, den-like spaces, while the last photo might be used to illustrate both daring and boldness (on the part of the cat) and restraint and discipline (on the part of the dogs). After the show-and-tell introduction, allow each person to tell their own pet or animal story of those involving their friends or family.




Chapter 3 Community-Making Activities
Introduction: It is clear from the work of those that study and research these questions that persons who are idle or who only report housework as an activity are much less satisfied with their life when compared with those who are active, whether in paid employment, schooling, and/or volunteer work (see http://www.nationalrehab.org/website/pubs/vol66no3.html). The question then becomes, how does one go about becoming active and involved with the community? This chapter offers an exploration of that question. A. Basic Square Dancing

Square dancing is not only a way to have fun, but an excellent means of teaching how our movements affect others in trying to accomplish a basic task or recreational goal. It also helps establish a sense of community, of partnering with another individual for a common purpose, of belonging to a group, of sharing common interests and goals. As in the words of the song, “Life’s a dance, you learn as you go,” one shouldn’t worry about immediate mastery, as it may take some time. The activity is divided into basic and more advanced sections. It’s worth a try and is one way to start sharing more in community life. Presented below are the basic steps in learning to Square Dance. Movement Level: Required Space: Moderate to High Room for eight people to move freely within a circle or square; clear floor space is needed, approximately 36 square fee, which will allow couples to move within a six-foot frame.

A means of overseeing music selections such as a cassette player or disc player for the music to which the dance will be taught, a selection of simple songs without words with a strong music beat (preferably 100-120 beats per minute), and a set of square dance calls which fit the music. Note: a simple set of calls is furnished at the end of this activity. Instructions: For the purpose of this exercise, only the basic moves of the square dance are taught; however, the purpose behind the teaching can be achieved through the learning of these basic moves, which will be limited to the following: Forward and Back, Circle Left and Right, Dosado, Arm Turns, Right and Left Stars, Star Promenade, Allemande Left,

Materials Needed:


Right and Left Grand, and Promenade with Partner. These ten moves are divided into two sessions herein, but the teacher may wish to extend to three sessions. The teacher should demonstrate each “call” prior to the students practicing the call and should stay with each movement until it has been understood and accomplished by the students. It is also suggested that after learning each movement, the teacher will play music and practice the movement taught, adding all learned movements to the dance that have been learned at that point. 1st Session: The teacher will begin by explaining that the students will move to instructions given by the teacher. This can be done to music so they get the feel of moving to music with instructions. Students are paired with a member of the opposite sex and four couples are taught to stand in a square facing the couple across the square. The person next to whom they are standing is their “partner” for the dance. If necessary, an explanation of “partner” might be needed. This is their “home” spot for the dance, and will return “home” when instructed by the teacher. A drawing on a large pad in front of the room can show a square box and the placement of each couple at each side of the square. Circle Right and Left: The instructions are to join hands and make a circle. Keeping hands joined, move to the left completely around the circle until each person gets back home. Then, again holding hands, move to the right completely around the circle until getting back home. If this is easily accomplished, add circle left and/or right in single file until you get back home. This involves turning the body in the direction indicated, and just walking around the circle, back to home. Once the students get this movement accomplished, music is added, and the instructions are given several times to assure the students understand the instructions and find their way back to their “home.” They will also begin to get the feeling of moving to music with instructions of which way to go. Forward and Back: With the teacher standing at the front of the room, the persons in the square must first learn that there are always four couples in the square, and that they each have a name. The couples with their backs to the teacher and the ones facing the teacher are called “Heads;” the couples facing each other on the sides of the square are called “Sides.” When the teacher is certain the couples know what their names are, and understand that the teacher will be referring to those names during the lesson, practice can begin with the teacher telling the Head couples to move forward toward each other to the center, touch hands, and then back up to their home spot. Then the Sides are told to move forward toward each other to the center, touch hands, and back up to home. Learning this basic movement can give them the idea of where their “home” spot is and they will return to this home spot after each instruction. (An added instruction can be for Head ladies to move forward and back, Side ladies forward and back. Then instruct Head and Side males to do the same.) Once the students feel comfortable with this move, the first two lessons can be put to music for a review of both.


Dosado (Learning “corners”): The person to the female’s right is her “corner” and the person to the male’s left is his “corner.” A review of the drawing of the square on a large easel pad will show each that that person helps form the corner of the box where they are standing. A Dosado is facing your corner and stepping around that person by passing right shoulders, then moving back to back, passing left shoulders, and moving backward toward home. A person can also Dosado his partner. Face your partner and move around your partner with right shoulders, back to back, pass left shoulders, and back into your place at home. Time for practice to music!! Arm Turns: Face your “corner.” Both persons stick out their left hands and place their hands on the other’s arm about midway between hand and elbow. Step forward and walk around a full circle and come back home. (This is called an Allemande Left, but for the moment, we’re just doing Arm Turns.) Now try it with the right arms, walking around in a full circle and returning home. Practice this for a few times after demonstration by the teacher. Once the turns have been accomplished, explain that turning the corner by the left arm is called an Allemande Left and is one of the main calls in square dancing. After practice, try with music again. The teacher might wish to end the first session at this point after practicing everything learned to music. If the students have tired prior to this point, the session can end earlier. It is important the students are enjoying the movements and that they understand the basic moves to this point. 2nd Session: Prior to beginning the second session instructions, a review of the movements learned in the first session is necessary. The teacher should have the students “dance” to music at the beginning, taking time to stop the music and review the formations if needed. Right and Left Stars: All males step forward and raise their right arms, touching hands in the center of the square and walk a full turn to the right – or left – until they return home. The females then practice the same movements. Star Promenade: Instead of stopping at home when a full turn has been made by either sex doing right or left stars, the persons turning in the middle of the square sticks out his free arm to encircle the waist of the partner and “picks up” his partner as he approaches home and completes another full circle before returning home. This can be done with either sex in either direction. Right and Left Grand: Usually, the beginning of the call is an “Allemande Left.” When the person is returning to his partner at home, instead of stopping, the female puts out her right hand to her partner. Her partner pulls the female past him, dropping her hand as she passes. She then sticks out her left hand to the next male who is walking toward her, and


he pulls her by with his left hand. The men are moving counter-clockwise while the females are moving clockwise, passing each other with every other hand until all partners have moved around the entire circle and has arrived back at home. At this point, the final movement to be learned is taught. Promenade with Partner: When arriving home from a Right and Left Grand, the partners will be facing each other. At this point, the two join both hands, the female turns around in the same direction as her partner, and they walk together around the circle with hands held crossed in front until they get back home, Thoughts and Instructions to the teacher: The accomplishment of learning the above movements and “calls” can be extremely gratifying to the students. After the sessions, talk to the students about how it feels to work with the group. Ask them how it feels to know that others depend on them to do their part of the dance. Ask them how it feels to be part of the group trying to accomplish a common goal. Square Dance Basic calls, learned above, to music: Circle left; circle right back home; all eight move to the center with a yell, and back out again. Dosado your corner; come back and dosado your partner. Do an Allemande left, and a right and left grand. Men move to the center to form a left-hand star, pass your partner once, and on the second time around, pick up your partner and promenade home. Heads move to the center and back right out. Sides move to the center and back right out. Turn your corner by the left, turn your partner by the right. Bow to your partner, then turn and bow to your corner. (The calls can be put together in any manner to fit the music; the greatest benefit is movement and enjoyment of moving to the music.)



Filling in Blanks

This activity provides some early work exploration activities and may also serve as a first step in forming a regular work exploration group. It seeks to identify the passions, special interests, and special people which may serve as starting points in looking at both jobs, business development and volunteer opportunities in the community. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating space only. Blackboard, whiteboard or large writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Inform the individual or group that the next three activities will explore and seek to find answers to fill in any blank spots they may have about how to go about planning for the future and the paths and directions. 1.Note how being guided by the passions in our life is one way of helping us to make decisions. One also needs to look at the real and the possible, but those questions will come later. We will begin with looking closely at what are our interests, hobbies, or types of work that we each love most to do. Ask, “If I asked you to fill in the blank in the following sentences, what would you say?” (Note: Record each person’s answers to these questions.) • • • I love it when I am doing _________ (what?); I can easily lose track of time whenever I am ________ (doing what?) If I was told that I only had only a few more years to live, I would want to spend my time doing ________ (what?)

2. Note that there may be some truth in the old joke about work, i.e., “Work is fascinating; I could watch it all day.” In fact, certain jobs and certain people are more interesting for us than others. Then ask the participants to fill in the blanks for each of the following questions. (Note: Also record each person’s answers to these questions). • The kind of work that I most love to watch most is _____ (what?) • I also find it fascinating to watch ______ (what?) • I could watch all day whenever I see _____ (who?) doing ___ (what?) • When it comes to television, the type of program I enjoy most is ____? Then ask and explore these questions: “What do these choices tell you about the work you should know more about?” “What is the first thing you might do?”



Shadowing a Leader

This activity builds on the previous activity and offers a means of testing and exploring some earlier thoughts and beliefs. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Community-based locations required No materials are required, but planning, transportation and logistical arrangements will need to be completed in advance. Tape recorder, if preferred.

Thoughts and Instructions: Based upon the possibilities revealed in the previous activity, a group leader or key support person for each participant in the previous activity will assist as needed in arranging for an hour shadowing experience. In other words, make arrangements and confirm in advance permission to make a short visit to a selected business or worksite. The purpose of this visit is to give the individual an opportunity to observe and learn, in as non-intrusive a way as possible, from some member of the community. Ask each person to keep their eyes and ears open and pick at least one thing about this person’s work and surroundings that they might wish to share with others on completion of the activity. If a tape recorder is used, you will need to gain permission for its use in advance from the manager of the selected site. D. Growing the Best: Let’s Get to Work (Adapted from: Judith Snow and John O’Brien, 1994, Four Things Worth Doing and How to Do It; Toronto, Ontario: Inclusion Press) This exercise involves a four-step process for building dreams and, in the process, growing a greater sense of community. Altogether, the steps include: 1. Having a dream and sharing it; 2. Finding the Community Environments Naturally Supportive of this Dream; 3. Finding the People that may be Naturally Supportive of this Dream; and 4. Identifying the Resources (materials, equipment and/or tools) critical to working on the dream? The steps will be addressed individually and this activity must be done on an individualized basis with two facilitators for each participants needed at times. The main role of the subject participant is to be as actively involved in guiding and directing the process as possible. Therefore, stressing self-determination in both goalsetting and working through these steps will serve to enhance what is meant to be an empowering experience. (Note: Prior to starting to work on the first step, inform the participant about the planned dream-sharing activity and inform them that they may invite anyone they wish to share in the planning process.)


1. Having a Dream and Sharing It: “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” Carl Sandburg. The goal for this step is to both make the dream as tangible, concrete and welldetailed as possible, and to have the guests listen closely to its unfolding. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Space for comfortable seating only. Whatever recording instruments preferred e.g. paper and pencil or pen, audio or both audio/visual recording.

Thoughts and Instructions: As a way of introducing this activity, review the introductory activity of wishing upon a star and have the participants recall their wish for the coming year. Talk about how dreams and wishes are alike and ask if their dream or wish for the coming year might grow to become a dream or wish they might have for their life as a whole? If not, how are they different? Assist as needed with helping to make the expressed life dream as concrete, specific and clear as possible. To help achieve this objective, the leader or facilitator will want to mirror or reflect back to the individual what was said along with how it was said, i.e., the emotional content of the message. This method will hopefully yield richer details of the meaning of the dream to the individual. During the process of sharing the dream, ask someone to act as a recorder of the session. When the sharing is completed, review the recorded dream with the participant to check on its accuracy. (Note: As an alternative introduction to this step, especially if the participant fails to verbalize a clear concrete statement or image of their dream, consider rescheduling the introductory star-gazing activity. End the activity by asking that they try to picture in their mind what they would love for the outcome of their life to be and make a wish for their life as a whole.) 2. Finding the Community Environments Naturally Supportive of this Dream. With the participant being focused upon taking the lead, this step involves everyone present in brainstorming to identify all possible places and environments in the community that might be supportive environments. In other words, this step attempts to answer the questions “Where are the places where this dream makes sense?” “Where are the places that could foster opportunities to work on that dream?” and “Is there anyone else in the community that shares a similar dream and where do they hang out?” Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal in planning. Comfortable seating only in a circle around the main participant.


Materials Needed:

Writing material, e.g. blackboard or pad with markers. Recording devices are optional.

Thoughts and Instructions: With the facilitator taking the lead in asking the open-ended questions noted above and keeping the discussion focused, another person may be charged with recording all possible answers. The subsequent follow-up and exploration of possibilities noted may call for the direct involvement, support and mentoring of either individuals, recreational centers, or clubs, and community organizations that may be willing and able to provide at least some needed support and encouragement. 3. Finding the People that may be Naturally Supportive of this Dream. This step may be completed in conjunction with step #2 as it primarily focuses on a thorough exploration and brainstorming by all participants present of all possibilities in the community. The question explored is, “Who are potentially supportive members of the community?” However, the full answer may only come to be realized following the active community exploration process following step #4. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating only in a circle around the main participant. Writing material, e.g., blackboard or pad with markers. Again, recording devices are optional.

Thoughts and Instructions: This steps tries to find answers to both the question of “Who needs to understand this dream to help make it a reality?” and “Who are the individuals that could block the process if they don’t understand the dream?” Once again, a full and complete listing of all suggestions should be recorded and available to consider during Step #4. 4. What are the resources (materials, equipment and/or tools) critical to working on the dream? This is the step to spell out the specific needs and means of attainment to put the dream into an action plan. A narrowing of will be needed to identify just a few people and places to begin. A decision needs to be reached on the order of importance, i.e. what should happen first, second, third, etc. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal for planning. Moderate to high for completion. Comfortable seating only in a circle around the main participant.


Materials Needed:

Writing material, e.g., blackboard or pad with markers. The means of transportation, public or otherwise, will be needed to be arranged or planned for purposes of thorough community follow-up. Supportive materials, equipment and/or needed tools will depend entirely on the needs of the individual involved.

Thoughts and Instructions: A clear and complete action plan needs to be developed after all answers have been identified through Steps 2 - 4. The plan should note all the individuals to be further informed and enlisted in either fully supporting, or at least refraining from blocking, the plan. While the preceding support team planning sessions are important, the development of the action plan during this final step and its resourceful follow-up and systematic exploration in the community are crucial for a positive outcome. Experience suggests that multiple attempts may be needed to enlist support and involvement with the plan, and its full realization may indeed involve a gradual development process that is only slowly realized. The scheduling of the follow-up session should allow for sufficient time to arrange for all the needed contacts. At the follow-up session, adjustments and revisions of the plan may be required. In the process of implementation, the original dream may need to be revisited to assure that it is compatible with the realities being confronted. (Note: for easy reference to the overall process, see the outline below). THE FOUR STEPS:


Where Can the Dream be worked on? Who needs to know?

What do I need to make it happen?


E. Making a Dream Sign This exercise serves the purpose of creating a permanent reminder of the dream explored in the previous activity, as well as a conversational piece to aid in focusing the individual and facilitating the process of sharing the dream with others. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate About a square yard of table space needed for Construction Safety goggles, dust mask whenever breaking up ceramic materials to prevent breathing of the dust, work gloves for handling and applying the grout, white craft glue, tile nippers, a pre-cut wooden board of one’s choosing, a knife for scoring the board, grout, an old toothbrush, cleaning cloth, soft leaded pencil or marker, ceramic tiles or ceramic objects, two mounting screws, and bag tie.

Thoughts and Instructions: For safety reasons, do not allow food or drink to be in the work area. Pre-cut ceramic tiles may be used to ensure greater safety, but at the cost of project uniqueness. Closely follow each of these steps: Step One: If it is decided not to use pre-cut ceramic tiles for the project, another option or larger-sized projects is to wrap a ceramic dish or object in heavy cloth and hit it with a hammer. A simpler alternative is to use tile nippers, a type of cutting pliers, to custom make individual pieces. They are very easy to use; simply place the edge of the ceramic object into the jaws of the nippers and squeeze. It will take repeated practice to get the line of the cut to go where you want most of the time, so practice at first with discarded pieces. Use a solid or plywood board as a base. Score the entire surface of the board every one-half inch or so with crisscross lines with a knife to make a better holding surface for the tiles. Next, prime the entire surface area of the board with a weak solution of white craft glue (diluted about one part of glue to four or five parts of water to keep the grout from drying too quickly). In the center of the board, with a soft leaded pencil, sketch an outline of the object or symbol of the dream. (Note: The simpler the shape and design of the object, the easier it is to create in mosaic.) Step two: With the tile nippers, cut pieces of ceramic to the different sizes and shapes needed. Here is where the choice of different colored pieces or design shapes will count. Then use white craft glue or other tile adhesive to stick them on the board. If very small pieces are being used, you may want to use a pair of tweezers for dipping them into the glue and getting them properly placed. Consider the use of a border around the edges of the


board to set off the design. (Note: The flatter the piece of ceramic, the stronger the bonding will be to the board.) Step three: After allowing time for the glue to completely dry, use a white cement-based grout, though many hardware stores will carry grout in a variety of colors. It is a caustic substance, so you need to wear gloves. Mix the powder with water to a creamy consistency, then spread it on, making sure that it completely fills all gaps by firmly pressing down with your fingers. With this step, you need to work as quickly as possible. Step four: As the grout dries on the surface of the pieces, brush it off with an old toothbrush. Take care not to dislodge grout from between the assembled pieces. A piece of fine sandpaper may be used as a substitute. Allow the grout to harden overnight in a cool area so that it may dry slowly. Go over it with a soft cloth to remove the remaining haze and dust of grout. You may wish to further protect the surface by adding a clear polyurethane coating. Finally, attach the mounting screws, connect them with the bag tie and display prominently. (As a resource for supplementary information See http://www.thejoyofshards.co.uk/index.shtml)

(Image from: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/?display=76889&



How Do You Make Things Happen?

This activity is designed to serve as a supplement to step #4 above and teaches selfreliance in managing the tasks and schedules of daily life while pursuing one’s dream. It organizes the final plan of step #4 on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to better insure that the hoped for outcome from the previous activity will, in fact, become a reality. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal to moderate. This activity requires only comfortable seating and about four square feet of table top workspace. Daily, weekly and monthly calendars or organizers, a set of 3X5 cards, a set of Velcro binders, markers, scissors and glue.

Thoughts and Instructions: Five steps are needed: The first step is to review carefully the plan for the individual identified from the previous activity. For the sake of illustration, assume that the individual’s dream is to work with animals. As a result of Exercise B, a plan was made with a local veterinarian for volunteer work three days per week as a way of learning basic animal care and feeding skills. The second step is to chart the work days on a calendar. For non-readers, small stickers or small images may note the workdays glued on a home calendar. For the third step, assume that a job description, listing of tasks or recording was made of the responsibilities involved, this step then looks at sequencing and organizing the one-step tasks on a daily organizer, and then breaking down tasks involving multiple steps in a concrete, visual way to teach the sequences involved in completing the task. When compiling this material, ask: • • • • “What exactly needs to be done? “When does it need to be done? “How will one know when the task is finished? “What happens next?”

The fourth step is to then record all the information on 3X5 cards, and depending on the ability level of the individual, code the cards in either written or pictorial formats. They may subsequently be attached by Velcro fasteners to sequential objects in the workplace to aid task learning efforts. Finally, match the task-description cards and task sequences to the daily and weekly schedules. The individual is encouraged to plan on some enjoyable way of rewarding himself or herself, especially at first, for a job well done. (Note: For additional resources to complete these steps, refer to the daily, weekly organizers and monthly blank calendar available free online at www.do2learn.org or cut and past suitable images from ClipArt or the internet, for a wealth of examples to choose from, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain_image_resources)


G. How About Inspiration? A Job Coach Lesson The following story may serve both as a respite from the detailed work involved with the last activity, as well as possibly serving as an inspiration for further personal development and growth. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. This activity requires only comfortable seating. Refer to the story below.

Thoughts and Instructions: The following story of George serves as a notable example of the range of possibilities that may develop from undertakings such as the one noted in the previous activity. It will only require about five minutes of time to simply be read aloud by the group facilitator or, if possible, by one of the participants present. Provide an opportunity after its completion to allow those present to discuss their thoughts and feelings about what happened to George. It is a true story taken from the website of the TriDevelopment Center of Aiken County, South Carolina (see http://www.aikentdc.org/resources/jobcoach.htm). (It was reported to have first been told by Lynne Elwell, a disability rights advocate from England, to Elizabeth Barnes, a friend of the Director, Ralph Courtney, and former Tri-Development Center staff member.) Lynne promotes by asking individuals with disabilities what they want to do instead of placing them in jobs determined appropriate by others. On one occasion she asked a gentleman named George what he would like to be. He had been influenced by the television show "Upstairs, Downstairs," seen in the United States on the Public Broadcasting System. George stated that he wanted to be a butler. All involved were taken aback, but were determined to follow through on assisting him in achieving his goal. They sent out many letters stating that they had a gentleman who wished to be a butler and asked if there were any openings or where they might find training. There were very few responses. All were negative. When everyone was about to give up, they received a call from Buckingham Palace (yep, the Queen of England’s residence). While they did not have an opening for butler, which was described as a highly skilled job, there was an opening for a footman. The caller stated that an application from George would be welcomed. An application was made and an interview was granted. George did a great job of interviewing the interviewers. When asked if he would like to be a footman, his reply was "No, I want to be a butler." After considerable discussion, George finally agreed to give the footman role a try. There were several stipulations. He would have to live at the palace, and he would


receive on-the-job training and lots of supervision. There was to be NO MEDIA COVERAGE!! An agreement was made. George is currently a footman at the palace. This is a true story of a gentleman with mental retardation who is working toward his dream. H. Imagining You’re There It may be a long and difficult road from the first-step experience of dreaming of what you would love to do, and how you would love for your life to grow and what you would want it to become, to the end step of actually making it happen. This visualization activity is offered as another source of encouragement and support on the road to making one’s dream happen. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only comfortable seating space needed, or space to recline comfortably, if preferred. None

Thoughts and Instructions: A facilitator or guide is required, at least the first time the exercise is taught. Before beginning, ask each participant to take notice of exactly how they are feeling at that moment and how much joy and happiness is present at the moment. After allowing time for each person to complete this step, ask each participant to take several deep breaths and slowly release the breath each time. Ask that with each breath taken, the person allows for more and more relaxation. Tell them to simply relax and let go of all tightness and tension they may be feeling. They are free to close their eyes, if they would like. Then tell the participant(s) that you are asking them to pretend for a few moments that the dream for their life has now fully happened. The last piece in the puzzle of how to make their life turn out as they dreamed it has finally fallen smoothly into place and the dream of their life is now a reality, i.e. it all happened just as they wished. Tell them they are to now take all the time they want to enjoy the feelings. To do this fully, ask the participant to take the time to imagine what the first day of triumph would be like from morning to night. While imagining a day of dream success, ask them to notice how things around them look, what sounds are present, what smells are there, and how they feel all over as they enjoy a full day of dream arrival and a final hard-won victory. Allow sufficient time for each person to have a full experience. As a minimum, allow ten to fifteen minutes to complete the activity, but tell them they may open their eyes and return to the present whenever they wish. At the conclusion of the period, ask each participant to notice how they feel at the moment and their level of personal happiness and joy. After noting the likely positive effects, ask those willing to share what the experience was like and what the best memory of the event


was. Then tell them that whenever they feel discouraged and at risk of losing hope, to simply repeat the exercise as often as they might need. I. Paths in the Community: Counting on the Places and Supports You Need

This activity involves developing a personalized resource directory for the individual to insure better success in community living. There are certain places in the community that one will need to find when needed You will also need to have answers to questions about who would help you, if you needed a helper. For example, if you needed to mail a package, card or letter, would you know where to go? If you were sick and needed to see a doctor, would you know how to get there? Who would be there to ask for support or assistance? The objective of this activity is to first identify the important places and people you need to know how to reach in the community, and then make a plan for doing so. The outcome of the activity is a portable resource manual. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating only required. A three-ring binder and several color-coded divider tabs; a large writing pad and markers or a blackboard or whiteboard with markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a planning activity, and a facilitator or activity leader is needed to provide guidance. First make a list of all the possible needs that might arise by asking “what if” questions. For example, what if you needed to mail a package? What if you were injured or had a health care emergency? While emergency actions were noted in the safety plan developed in the last chapter, this activity should also consider nonemergency but important daily living needs, such as shopping for food or clothing or paying bills. Hopefully, a number of these places and people are easily reached and are within walking distance. Regardless, a plan for meeting all daily contingency needs is necessary and should be documented on a simple step-by-step basis. For abler individuals, some of these tasks may simply be reviewed with the individual to assure that they know what to do, where to go and how to get there. Also, the tasks may be reviewed or taught by means of map-reading skills with a community map obtained from the front of the local phone book, through a chamber of commerce office or online at www.mapquest.com, or through such sites as: www.lib.utexas.edu.Libs/PCL/MapCollection. The locations of important places and important resource people could then be identified, color-coded and numbered on separate maps, depending on the need identified.


For persons who might require visual cues, photographs of the locations and steps in the location process will need to be photographed, sequenced and compiled in the three-ring binder. The divider tabs need to be color-coded and sequenced by numbers to ease the location process. For example, a red divider could be used to file fire procedures, a blue tab used for procedures related to needed medical care, etc. Resources needed should also be included. For example, if a taxi may be needed, then emergency money should be placed in an envelope in the book. The vital resource manual should then be permanently located in an agreed upon place in the home. More than one copy will be needed in the event of loss or damage to the original copy or in the event of disasters or unforeseen inability to access the permanent location. This resource should be regularly reviewed and updated to assure that it is current, valid, and complete. J. Does the Plan Work? Or, Are Changes Needed? This is an individualized activity with the objective of providing a trial rehearsal for all the scenarios identified in the previous activity. Depending on the needs and strengths of the individual, it could take a number of schedule trips spread out over several days to complete. An activity guide or facilitating adult will be needed to check the accuracy of the information in the resource guide. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate to high levels of movement To assure that the re-enactments and learning is valid, the home and community environment must be used. The three-ring binder from the previous activity, a notebook and pen to note needed corrections.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: Prepare a summary checklist ahead of time that lists all the needs previously identified and documented in the binder, as well as each action step noted for meeting the need. To the right of each need and step, place a blank for the insertion of a performance rating on, (e.g., very good, okay, needs some improvement, not okay), and additional space for making comments and suggestions for improvement. After the actual trial of each item and procedure in the binder, meet with the individual involved to get their input as to what needs to be done to improve the resource manual. Revise the manual according to the input received and the evaluation checklist completed. Then test the changes by another plan rehearsal. Once finalized, it is also recommended that the manual be shortened by use of the sequencing and color-coding to a pocket-sized edition with the vital contact numbers entered into a cell phone with a speed dialing option, so only a onedigit number would need to be pressed to put the individual into immediate contact with the needed resource.



The ATM Machine: Learning How to Operate The ATM machine is an integral part of our world today. If the goal is to enable the individual to live independently, learning how the machine works and how it relates to budgets and money matters is of utmost importance.

Movement Level: Required Space: Materials Needed:

Low Depending on the number of participants, a classroom setting or area large enough for comfort. A large photo image or likeness of an ATM machine to be displayed at the front of the assembly; cardboard, scissors, and pens to create a bank card for each participant.

Instructions: Depending on the aptitude of the individual, the instructor may need to begin with explanation of having a bank account in one’s own name. An explanation of putting one’s money in the bank for safe keeping may be necessary, along with an explanation of how to access that money when needed. A small session on writing a check may preface learning about the ATM machine. A field trip to a bank to familiarize the individuals with the physical aspect of the bank will likely be beneficial. The person should learn that a “teller” is the person in the bank who will help them with their account, telling them how much money they have, helping them with their money. At the same time, the individual and instructor should visit the ATM machine outside the bank for the purpose of learning how it operates.


In the classroom, a picture of an ATM machine is posted at the front, with references to their field visit. The person has by now learned that in order to obtain money from the machine, the bank will present them with their very own card. At this time, cardboard cards are distributed. Ask the learner to print their names on the cards, create a series of numbers for the cards, and learn about the “expiration date”. They are told these are similar to what the bank will give them to use at the ATM machine. One additional item is needed before going further: a PIN number. Ask each person to make up four numbers they wish to be known as their Personal Identification Number (PIN). They might wish to write it down somewhere and keep it safe, as this will always be what they need at the machine. It is important that they must tell no one about this number; but if they lose their number, they can tell the bank teller, who will help them get a new number. Have each person write their four-letter number on a piece of paper and safely put it away. Focus on the picture or model of the ATM machine. Explain how the machine will print instructions in the window, similar to a TV screen. The machine will ask that they insert their card in a card-shaped slot on the machine, and then enter their PIN number, hitting ENTER after doing so. The screen will then ask them if they wish to “Deposit” or “Withdraw” money. An explanation of Deposit and Withdraw may be necessary at this point. Once they have indicated they wish to “withdraw” some money, the screen will ask how much they wish. Provide an explanation of how most machines will only give money in increments of $10 or $20 – no change or coins. Demonstrate how to enter the amount of money desired or press an arrow beside the desired amount. Then point out where the money will come out, and where a piece of paper showing the transaction, and their card will return. (Make note of how two different procedures may be required for making a withdrawal: some machines require you to either touch the screen or an arrow button to the side of the amount of the withdrawal, while others have a keyboard displaying all numbers from zero to ten available for entering the number of digits for withdrawals. If desiring smaller amounts of money, you will usually enter only two numbers before the decimal point followed by two zeroes after the decimal point. Once again, ENTER will be pressed after the correct amount of the withdrawal flashes on the screen. For making deposits, deposit envelopes are needed, but these may be completed with any needed assistance prior to using the machine. Some explanation may be needed for noting in advance how much money is available to them for withdrawal at the ATM machine. Some may wish to use the machine only when the bank is closed on weekends, holidays or after certain hours, while others may prefer to use the machine at all times for the sake of convenience. Make a second field trip to the bank’s ATM machine. The instructor will want to allow each person the opportunity to practice withdrawing and depositing money in an account which has been set up for this purpose. Permission should be obtained from the bank prior to arrange for any needed special assistance.


Thoughts and Instructions: As a follow-up to learning in this session, discuss the use of ATM machines in general – why they are seen in grocery stores, retail stores, malls, etc. An explanation may be necessary that each bank has its own ATM machines, and that the person will need to identify in advance which machines serve their bank. To assess the learning from this activity, ask the individual to explain to you how they will go about withdrawing and depositing money when no one else is there. Then ask them to explain the results of their action of withdrawing or depositing money will be. Based upon the answers, repeat instructions as needed (Note: See the Supplemental Resources for further money management skills) L. Making a Community Poster-Collage or Mosaic: Saving Favorites ---

This activity explores two leisure time projects based on community explorations and outings. The purpose is to collect and preserve good memories and savor favorite places. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate A poster-sized space on a work table.

Framed poster or bulletin board; assorted objects and memorabilia collected while on community outings; a small bowl, craft glue, and cotton swabs; a pad of tracing paper, variety of pastels, crayons or charcoal sticks; a camera is optional. These activities provide two alternatives for preserving a

Thoughts and Instructions: season of memories:

1. Over a number of community outings, take along a pad of tracing paper and a small assorted variety of stick pastels, crayons or charcoal. Place a collected leaf from a favorite place, ribbed side up, on a flat surface and gently rub on the top of the paper until the leaf print shows through. (Note: You may also wish to save photos, ticket stubs or other memorabilia from the outing, as well.) During autumn, after completing several rubbings, make a second collection of dry, fallen leaves. Crumble up the dry leaves and place them in bowls. Then mount the chosen rubbings on a framed poster or bulletin board, along with any photos or memorabilia from favorite places. Fix the rubbings, photos and memorabilia onto the poster in any order or arrangement desired with the craft glue. Then use a small brush or cotton swab to spread glue in the margins and along the borders. Sprinkle small amounts of the dried leaves on top of the glue and, after allowing for drying, shake the excess leaves off.


The above image is from http://www.ualr.edu/axolszewski/images/wallpaper- frostyautumn-leaves.jpg

2. More substantial souvenirs, tokens, photos, brochures and memorabilia may also be collected from outings to favorite places. You may also wish to collect small glass or ceramic objects from the outings, as well as pebbles or interesting small, flat rocks, if available and of interest. After a number of items have been collected, arrange the collection on a framed poster and fix them to the surface with craft glue. You may wish to add a border of dried leaves or sequins as noted in the first option. As an alternative, you may repeat the steps in making a mosaic described earlier and permanently mount the chosen hard flat objects to a board and spread grout in the spaces between the objects. (Note: refer to earlier exercise, entitled “Dream Sign” for details).



Polishing Your Social Skills This activity presents a review of the basic social skills needed for doing well in making and keeping community relationships. Not “fitting in” or not “getting along” with coworkers and customers is typically the top-ranked reason given by employers for letting an employee go. Therefore, social skills are important. They involve basic social norms or rules and expected behaviors for smooth relations with others. These expectations will vary from culture to culture and should be adapted accordingly. (Note: These are directed activities and will require a leader or guide with good basic social skills). Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate for model, minimal for observers. About nine square yards will be needed for demonstration and role-play purposes. Observing participants will need only space for comfortable seating. You may wish to videotape the demonstrations for future reference and as a practice aid for the participants. Also, props will be needed to make the enactment setting as true-to-life as possible.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: There are three phases in this review, and each are addressed in separate activities: 1. Information sharing and modeling demonstration; 2. Demonstration of the skill by the participant with needed correction; and 3. Extended practice and application in natural settings for needed skills improvement. Before reviewing and discussing each of the nine skills listed below, ask each participant to pick out which of the skills he/she sees that they may need to practice and work on more later. It is recommended that this skill review and demonstration activity be divided into smaller review units, perhaps spread out over two or three sessions of about thirty minutes each. It is also recommended that these skills be taught in as natural of an environment as possible. For this reason, use props or accessories that help make the surroundings as close as possible to the actual environment where the skills will be used. If possible, the second phase of skill demonstration by the participant and the third phase of extended practice would hopefully be arranged to be conducted in the actual environment where it will be used.



1. Getting in the Door: Ask participants about the doors they often enter and those where they might enter at the same time as others. Talk about what makes for courteous behavior and the need to apply it. For example, note the unspoken positive messages received by others by showing courteous behavior. Then review each of the steps below as general steps to follow: To be courteous, hold the door open for the next person. When opening a door, it is courteous to allow women and children to go first if they are entering with you. It is also a way to show respect to whoever may be entering with you. While holding the door and standing back, say: “Please go ahead” or “After you.” If the person thanks you, simply reply, “You’re welcome.” After reviewing each step and briefly discussing any individual needs or possible exceptions, ask for a volunteer to assist you with demonstrating the skill to others present by entering and exiting the door to the room. Several repetitions of the skill are best. 2. Introducing Yourself: First, talk with the participants about the situations they have been in when they have met someone for the first time and what it was like for them. Note how the situation and occasion may call for some small changes to the steps below, for example, depending whether or not your hands may be soiled. Then review each of the steps listed below and the order in which they are done: a. Decide if the time is right. Do you want to interrupt someone who looks busy, or do you want to wait until they pause and look at you directly? Discuss things you may wish to consider before deciding. b. Face and look directly at the person. c. Ask permission; for example, “Mr. Moreno, may I introduce myself?” d. State both your name and the reason for the introduction. For example, “I am John Jones and I plan to be doing volunteer work here this summer.” e. Shake the person’s hand. Firm handshakes are generally viewed more positively. In fact, handshakes are commonly viewed as a reflection on your character or personality; for example, clammy hands are usually interpreted negatively as indicating nervousness. f. Say, “It’s nice to meet you.” After listing and briefly discussing each step, talk about whether you may wish to wait in extending your hand if the other person’s hands are full. Then demonstrate the skill by introducing yourself several times to participants.


3. Introducing Others: Discuss situations where you need to introduce someone new to others, and situations in the future where you may need to do this. Then review each of the steps below and the order in which they are done: a. Decide who is the most important to you and introduce that person first. For example, family and close friends would be introduced to your new friend, co-worker or acquaintance. b. Stand about an arm’s length between each of the two people you are introducing. c. Smile and use a pleasant voice. (It says you enjoy what you are doing.) d. If possible, use both first and last names. e. Say, “Mrs. Jackson, I would like to introduce you to my brother, Jeff Nelson.” f. Only do the introduction one way; for example, you would not want to say “Mrs. Jackson, this is my brother, Jeff Nelson. Bro, this is Mrs. Jackson.” g. You may wish to give a reason or add a personal compliment with the introduction. For example, “Mrs. Jackson has been so helpful to me and I wanted you to meet her. After reviewing each step and briefly discussing any possible exceptions to the rules for certain situations, ask for a volunteer to assist you with demonstrating the skill to others present. Several repetitions of the skill are best. 4. Conversational Skills: In introducing this activity, note how listening well and speaking clearly are the roots of good conversational skills. Make note that conversation may be considered an art and that many people would doubtlessly like to find ways of improving their skills. Then look at the skills of starting, keeping and ending the conversation and review. TO START: a. Look at the person(s) you want to talk with. b. Use the person’s name. c. Stand about an arm length away. d. Wait until a pause in the conversation to begin. e. Try to add new information with your remarks. TO KEEP IT GOING: a. Keep your eyes on the person(s) present and notice their gestures and facial expressions. b. You may change topics only when the person(s) is finished speaking on the subject. c. If you change the topic, generally you will want to keep it related to what was said earlier. d. During the conversation, both ask questions and add information about the topic. Come alive to the topic by use of gestures and expressed feelings.


ENDING THE CONVERSATION: a. Make sure everyone has had a chance to talk. b. Use a closing expression. For example, “I see that break time is over.” c. Leave on a positive note or thanks. For example, “It was good talking with you” or “Hope to see you soon” or “Thanks for sharing.” d. Use a final closing statement. “Ok, I’ll be seeing you.” After reviewing each step and the general flow of the conversation, briefly discuss possible exceptions which may need to be made in situations identified by participants. Then ask for two volunteers to assist you with demonstrating the skill to others present. Two or three repetitions of the process are recommended. Then ask the participants to practice these skills on their own before the next meeting. 5. Showing Appreciation: In introducing this skill, talk about the times when you needed to thank someone. Ask if there were times you wished you had shown more appreciation to others. Then review the steps below. a. Look at the person and use their name to address them. b. Use a pleasant and completely sincere tone of voice. In other words, be completely honest. c. Say, “Thank you for ….” and describe the deed for which you wish you express your gratitude. You may choose to share the full effect that the deed had on you. For example, “I really appreciated it, it made my day. d. Offer to help someone with something needed. For example, “I really owe you a favor” or “If there is ever anything I can do for you, please let me know.” Demonstrate the skill by expressing thanks and showing appreciation. Again, several repetitions of the skill will better insure learning. 6. Accepting Compliments: Introduce this skill by talking about memories of how it felt to give and be given a compliment. Note how it may be used to help keep a daily environment friendly. Also, mention how some people may not accept compliments easily. Then note how compliments may be given with or without words. As an example of wordless compliments, note how purchasing something that someone has made compliments them and that by imitating what someone else has done (for example, mowing your lawn after your neighbor mows theirs) also compliments them. Review each of the steps and the order they are listed below. 1. Look at the person. 2. Say, “Thank you. I am so glad you liked what I did.” 3. You may also want to give some of the credit to someone else. For example, “Thank you. I got a lot of help from Martin.” It is your choice whether to add this or not, but it is a way of showing some


modesty and sharing the credit and the good feelings with deserving others. 4. Don’t overdo or under do your reply to the compliment. For example, avoid boasting remarks, such as “Yes, it was a great job, but then I always do exceptional work.” Also don’t discount the compliment by disagreeing with it, such as “Thank you, but it really wasn’t much.” Demonstrate the skill by having a volunteer compliment you and then model several appropriate ways of accepting the compliment. 7. Asking a Favor: Introduce this skill by recognizing the need that everyone has from time to time to ask for a favor from someone. Then ask the participants to think of times and places where one might need to ask a favor from someone. Then mention how favors may be reasonable or unreasonable, and to consider this before asking. In other words, in general we don’t want to ask something that would place an undue burden on someone else or require a lot of time or money. Then review each of the following steps. a. Choose the right time and situation. Wait for pauses. b. Ask the person for permission to talk with them. For example, “Maria, are you free to talk now?” c. Look at the person directly and use their first name. d. Use a pleasant voice. e. Start your request in language such as “Would you …” or “Would it be all right if …” Don’t assume what the answer will be. f. Be prepared to accept “no”. g. Thank the person whether or not the favor was granted. Demonstrate how to use the skill by asking several participants or one participant several requests for favors. 8. Keeping Agreements: “Let’s Shake on it.” Talk about the importance of keeping agreements and how agreements are typically shown with a handshake. The benefits of keeping agreements include the fact that it shows that one may be trusted to keep their word. It offers a way of proving to others that you may be trusted. On the practical side, it may also be rewarded in a material way. For example, keeping the commitment to feed the neighbor’s pets while they are gone may result in a needed job recommendation later. Review each step below: a. Before you make a commitment, be sure that it is something you can do. Consider both your time and ability in making the decision. b. Know exactly what is involved and how to do each step. c. Set a date for the commitment to be finished. Know the limits. d. Treat the commitment as important. Find ways to remind yourself of the commitment; for example, by using post-it notes as reminders on


your home calendar. e. If you cannot complete the commitment, apologize and do something to show you are sorry. This skill, and the next one, is less easy to demonstrate directly to others. Show how the steps are done by using an example, such as promising a group member that you will mow their lawn while they are gone. Then walk through each of the above steps. Suggest circling the day of the planned task in green on your calendar and possibly leaving your mowing gloves on your bedside table on the day the task is planned as a reminder. 9. Being on Time: Talk about all the times when you need to be sure to be on time. Discuss what being on time says about you and about the person or persons with whom you have a commitment to be on time. Also, discuss this skill in light of the expectations of an employer or a person with whom you might do business. Review each of the steps below. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Know the exact time when you need to be at an appointment. Pre-plan how you will be getting there and how long it will take. Check any schedules, e.g., bus or train, if needed. Plan for enough time to dress and prepare for the appointment or task. If you are delayed, call the person and explain the delay. Apologize if you are late for any reason.

As noted before, this skill is difficult to practice in any way other than direct application. Review of how to read a bus schedule is possible. Many math skill workbooks have pages with clocks on them as practice to determine departure times. As a practice assignment: If Maria needs to be at work at 8 a.m., and it will take her five minutes to walk to the bus stop and twenty-five minutes to ride the bus, what time should the clock say when she leaves home? To better determine the degree of skill acquisition or learning, ask each person to keep a record of each appointment over a week and the time of his or her arrival for the appointment or work task. A review of the outcomes of this task should be a good indication of the amount of further needed on this skill. PHASE 2. SHOWING HOW IT IS DONE Thoughts and Instructions: This phase provides the participant(s) an opportunity to demonstrate a working knowledge of all the above noted skills. After all of the above skills have been introduced and demonstrated by the leader, introduce this phase by saying that before we work on the specific skills needing more attention, let’s do a review of each of these nine skills. Then note how this will also provide an opportunity to improve your skills as advice will be offered on any needed corrections. Also mention how this will also provide an opportunity to see and learn all the different ways the skills may be used and put into practice.


The facilitator will observe closely as each participant demonstrates each of the skills. To aid tracking and the provision of prompt corrective feedback, it is recommended that a short checklist be used (see sample checklist in Chapter 10). The checklist should list each of the steps for each of the skills and provide space to mark YES or No as to satisfactory completion of the step. The checklist will also need space provided for comments, strengths and positives of demonstration, as well as for recommendations for improvement. Give any corrective feedback immediately following the skill demonstration. It is suggested that you start the corrective feedback process by first noting at least one strength or positive about the skill performance. Depending upon time constraints and attention spans, you may wish to divide each demonstration into two parts. The most important factor is giving timely corrective feedback and emphasizing the strengths shown in displaying the skill. PHASE 3. FILLING IN THE HOLES: EXTENDED PRACTICE Thoughts and Instructions: After all the skills have been demonstrated by all participants, ask them to report on the skills they noted to need more practice. Ask them to also consider the skills that may be demanded from them, not only in their current life, but in the hopedfor environments of the future. All of the following listed methods may be used. They are all based on modeling, repeated practice in the daily environment, and prompt corrective feedback, and may be used in providing the needed extended practice: 1. Providing the individual with a video-taped demonstration of the desired skill for repeated viewing at home; 2. Using photographs or pictorial representations of each step of the skill in the proper order as an aid to additional practice; 3. Providing additional modeling of the skill by peers who have gained mastery; 4. Arranging for home practice, but enlisting the support of family members or friends in practicing the skill and fine tuning it with the individual at home or in the daily environment where it will be used; 5. Giving the individual a daily homework assignment of looking for and paying close attention to examples of the skill as practiced by others on a daily basis; 6. Identifying models in the community who have advanced mastery of the desired skill and then arranging for a shadowing or mentoring experience; 7. Scheduling regular tutoring sessions with the individual to review and practice the skill and designing a reward program that reinforces each minor change in advancement toward learning the skill, i.e., a shaping program; 8. Arranging for an intensive daily practice program involving everyone in the person’s support system.



Working with the Opposite Sex

This activity reviews workplace relationships and offers some common workplace standards for maintaining appropriate relationships with members of the opposite sex. Movement: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Room for comfortable seating Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be completed individually or in a small group setting. Start with identifying the need to have positive relationships with both sexes in the workplace. Discuss personal experiences with opposite-sex relations in past experiences and the learning obtained as a result. Then brainstorm a list of jobs and workplaces where both sexes work together. Discuss all the things that might happen, i.e. consequences, if personal relationships develop in a workplace setting. Note the added hazards and dangers of abuse involved if a boss has a personal relationship with an employee and vice versa. Note how workplaces usually have written rules or policies about this potential problem. Then list and discuss all ideas for basic rules suggested by the individual or group. The following list of basic rules of conduct may be used to supplement the list, as needed. 1. Stay focused on keeping business relations while at work (that is what you are paid to do). 2. Set personal boundaries for openness and sharing with the opposite sex while at work. (Boundaries will include physical boundaries, conversational boundaries, and feeling or emotional boundaries.) 3. Avoid physical or verbal displays of affection in the workplace. 4. Don’t use jokes or humor with sexual content. 5. Avoid making generalizations or sweeping statements about a person’s gender, for example, “dumb blond”. O. Tutoring: Learning From Peer & Support Groups The purpose of this activity is to assemble a small group of mutually supportive persons, drawn from both peers and supportive others, for a set of regular meetings. The purpose of these meetings is for each individual to identify any other needed social skills or community living skills that the individual sees as being needed to gain more independence and thrive in the community. The group will make a mutual commitment to seek to maximize the strengths of all peers and the support of caring others in the community. The task of the group will revolve around a


central question, “Is there anything that one person in the group is able to do that others would like to learn?” Movement Level: Moderate and depending on the skills developed. Space Requirements: Materials Needed: About nine square yards for demonstrations and enactments, but space requirements will vary by task. Tape recorder or writing pad and markers. Other materials will vary according to the skill identified. The natural environment of the skill should be used, if possible. Otherwise, props should be used, as needed, to create as realistic of an environment as possible.

Thoughts and Instructions: After all introductions have been made and the purpose of the meeting explained, begin with asking the individual who is the focus of the session, “What do you need to learn to do to have a better quality of life in the community?” The selected facilitator of the group will record each identified skill or task the individual identifies. (Note: Three columns at the top of the writing pad should be labeled, “What,” “Who,” “When and How” to record what skill or task was identified, who in the group was most able and willing to assist in teaching it, and when and how will it will be done.) Take full advantage of all members present and enlist the support and commitment to the plan by the focus individual when designing the “when and how” strategy. Also, decide on a timeframe for completion of each skill or task, as well as scheduling a specific time to provide an opportunity to review the plan and make corrections, as needed. On closing, schedule regular follow-up sessions to evaluate mutual progress, supplement or change the plan and encourage task completion. Also, specialists or authorities in the skill or task could be invited to attend special meetings of the support group to do on-site teaching or advising. P. Work Interviews: What to Do?

Drawing upon the resources developed from the previous activity, this exercise is intended to consider directly all the needed tips and best advice for best preparing and succeeding with a job interview. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only room for comfortable seating. Tape recorder or blackboard, whiteboard or a large writing pad and markers.


Thoughts and Instructions: This exercise should be done with members of the individual’s peer or support group present to serve as added resources. Introduce the exercise by asking what previous experience(s) the focus individual has had with job interviewing. Then explore the experience for the lessons learned and his or her beliefs about all the parts that go into preparing and carrying through with a good job interview. Then ask the individual if they would like to do better the next time they have an opportunity for a job interview. If the answer is “yes,” then continue by drawing attention to the others present and invite the individual to explore this topic with them. Offer to serve as a record keeper for the information and then mention that you will also later share some ideas. If preferred, an audio or videotape made me made of the meeting to allow for later review and study. (Note: Use the following information as a supplement.) Supplemental Information: 1. Do your homework: find out as much about the business as possible before the interview to give yourself confidence, plus to be able to demonstrate your interest in working there. This also allows for better preparation of questions. 2. You will want to look neat and well groomed. In general, dress as you would for the job, (Note: Some business managers prefer that you dress up, however); be sure your clothes are neat, pressed and fit well. (You want to send a message that you care about your appearance.) 3. Introduce yourself with a confident voice and a firm handshake, look at the interviewer and address him by his formal name. 4. Wait for the request to be seated. 5. Keep your arms, legs and feet relaxed and uncrossed. If you are wearing a jacket, open it. 6. Try to sit within body’s length of the interviewer to aid communication, and lean slightly forward to show your interest in hearing all that is said. 7. Pay attention to the manners of the interviewer and try to keep up and copy them. For example, if they are speaking rapidly, pick up the pace of your replies. 8. Most interviews begin with, “Tell me about yourself?” So, you will want to be able ahead of time to briefly describe your qualifications and any related experience, then close by explaining your reasons for looking at the job in question today. 9. You may be asked to describe your strengths, so prepare two or three key points. Do not misrepresent the truth, but you are not obliged to “tell all.” 10. If you are interested in working there, show your enthusiasm. A good place to show your enthusiasm is near the end when the interviewer typically asks if you have any questions. Ask questions that express your enthusiasm for the job and interest in working there. For example, ask about the “team” and “future projects.” 11. In general, you don’t want to ask about money near the beginning of the interview. 12. At the end of the interview, thank the person for the interview; for example, “Thank you for considering me.” Q. Taking Stock: What Does a Community Web Catcher Look Like?


This exercise provides both an amusing activity, as well as a measure of and concrete representation of the pattern of community interaction and involvement for each participants.

(dream catcher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Dreamcatcher_on_Wall.jpg

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal to moderate About one square yard of table work space. A small community map about the size of a sheet of paper, perhaps to be found in the front of a local telephone directory; tracing paper, a ruler or straight edge and pencil; either a two feet long, thin, round, basket-weaving reed, which may be purchased at most arts and craft stores, and water for soaking the reed, or a ready-made wooden hoop or wreath frame approximately one-half to one foot in width; string or twine; beads, feathers, and yarn.

Thoughts and Instructions: According to the beliefs of Native Americans, dreams were messages sent by sacred spirits to the person from sources beyond. Space in the center of a dream catcher web allowed good dreams to reach the sleeper, while the surrounding web trapped the bad dreams until disappearing with the morning light. Similar to the web of the dream catcher, there is another important web. Each of us travels regular paths in our communities to and from our home each day. It is in the patterns of our life in the community through which our dreams will come to pass. Step 1. With a pencil, locate your home on the map with a dot, as well as making dots for each place you may travel in the community during the week, whether it


be your place of work, grocery store, park, day program location, homes of friends or family, or wherever. With the ruler and pencil, connect the dots to and from each place to your home. With the tracing paper placed over it, trace the pattern of your routes in the community. Step 2. If working with the reed, form the reed into a circle and fasten it by overlapping and bending the two loose ends around the edge of the circle. To strengthen the circle and prevent it from coming undone, you may tightly wrap the entire circle with a length of colorful yarn. Step 3. Lay the hoop over the tracing paper and make points with your pencil or pen on the inside edges of the hoop. Step 4. To begin making the dream catcher, "web," tie one end of the twine or string to the circle you have formed in Step 2. Tie 15 to 20 "hitch knots" (see photo below) around the ring, spacing them approximately one inch apart and insuring that a knot is at each dot previously marked on the hoop. Keep the string snug when going from one knot to the next. It is to this inner ring that the pattern of our life in the community connects.

(image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_hitch)

Step 5. Then recreate the community web pattern found on the tracing paper by tying lengths of yarn anchored with hitch knots to and from each point of the pattern. To end the web, tie a double knot in the twine and cut off any excess. Step 6. To decorate the web catcher, take about 2 feet of string for attaching beads and/or feathers as desired. Cut string into 4 equal pieces and thread the beads or tie the feathers to the ends. Tie these decorated strings to the bottom, sides, and center of the web catcher. Be sure to attach a hanging loop to the top. If this activity is done in a group setting, use the finished construction as a starting point for discussing: 1. How our paths may be similar or different from one another? 2. Are there any shapes or forms created in the web? 3. What does the web tell you about the paths of your life? R. What Are Your Limits? When Do You Need A Hand?


Up to this point we have been looking at ways to increase and improve skills and abilities needed to face and deal with whatever is met. By seriously working on attempts at skill mastery, you may already have an idea of at least some personal limits. The reality is that each of us has limits, and there is nothing wrong with that. The important point is to be able to recognize what they are and when we may need to seek the assistance and support of others. This activity starts a process of looking at limits by first looking at the limits of others, i.e. Mary and Bud. The Story of Mary’s Red Windows:

Image from: http://imageafter.com/image.php?image=b2goo005.jpg Mary was a young lady who was going places. She had always wanted to do as much herself as she possibly could. She seemed to take it as a personal failure whenever she had to accept help from others. She had already finished school and gained good work skills at the family’s dry cleaning business. After being satisfied for a while with all she had learned to do on her own, she started to dream about more. She started to think about having her own place, some place she could call home. She thought that finding the perfect small apartment was what she needed to do more than anything else. And, after saving her money and looking all around for the right place, she finally found a cozy little place close to friends, family and stores for shopping. It even had a grassy neighborhood park nearby for picnics and walks with friends. Also, it had big windows with a good view of the park and a big mulberry tree that shaded the windows and kept her apartment cool, even in the summer. The place met all of her needs and fit within her budget, too. Everything was right about Mary’s new apartment, except one thing: what was she going to do with the windows? Mary had found a garage apartment. It was on the second floor and the windows were constantly getting dirty. She could wash them from the inside okay, but could not figure out how to clean the outside. And it was on the outside of the windows where all the red mulberry stains and dirt collected.


At first, she simply ignored the stained windows and hoped that the problem would go away. But it didn’t. Before long all she could see from her big windows was big red stain. Then a friend suggested that she get a special nozzle and try spraying the windows with high-pressured water mixed with a cleaning solution. That managed to get the dust off the windows but the red stains remained. Then Mary decided she would simply buy a long ladder and clean them herself. Well, Mary was also far-sighted and the very first time she tried, she slipped and fell off the ladder and sprained her ankle. Oh, the hurt! It seemed to take forever to heal and it left her hobbling around feeling perfectly disgusted. Mary wanted to do everything herself and be as independent as possible, but what was she going to do now? Any ideas? Bud and Money

(Image from: http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/image.asp?id=17847)

Bud was what you might call a too-good guy. He was simply full of things you might like about him: he took a lot of pride in his work, he showed up to work every day on time at the filling station and worked hard – changing tires, changing oil, doing whatever needed doing at the filling station and doing it before his boss had to tell him what was needed. He liked to work, it was clear. And, he liked people, too. For instance, once he met you, he never forgot your name. Just say, “Hey Bud” and his face would break out in one of the biggest smiles you have ever seen. In fact, almost everyone agreed, Bud was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. And generous? Bud would give you the shirt off his back and he always had money to loan…no, he gave it away, and not only to his friends, but to the regular panhandlers and anyone who might even look like they were down on their luck. Bud could always spare a dollar a two. Maybe he was too good… that was what his friends started telling him. For sure, he was too generous. He was paid in cash every week, because he told his boss that he didn’t want to mess with the bank. But, within a very short time, he would be broke. Sometimes he would not have enough money to eat more than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and, instead of riding the bus to work, he would be forced to walk. It was a problem, and after saying it wasn’t a


problem for the longest time, finally Bud got tired of walking to work and tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He finally admitted that he needed help in managing his money. His older brother who came to visit every so often, agreed to make him a budget, and after paying for necessities, he divided the remainder into daily amounts that were placed in envelopes with his own special labels: a moon on the envelope meant money for Monday, two fingers meant money for Tuesday, a picture of a wind gust meant money for Wednesday and so on. The problem was that before long, Bud was carrying two or three envelopes of money every day and before long, he was back where he started: walking to work and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What was he going to do now, he asked himself? Any ideas? Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only room for comfortable seating. Mary and Bud’s stories (above), a large writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Read one or both of the above stories as a way of introducing the topic of limits. Following the reading, involve the individual or group in exploring ideas for solving Mary’s window problem, or Bud’s money problem and the common need to recognize limits. Ask the group to be specific in helping Mary or Bud, find the right words to use when asking for help from others. (Note: this will allow the leader to assess the group’s need to work on this skill.) Following the discussion of limits, ask, “What are your limits?” As a way of modeling, the activity leader may also wish to share one of his/her recognized limits. From this point, note each limitation on the writing board and encourage full participation. S. What Are You Going to Do About It?

This activity has a purpose of dealing with limits and considering whether natural or formal supports may be the type of support needed. It also seeks to show how the supports identified might be used together to give us increased choices and greater control. “Support” is a term for the assistance we may require to maintain or increase our independence in the community. Hopefully, the support received will be flexible and able to change with time and as the circumstances of our lives change. It is often said that there are two kinds of support: 1. natural supports (the supports available from people we know or deal with presently in our surroundings), and 2. formal supports (supports perhaps available from professionals and trained persons, perhaps unknown to us at the present). Movement Level: Minimal


Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Comfortable seating space only. Writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Beforehand, ask the participants to consider who they might wish to invite to participate in this activity with them, i.e., family, friends, or other important people they trust. This activity should be done as a follow-up to the previous exercise which identified the limits and boundaries to the abilities we have. After noting and discussing the difference between natural and formal supports, work with one individual at a time and add these two columns to the right of the list. Then take one limit at a time and ask, “Is there someone you already know or your family knows that may be able to assist you with this?” Ask them to consider not only family, and friends, but also neighbors and other caring people throughout the community whose support might be enlisted. As an aid to further planning and program development, you will want to formalize the results of this activity and provide it to each individual involved. Depending on your role, level of responsibility, and commitment to the individual, you may wish to provide follow-up after this activity has been completed to check and problem-solve concerning acquiring the needed supports.


Chapter 4 Through the Good Times, and Bad
Chapter Introduction This chapter looks at strengthening friendships and personal relationships. It also looks at building on strengths and choosing smoother roads to increase community ties. However, it also recognizes the need to be prepared to deal with some bumps, bruises and detours along the way.

A. Starting with Trust All relationships are based on mutual trust. This is an activity that seeks to build on both fundamental empathy and trust in others. It allows the individual to experience a different outlook and another point of view through reliance on the guidance of another person. This activity has been referred to as a Trust Walk, as it provides an experience in learning of one’s world solely through the sense of touch and trust in others. Movement level: Space Requirements: Moderate This activity may be conducted in either an indoor or outdoor setting or both. The space requirements will vary depending on the number of participants and their individual needs, but minimum requirements would be about twenty square feet. There are a variety of ways for structuring this activity. Blindfolds or handkerchiefs large enough to cover the eyes and still be tied to the back of the head are needed for each person participating. Two to three tables will be needed for the following: a variety of materials with different textures, e.g., a feather cushion, a fuzzy tennis ball, a small pile of toothpicks, a small piece of tree bark, a bowl of grass clippings, a variety of leaves and plants, a bowl of cooked and uncooked pasta, a bowl of gelatin, a plastic bag full of wadded plastic bags, a bag of wadded paper balls, a piece of foam rubber, a scouring pad, a sheet of aluminum foil, a sheet of sand paper, etc. The idea is to present as wide a variety of textures as possible. (Note: Keep the table loaded with these objects

Materials Needed:


away from the view of participants before the activity begins.) Thoughts and Instructions: The most important planning factor is to insure that a safe environment is provided. All pathways will need to be unobstructed, level surfaces. This activity requires at least two people, one of whom may serve as the leader. A time limit is suggested, which will depend on the number of objects assembled. Participants are told that trust is something that usually builds slowly in all relationships over a period of time and in a process of give and take. However, trust always begins with a first step. The purpose of this activity is to provide that first step. Those of us who are sighted have become dependent on seeing our world for us to understand it. This activity will give you a chance to know better what the world is like for persons without vision. Each of you will take turns being blindfolded and led by another person. They will provide you an opportunity to touch and feel a variety of objects. See if you can guess what each item is without lifting your blindfold. When everyone if finished, discuss what the experience was like, the discoveries made about the world of touch, plus what it was like to depend on a guide. Ask them how their feelings or the strength of their feelings toward the guide were changed by the activity. B. What is a Friend? Who Are You Looking For? This is a discussion activity with the purpose of clarifying and better identifying the kind of friend we wish to make. Also, the activity provides an opportunity to consider what we mean when we say that we would like to make a new friend?

Image from: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=270650

Movement Level:



Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Room for comfortable seating The meeting may be recorded, or you may wish to use only a blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a simple sharing activity and will be most meaningful when shared with others in a small group setting. Someone is needed to lead the activity and to keep the discussion focused on the topic. First, ask the group to discuss the things about friends that they have had in the past that made them a friend. Were there any special qualities or traits that you really liked and valued in them? How important was it for you to have things in common? Note all the ideas shared under the heading of “likes”. Also, ask the group to note any “dislikes” or qualities and traits that it would be best to avoid in making new friends. List all likes and dislikes on the writing pad or board. C. Joining In: Taking the First Steps to New Friendships This activity looks at some of the challenges involved in making new friends. It looks at identifying the best places to find new friends and offers suggestions for taking the first steps. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate In addition to comfortable seating space, about nine square yards of space will be needed for demonstration purposes. The meeting may be recorded for future reference. Also, use of a blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers is recommended.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This is preferably a small group activity and will require a leader to facilitate the discussion, keep it on track, record the ideas shared, as well as demonstrate suggestions for taking the step of “joining in”. Start the discussion by asking, “Today we are going to look at the things you might do to increase the chance of making a new friend. Keeping in mind the kind of friends you want to make that we have already talked about, where do you think the best places would be to start meeting these types of people?” After each person identifies one or two “best places to start,” follow-up by asking, “Now, what do you need to do?” Ask each person to be as specific as possible in describing actions to take and words to say. Record all of these ideas and suggestions, also. Give the group the option of role-playing and rehearsing their ideas and suggestions, if they so choose. After all ideas have been reviewed, tell them that you would like to share some thoughts on the matter and make some more suggestions which may be helpful.


Suggestions to Share: 1. Start at a place that will be of common interest. For example, if you enjoy jogging, think about the jogging track at a local park. 2. Know enough about the person beforehand to know that they will not be a possible danger to you. For example, the person may be known through other friends, neighbors or members of your family. Or, they may be well known in the community and have a known reputation that is common knowledge. 3. Make eye contact, use a pleasant voice and state your common interest; for example, “Hi! I’m Mike. I see you like jogging as much as I do.” 4. Listen closely to the answer. Does the person readily agree? 5. Ask permission to join in the activity. For example, “Is it ok if I jog along with you?” 6. Think of positive things to say that might help you both to enjoy the occasion more. For example, “These new shoes make running so much easier for me.” 7. Set a time to see the person again or suggest a way you can connect again. For example, “I try to jog every other day, so I hope to see you the day after tomorrow.” D. Having a Friend by Being a Friend

This activity both illustrates and explores ways of using the strategy of “having a friend by being a friend” and acting friendly. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only comfortable seating arrangements are needed. None. However, the meeting may be recorded for future reference if agreed to by the participants.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be done on either an individual or small group basis. Some guidance with the activity may prove helpful. Start by asking if they have heard the common expression that “the best way to have a friend is to be a friend.” Tell the individual that this advice seems to make good sense and, at least, is worth a try. Then ask the person to think about the opportunities he/she may have in the coming week to put this advice to the test. Offer to assist them with planning this opportunity, if that might be helpful to them. If they agree, consider the ideas in terms of how safe, doable, and effective the actions might be. If not, simply try to gain a commitment from the individual to put this advice into action at least once in the coming week, and report back on the results. Help the individual change the plan if the first attempt fails to meet with success. E. Skinning Onions and Building Trust


We have all had questions about how deeply someone should be trusted. When making new friendships and relations, the question is sure to arise sooner or later. This exercise uses an onion to illustrate the idea about layers of trust. In other words, the tender secrets at the core of the onion are protected by many layers of tougher skin. The lesson is that trusting deeply should only come after trusting persons with smaller secrets and seeing if the confidence is kept and the trust is deserved or not. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Room for comfortable seating only. An apple and a large sweet onion; knife and cutting board; wet paper towels.

Thoughts and Instructions: This is primarily a demonstration activity that tries to make something complex appear more concrete and understandable. Start by identifying the need for knowing how far one person may trust another. Explain that each person has private things that he/she does not wish to share with all others as they may be either embarrassing to us or may needlessly hurt someone else’s feelings. We call these things “secrets”. This closely kept information may be thought of as a tender core that each of us has. Then note how nature also protects itself by keeping the tender seeds of its fruit at the very center. Slice the apple in half and note how the tender seeds are in the very center of the apple. Then slice the onion in half and show the participant(s) the many protective layers. Note that the onion may serve to show us a way of growing relationships through layers. In other words, if there are secrets in the core that need to be kept, the best way of knowing they are safe is by only slowly peeling away the less tender layers. Suggest that there is an onion method of knowing how much to reveal of oneself to others. For example, one may reveal minor possibly embarrassing things to others (the outer layers) as a way of knowing if they can reveal much deeper secrets. If small secrets are shared with someone and a period of time is given to see if the information is kept confidential, then this gives us a way to better know that the person is worthy of sharing the more personal, deeper secrets at the core. F. Friendship-Keeping Skills This activity simply looks at the actions and behaviors that are helpful for keeping the friends that one makes. It asks the participant to identify key factors in making friendships last and to carry out one deed, i.e. making a card, which might be helpful in promoting the friendship. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimum to moderate Comfortable seating, about a square yard of table


space for making a greeting card Materials Needed: The meeting may be recorded; or a blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers are needed. A sheet of paper for each participant and colored pencils or markers for making cards are also needed.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity is most effective when used in a small group with a leader or facilitator. The support or peer group earlier formed may be used in conducting this activity. Start by identifying the need to work on making friendships last and the hazards that come with taking people for granted. Point out how it is helpful to know the key factors in making friendships last and that this activity will give all a chance to point out these factors. Brainstorm and record all ideas shared by the individuals. After everyone has had a chance to contribute to the discussion, inform the participants that you would like to share some ideas. Consider the following supplemental suggestions and use as may be needed. Supplemental suggestions: 1. Keep the secrets that are shared between you. 2. Be honest. 3. Don’t gossip or spread rumors about a friend. 4. Show respect; for example, keep commitments and introduce other people to the friend when the opportunity arises. 5. Be a good listener. 6. Don’t put your friend in danger or tempt them to do something illegal. 7. Be willing to forgive mistakes and misunderstandings. 8. Share common interests. 9. Now and then, express appreciation for the friendship. As a follow-up activity, as an “Expression of Appreciation”, and as a way to put the last suggestion into practice, ask the participants to use the paper and colored pens/pencils in front of them to make a personalized greeting card for their friend. Demonstrate how to fold the paper in half and then in half again to be used as a card. It may be a thank you card, a get-well card, a birthday card, an invitation card for a future event, or it may say whatever the individual wants to share with their friend. Note how hand made cards have special meaning to those that receive them. Abler: This same activity may be done online with a computer. For exploring the possibilities of this alternative, see personalized, free online cards, as well as card-making software available at http://www.mycardmaker.com/mycardmaker-fun.html and http://www.allcrafts.net/cards.htm or http://www.making-greeting-cards.com/



What do Friends Sound Like?

This is a role-playing activity that asks the participants to show their friendship-keeping skills by enacting a typical conversation between friends over the telephone. It provides an opportunity to make the ideas shared in the last three activities more concrete and practical as well as providing an opportunity to provide any feedback that may be helpful. It also provides concrete examples of friendly conversations for others that may be less confident of their abilities. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal to moderate Room for comfortable seating and space for role play enactments, about two square yards. Two telephones or mock telephones for use in the role-play.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity is best done in a small group setting with a leader or facilitator present. Briefly review the key factors for keeping friendships previously identified as a way of introducing this activity. Then talk about how helpful it is to have practical ideas about how these ideas work and are practiced. In other words, what do friends sound like? Then ask for two volunteers for a role-play using the telephones provided. If they are not already friends, ask them to pretend that they are good friends. Set the stage for the conversation by suggesting that it is evening and that they are simply chatting with each other over the phone for five to ten minutes. If suggestions are needed, suggest that they are simply chatting about how their day went and what their plans for the weekend are. At the end of the role-play, ask the other participants to comment on the conversation. Ask them to first point out something positive before giving any suggestions about ways of improving. Apply the supplemental suggestions from the previous activity as criteria for further evaluating the conversation. For example, were they good listeners? Did they show respect for one another? Were they honest with one another? Did they show their appreciation of each other? Repeat the role-play several times, if possible. H. What Does it Take to be a Good Listener?

The purpose of this exercise is to review the basics of good listening skills, primarily as a key factor in keeping friendships, but also for its value and need for relationship development in daily living. An opportunity to practice and make improvements with this skill is provided. Movement Level: Minimal


Space Requirements:

In addition to space for comfortable seating, approximately twelve square feet for each two participants will be needed for the practice exercise. The session may be recorded for later reference and repeat instruction. Also, a blackboard, whiteboard or writing with markers will be needed.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This is primarily a small group activity but may be applied with as few as two persons present, in addition to a leader or facilitator. Introduce this activity by noting that each of us probably spends as much time using our listening skills as any other kind of relationship skill. However, also note that many people in our society are not very good listeners. This conclusion is supported by the number of professional people who have found work simply due to their advanced skills in being a good listener. Like all other skills, practice is needed to do it well. Note that while many may think of listening as a passive skill, in fact, it is an active, twoway skill that requires a speaker, or sender of messages, and a listener, or receiver of messages. To be sure that the correct message was received, feedback is required, i.e., a brief restatement in your own words of both what was said and how it was said, including the tone of voice and body language. Giving feedback assures that the message was properly understood. However, it would be awkward and time-consuming to provide feedback each time something was said, so save it for messages you want to be sure were correctly received. Ask the participants to list all the things that they believe are important for being a good listener. List them on the board or pad. Then add the following supplemental tips as needed. Supplemental Information: 1. Good listening takes both your ears and eyes. Give your full attention to the person who is speaking. Don’t look out the window or keep an eye on the TV if you really want to understand what is being said. If you are facing the person, squarely face the person so you don’t miss any body language involved with the message. 2. Stay focused. It is easy to let your mind wander if you think you know what the person is going to say, but you may be wrong to assume that. 3. Let the speaker finish and don’t interrupt. It is a sign of not listening and a degree of disrespect to interrupt. 4. Fully listen. Don’t rehearse your reply in your head ahead of time. Thinking is about four times faster than speaking, so don’t worry about the time needed to reply. 5. Listen for the main idea. It will sometime be emphasized by such statements as, “The point is… ” or “What I’m trying to say is …” 6. Ask questions if you are unsure of what was said. 7. Give feedback. In addition to restating what was said, but in your own words, you can also give feedback with your face through a smile, frown, laugh or silence.


After reviewing all tips and suggestions and supplementing them as needed, ask the participants to pair off with another person for a listening activity. Suggest that they position their chairs facing one another and about the distance of an arm length between them. Have them take turns being either mainly the speaker or mainly the listener for five minutes time. The assignment is for the speaker to express both his/her thoughts and feelings about the community in which they live while the listener tries to understand both. At the end of the five minutes, the listener is to summarize both the thoughts and feelings of the speaker. Have them check for the accuracy of their listening. Then reverse roles and repeat the exercise. After everyone has finished practicing both roles, ask the group to discuss what they learned about their listening ability from the exercise. (Note: An option at the end is to make special note of how the body language of the listener has an affect. For example, ask how the speaker might feel if they observed the listener slouched or leaning back in their chair versus facing and slightly leaning forward with their upper body.) I. Showing All Friendship Skills: A Role Play Review This activity serves as review of the basic friendship and social skills and provides an opportunity for additional practice through the use of role-play. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate Have the chairs of all participants arranged in a circle. Allow space for easily getting in an out of chairs, as needed. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with Markers.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a small group activity and will require a leader or facilitator. Have the participants seated in a circle. If there are more than ten persons involved with the activity, divide the group into groups of five or six each. Write the following skills on the board or paper.       Beginning a conversation Accepting a compliment Asking a favor Joining in Introducing yourself Ending a conversation


     

Making a date to meet again Sharing something you have with a friend Apologizing for a mistake or something done in the past Giving a compliment Offering help or assistance Listening well and giving feedback

Inform the group that this activity is an opportunity for them to review and practice each of the friendship skills noted. Ask for a volunteer to begin and ask that person to do the first thing on the list, the next person to their right will do the next skill and so on. Continue with the exercise until all of the skills have been role-played. J. Conflict Resolution: What are the Basics?

As surely as night follows day, each of us must learn to deal with conflicts. This exercise provides a basic lesson in the skill of conflict resolution. While some people view conflict as completely negative, it should be noted that it also offers an opportunity for making both the individual and the relationship stronger. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal Room for comfortable seating and additional space for modeling the skill and role-playing a demonstration. A recorder, if the group consents; a blackboard, whiteboard or large writing pad with markers.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a small group activity, but may be done with as few as two persons present, as well as a leader, guide or facilitator. First, discuss the times in the past when the participant has had a conflict with someone that needed to be ended or resolved. Talk about how ending a relationship with someone because of a conflict may not always be possible and is likely to be very costly personally. As a better choice, note how there is a better way of handling conflicts. Then review and discuss each of the following steps of this better way as you write them on the paper or board and briefly demonstrate: 1. 2. 3. 4. Using a pleasant expression, look directly at the other person. Listen to what the person has to say without interrupting. Be honest and tell exactly what happened, i.e. what are the facts. Work together to find a solution that is okay for both persons. Do this by talking about the results or consequences of each choice. Find a way that each person can get some of what is wanted, i.e. find a way where both persons will win, if possible.


5. Choose the best solution. 6. Make peace. Make an agreement and keep your word. Answer the WHO, WHAT, WHEN and HOW questions. Make it clear who will do what, when will they do it, and for how long? You may also choose to add agreed-upon consequences if either person breaks the agreement. After each of the six steps has been reviewed, put them all together by asking for a volunteer to role-play a conflict with you in order to model all the steps in resolution. (Suggested Role Play: Pretend that you are patiently waiting at the end of a cafeteria line when the other person cuts in front of you. At first you threaten to call the manager and have the person evicted, but you resolve the problem by not doing so after the other person agrees to wait behind you in line.) In closing, recommend that each participant try to use these skills with any conflict that may arise in the coming week. Of course, don’t attempt to create conflicts to practice these skills. K. Does it Work for You? This is a follow-up activity meant to build on the previous activity. The purpose is to provide an opportunity to review conflict resolution skills and explore further how they may be applied in daily settings. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Room for comfortable seating and additional space for additional modeling and role-playing. The session may be recorded. Otherwise, the list of steps from the previous skill should be available for reference.

Thoughts and Instructions: Start by reviewing each of the six steps of problem resolution and ask the participants if they have any additional questions after they have had to think about them and try them out. Clarify according to the needs of the group. Then ask if anyone would like to share with the group his/her experience with putting the skills into practice. Carefully listen to the stories shared. Provide encouragement and praise for the attempt, regardless of the outcome. Also, ask the individual to identify how they followed, or perhaps failed to follow, the steps of the skill. Ask them to recommend any changes or things they might do differently on any future occasions. Provide coaching and assistance only as requested. In closing, again encourage participants to keep applying what they learned, and follow up accordingly. L. A Contest? Making a Game of Conflict Resolution


The following small group game provides for additional practice in the application of conflict resolution skills. It introduces some advanced conflict resolution skills and is most appropriate for those with advanced skills and abilities. However, some adaptations made be made to make it more appropriate for a wider range of participants. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Space for comfortable seating plus about eight square yards of additional space for the activity. A blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad and markers; a list of the factors used in deciding the winner.

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a small group activity that will require at least four participants, two on each team. The leader or facilitator may also serve in the role of the judge of the contest. Start by dividing the group into two teams, one for each side of the conflict being resolved. Any topical area with conflicting views in the community, such as issues about protecting the environment may be chosen. As an alternative, the following suggestion may be used: “You witnessed a neighbor mistreating her child and reported the mistreatment to authorities. While your complaint was kept confidential at first, the matter is now going to court and you have been told that your testimony is needed. Your family encourages you not to get further involved as the neighbor has a reputation for violence in the community and they are concerned about your safety; but you believe that you have an obligation as a citizen to testify.” One team has the role of arguing your family’s beliefs, and the other has the role of supporting your opposing views. The conflict may or not be scored for purposes of judging the results. The group makes the decision. If scoring is used, the judge will score the conflict resolution exercise by awarding a point to each team based on how well they did the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Potential opponents are treated as problem-solving partners. Positive attitudes in addressing the conflict are displayed. Without blaming or attacking, the team’s own needs are clearly stated. Speakers acknowledge the other team’s point of view. The speaker’s emotions are expressed and the other team’s emotions are acknowledged. 6. The benefits of resolving the conflict for all parties are given. 7. Fair, just and common sense offers are made, and 8. The option is given for looking for an impartial and objective third party mediator.


In arriving at a count of total points for each team the Judge may deduct points for any of the following: name-calling, put-downs, blaming or insisting that the other person is wrong, use of threatening language, interrupting, or straying from the topic. M. Safe Relations This is an information-sharing activity that seeks to define both safe and unsafe dating practices. Examples and stories are provided for enacting safe responses. The participants will be asked to supply their own lists of “do’s and don’ts.”

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Room for comfortable seating and for role plays demonstrating safe responses. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Have the participants discuss ideas for safe dating practices as they might apply to both men and women. List them on the board or writing chart. Then ask participants to indicate which of the following might be considered to be safe or unsafe actions for either male and/or female members of the community. Ask for the reason for their belief. 1. Taking a short-cut home that takes you through a dark alley. 2. Meeting a new friend at the park the first night. 3. Giving your telephone number to an unknown person on the bus who says he might have a job for you. 4. Going on a ride with both some new and old friends. 5. Meeting a new friend at a restaurant. 6. Inviting someone you just met home with you. 7. Going for a drive with someone you just met at a party.


8. Allowing a stranger to pay for your ticket at a movie or event. 9. Letting a salesman wait for your roommate inside your house or apartment. 10. Carrying extra coins with you on a date for phone money. Next, have the individual or group express their own rules for safe dating. Consider the viewpoint of both the male and female participants. Then ask for opinions concerning these suggested safety rules and whether they might apply: 1. Invite new friends or dates home only when someone else will be there; 2. Go on double dates or with groups when first dating someone new; 3. Meet new friends or dates in public places; 4. Know and set sexual limits before going on a date; 5. Say “No” to unwanted behaviors from your date or friend; 6. Never believe that you need to pay back a favor or a good time with sex. Finally, ask the participant(s) to role-play their responses to the following situations: 1. You are riding on a bus with Mike/Sherry and suddenly he/she starts to rub your leg. People are starting to look at you, what do you do? 2. You are at a date’s house with friends. After returning from the bathroom, you notice that everyone else has left and the two of you are alone. He/she starts to French kiss you and you feel uncomfortable. 3. Through your new job you meet some new people that your company does business with. After introductions they invite you to go for a ride. 4. You have dated Tom/Betty for several weeks and you know that he/she is interested in having sex with you. You are getting ready for another night out and must decide how to handle this possibility. N. What About Someone Special? Different Viewpoints This activity looks at long-term expectations for relationships. One option is marriage and traditional family life. As is often the case, our view of the relationship may be clouded by both strong emotions and fantasies. This activity tries to balance this view and provide a look at realities as shared by others.


Image from http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=333426

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Room for comfortable seating. None (audio or video camera taping may be used, if desired and permission gained).

Thoughts and Instructions: For the purpose of providing a rounded picture of married life, this activity may be done on an individual or small group basis. It provides for the sharing of experiences of both the realities and demands of marriage and family life by those who have experiences they would like to share. As appropriate and desired by the individual or group, friends, family, guardians and support persons may be invited to both attend and actively participate by sharing their experiences. If difficulties are experienced in making arrangements for attendance, consideration should be given to do taped interviews with selected persons with the questions posed in advance by the participant(s). Typical questions to consider are: 1. If you could reduce all you have learned about the demands of married life to a single paragraph, what would it be? 2. What is the best advice you could give to a couple thinking about marriage in their future? 3. What are the three most important things for a couple to talk about and consider before making plans for marriage? O. Teasing? It’s Like a Coin Teasing may be defined as playfully arousing or disturbing another person, with either words or actions. This activity looks at the role that teasing serves, explores ways of dealing with it, and offers suggestions and choices to consider. Movement Level: Minimal


Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Room for comfortable seating and space to act out responses. The session may be recorded as an option; a board or writing pad and markers are needed.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be completed either individually or in a small group setting. It asks the participant(s) to consider the effect that teasing has on them, and whether or not they are satisfied with the way they are dealing and coping with it. If a need is recognized to learn more, and a group setting is being used, ask others to share what teasing means to them and how they handle it. Record the responses on the board for later review. Upon completing the first part of the activity, acknowledge that we all face teasing to greater or lesser degrees - and it clearly makes for a bumpy ride on occasion. Learning how to deal with it is important so that we may understand the lesson it teaches that keeps its damage to a minimum. Strangely enough, teasing is much like a coin: it has two sides and serves at least two purposes. In its mild form, when usually both parties are involved, it is basically a form of rough play. It may also used at times as a sign of closeness and acceptance by others, showing friendliness and a way of even expressing affection. In other words, sometimes it is okay, accepted and positive. However, it can have purposes of harm by putting people down and trying to frighten them through harassment. On those occasions, the teasing may mushroom into violence and abuse. If you are faced with this last form of teasing, your responses might include the following: 1. If you are sure that the purpose is to put you down, assertively ask the person to stop. If it then stops, later thank the person. If it continues, move away from them and ignore the person. Many teasers quickly give up when they find they have no audience; but beware, at first the teaser may try even harder to get a response out of another person, so it's important to hold your ground and not respond. 2. If you are unsure of the purpose, ask. You might say, “I really don’t know if this your way of being friendly, or simply cruel? Which is it?” 3. Another option, if you are clear that there is a negative purpose, is to give a quick response that will throw a teaser off track. It is important, however, that it not be in the form of teasing back or name-calling. You might try, "I know you're trying to upset me, and it's not going to work.” 4. Prevention: Think about what is happening and what you are doing before the teasing starts. Is it possible you are doing or saying something that might in some way invite or encourage teasing? If so, make changes to prevent it in the future. Practice: It is important to have an opportunity to practice, whatever the response. Role-playing the response is recommended. The activity leader can try saying things the way the teaser does, and have the participant practice their responses. This will not only help the person get used to the teasing; it also helps in learning to become less upset.



Our Rights in Relationships When thinking about relationships with others, and special relationships with others, it is important to remember what is right to be expected. One thing to be expected in a relationship is that our personal rights will be respected by others. This activity seeks to define and discuss those rights. (The following abuse awareness activities were adapted from the Escape Curriculum developed through the Decision-making Training Initiative of the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes for People with Disabilities of the Teachers College, Colombia University, see oopd@Colombia.edu.) Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for comfortable seating. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing chart and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be done individually or in small group settings. A leader or facilitator will be needed. First write on the paper “Our Rights”. Ask the group to brainstorm and list all ideas. As a supplement to complete the list, include as many of the below as needed: 1. To be safe. (No one will threaten you, bully you, or hurt you.) 2. To be treated with respect and dignity at all times. (No one will insult you or try to hurt you by teasing) 3. To say “No” to things you do not want. (No one will force you.) 4. To be listened to. (Your opinions will be considered.) 5. To tell someone to stop if you do not like something. 6. To be free from and protected against abuse. 7. To make your own decisions about things that matter to you. 8. To change things which make you unhappy in your life. 9. To have needed help and support from others. 10. As much as possible, to be in control of what happens in your life. 11. To make decisions so that things can change for the better. 12. To speak up for yourself, i.e., to be assertive. 13. To act in your best interest – to do what works for you. 14. To be yourself. Q. Knowing about Physical Abuse

This activity seeks to define physical abuse and, hopefully, provide a greater understanding of it. It is an important concept to teach and several repetitions, illustrations and word


enactments may be required. Also, a post-activity assessment of the level of learning acquired is strongly recommended. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for comfortable seating. Chart and markers; illustrations provided, or additional ClipArt, may be used for supplemental illustration.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be done individually or in small group settings. A leader or facilitator will be needed. The group may be separated by gender and this is especially appropriate for the later activity that addresses sexual abuse. Begin by stating that abuse is something everyone needs to know about and, as much as we may wish to deny and pretend that it doesn’t happen, people with learning disabilities may be subject to abuse. Also, there are different ways that people can be abused. We need to know the different ways so we can know if and when they happen and can do the right thing to put an end to it. The leader should ask, “Do you know what physical abuse is? First, discuss “What is physical abuse? (refer to illustration)

Make and review the following key points at the end of the discussion: 1. It is abuse no matter if it is actual or a threat to harm another’s body. 2. It is abuse when someone hits or kicks you. 3. It is abuse when someone hurts your body physically. Write “PHYSICAL ABUSE” on the board or writing chart along with the key words, “hurting your body,” next to it and then show the above picture. Below the two words write, “What can people do that would be hurting your body?” Then ask, “Can you think of some other things people could do that would be physical abuse? Take ideas from the individual or group and list on the chart but assure that the following examples are included: a. pushing,


b. shoving, c. throwing things at someone to hurt them, d. making threats to hurt or kill someone, e. choking, f. pulling hair, g. beating you up, h. hitting, i. slapping, j. twisting arms. Then ask, “Who may abuse?” Take ideas and list them. Then explain that while we may wish that it would never happen, nearly everyone at sometime may abuse, even: * The people that work with you, in other words, “staff” may abuse. * Sometimes people with learning disabilities abuse other people with learning disabilities. * Sometimes even friends and families abuse people. On concluding, review the key points made above. To assess learning, first ask each participant to name a type of physical abuse. Then ask each person to name one of the above examples, varying the presentation with non-examples such as a pat on the back or a handshake, and ask each participant if it is an example of a type of abuse. Then ask each person what are the key words to know what abuse is? Repeat the instruction until each person knows the key words and can provide examples. R. Knowing About Verbal Abuse This activity seeks to provide a clear definition of verbal abuse and, hopefully, an understanding of the concept. It is an important concept to teach; and several repetitions, illustrations, and word enactments may be needed. Also, post-activity assessment of the level of learning acquired is strongly recommended. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for comfortable seating. Chart and markers; illustrations provided, or additional ClipArt, may be used for supplemental illustration.

Thoughts and Instructions: Again, this activity may be done individually or in a small group setting. A leader or facilitator will be needed. First ask, “Do you know what verbal abuse is?” Discuss the meaning of verbal abuse. (Refer to the illustration)


Discuss with the individual or group and then summarize the discussion by making and reviewing the following points: 1. Any form of name-calling or put-downs is verbal abuse. 2. When someone makes fun of you, it’s verbal abuse. 3. When someone talks to you in a “wrong way,” it’s verbal abuse. Then write VERBAL ABUSE on the writing pad with the key words “talking mean” to the side next to it. Make note of the illustration. Write on the paper: “What can someone do to you that would be verbal abuse?” Explain, that for instance, cursing at you would be verbal abuse (list it on the paper) and then ask, “Can you think of some other things people could do that would be verbal abuse?” It is recommended that the bold items be added to the list, i.e., yelling, cursing, putting someone down (e.g., says that you are stupid), and calling names. List each response from the group but other possibilities include: a. Saying shut up loudly b. Disrespecting – not listening or responding to a person; putting someone down in front of other people, saying bad things about the person c. Making fun of a person’s disability or calling names to make someone look weak or incapable, like slow or stupid, d. Blaming e. Making fun of the way you look or dress On concluding, review the key points made above. To assess learning, first ask each participant to name a type of verbal abuse. Then ask them to name one of the above examples, varying the presentation with non-examples, such as a nickname or an appropriate use of a term of endearment, and then ask each participant if it is an example of a type of abuse. Then ask each person what are the key words to know what verbal abuse is? Repeat the instruction until each person knows the key words and can provide examples. S. Knowing About Sexual Abuse --- This activity provides a definition of sexual


This activity defines sexual abuse and discusses the concept. Again, it is an important concept to learn and several repetitions, illustrations, and word enactments may be needed. Again, post-activity assessment of learning is recommended. A follow-up assessment activity is provided following this activity to help with this process. Due to the nature of the content and the need for privacy, this activity should be done in separate male and female groups. (The same movement level, space requirements and materials as above are indicated.)

(Image from: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=379470)

To begin, assist in establishing the rules, or agreed upon ways of acting, for the group. Some of the group rules might include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. We talk one at a time We are all equal We don’t put each other down We don’t leave anyone out. We don’t call each other names We don’t make fun of each other and we show respect. What we say in the group, stays in the group.

Overview of Information: Next provide an overview that identifies the need to know about sexual abuse. Use the framework presented below. Abuse is when: • Someone hurts someone (or tries to hurt someone); • It leaves you scared of being hurt again. They don’t feel good about themselves. • Abuse can happen to anyone. • Abuse can happen once or it can happen over and over again over a period of time. • No one should be hurt physically. No one should have their feelings intentionally hurt, be made fun of or called names. No one should be hurt sexually. • It can be difficult to know what to do.


Our group will focus on keeping abuse from happening in the future. We won’t talk much about what has happened in the past. If you need to talk to someone about what happened in the past, I will be glad to help you see your counselor, social worker, or someone you completely trust. If you don’t want to now, you can talk to me after the session, I will help you contact a social worker. If we are going to stop abuse, we need to know what it is and how to make good decisions. Ask, “What is Sexual Abuse?” (Make note of the words on the paper) Summarize and discuss, then make and review the following points:       When someone forces you to do what you don’t want to; When someone forces you to do something with your body that you do not want; When someone touches your body without your permission or consent; “Consent” means someone touches your body without asking you and you saying yes; Any sexual behavior or contact that is forced upon a man or woman is sexual abuse. When someone does something to your body that is harmful to you or not liked by you, it is sexual abuse.

Write “SEXUAL ABUSE” on the paper and next to it the key words “forcing sex.” Note the illustration below and explain the example:

Then discuss two other words that could be used to talk about sexual abuse: Sexual assault (when someone sexually hurts you) Rape (when someone forces sexual intercourse) Next discuss and make note of the answers on the chart paper: “What can people do to you that would be sexual abuse?” For example, if someone touched your private parts in a way that you do not like, that would be sexual abuse. Then list “touching private parts.” Then ask, “What are some other things people can do to you that is sexual abuse?” List the answers on the chart paper and be sure to include the bold items below:


Kissing without permission; Touching your private parts without permission; Forced sex or intercourse; Flashing, or showing their private parts without permission; Forcing you to look at sexual materials (photos or videos); Not respecting a person’s privacy (walking in on you while dressing or in the bathroom; A group of people forcing a person to do sexual things; A verbal threat of raping you; Someone insisting that you touch them in a way you do not like; Sexually touching a child or someone much younger, i.e., taking advantage of a person’s age. A boss taking advantage of an employee (or sexual contact between a program participant and a staff member) a supervisor at work touching an employee. T. When is it Abuse and When is it Not? This is an evaluation activity that is provided as an aid in helping to determine how much learning about the forms of abuse has occurred? Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only comfortable seating space required. Paper and pencils to record answers.

Thoughts and Instructions: This evaluation is best done on an individual basis to assure that close one-on-one attention is given to the process which will involve a teacher or leader. (The following is a series of vignettes taken from the ESCAPE Curriculum in the Center for Opportunities and Outcomes at Colombia Teachers College (see http://www.tc.columbia.edu/centers/oopd/projects.html) Read through each of the vignettes and repeat the information, as needed. First ask, is this an example of abuse? Then, if yes, ask for the type of abuse involved. (The answers are in italics following each question). These questions are for female groups, but they may be adapted for a male audience. At the end of the evaluation, review the correct and incorrect responses with the individual and review the reasons for each correct decision. The outcome will provide a reasonable measure of how much additional instruction will be needed. Is It Abuse? If Yes, What Type?


1. Jessica lives at home with her grandmother. Whenever Jessica makes a mistake, her grandmother hits her with a ruler. (Yes, Physical Abuse) 2. Nancy works at a store packing boxes. Nancy’s co-workers are upset with her because she is working slowly. The store manager tells Nancy to try to work faster and not take too many breaks. (No) 3. Joanna lives with her mother. Everyday Joanna’s mother calls her “stupid” and other mean names until she begins to cry. (Yes, Verbal Abuse) 4. One day Theresa bought a Coke from the vending machine. Joe, her co-worker came up from behind her while she was buying her Coke and grabbed her bottom and told her that he wanted to see her naked. (Yes, Sexual Abuse) 5. When Lisa’s brother comes to visit Lisa, he gives her a big hug and says, “I missed you.” (No) 6. Today at work, Lucy did not know how to use the computer. Instead of helping her out, her coworkers pointed and laughed at her. (Yes, Verbal Abuse) 7. Jane lives with her husband, Pete. Sometimes when she gets home, Pete has been drinking and is drunk. When Jane tries to talk to him, Pete gets angry. He tells her to shut up and hits her with the bottle. (Yes, Physical Abuse) 8. Karen works all day at her program. Sometimes Karen makes mistakes. When Karen makes mistakes, her boss comes over and screams at her and calls her stupid. (Yes, Verbal Abuse) 9. Kathy and her friend Dan hang out together a lot. Sometimes when they are alone; Dan pulls down his pants and asks Kathy to touch his private parts. (Yes, Sexual Abuse) 10. Mary and Alice are co-workers and were carrying boxes at work. By mistake Marie drops a box on Alice’s foot. Alice screams “Ouch” in pain. (No) 11. Tammy’s cousin Fred wanted her to follow him outside to show her something gross. When Tammy refused, Fred grabbed her arm and tried to force her out the door. (Yes, Physical Abuse) 12. Samantha works with Ken at the workshop. One day Ken trapped Samantha against the wall. He put his hand on her chest and grabbed her. He told her it would be their secret and threatened to harm her if she told. (Yes, Sexual Abuse) 13. Mike and Alice have been coworkers at the workshop for many years. Whenever they see each other, Mike gives Alice a big pat on the shoulder. (No) 14. One day, Christine and her brother Matt were talking. Matt got mad at Christine for talking too much, so he picked up a bat and tried to hit Christine with the bat. (Yes, Physical Abuse) 15. Leah comes into her program every morning. One morning Michael, who works with her, said, “Hey, dummy” (Yes, Verbal Abuse)
(illustrations from http://www.aamr.org/Reading_Room/pdf/AbuseWaleseasyformat.pdf)


What are Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships? This activity discusses and defines the nature of healthy relationships of all kinds. The follow-up exercise contrasts them with unhealthy or abusive relationships so that the difference is more easily understood.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Sufficient space for comfortable seating. Chart and markers; supplemental illustrations may be added as needed.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity may be done in either a small group or on an individual basis with a teacher or leader. First write “Healthy Relationships” on the writing pad and talk about “What are healthy relationships?” Write the responses on the paper. Then write, “BOTH WANT”. In other words, both want to be friends and close to each other. If it is a healthy sexual relationship, they both choose to have sexual contact. Then write, “SAFE”. In other words, there is no physical danger. They don’t hurt each other physically, and there is no name-calling or put-downs. When two people depend on each other and get help from each other and know they won’t hurt each other, there is “TRUST”. Then write, “RESPECT.” Explain by saying when two people have a healthy and safe relationship, they are nice to each other, polite, and they respect each other’s rights. They respect the right for privacy, the right to be safe, the right to change decisions, the right to practice safe sex and use condoms, and they respect the right to use birth control, if that is their choice. There can be healthy, safe relationships with different people: with boyfriends or husbands, with friends, with family members, with coworkers. Next, let’s look at the opposite, unhealthy or abusive relationships. Write, “ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS” on the chart and to the side write, “PEOPLE GET HURT”. Because there is danger, it may be unsafe. There is no trust or respect in abusive relationships. Write, “DANGER, UNSAFE, NO TRUST, NO RESPECT”. Also, note that abusive relationships can also happen when a group of people puts the person in danger of abuse. Then write SEXUAL, PHYSICAL, AND VERBAL ABUSE on the chart paper and note that abusive/unhealthy relationships include one or all of the three types of abuse. People who abuse are called abusers or batterers. They force you do things you do not want to do. They try different things to try to force you to do things. Sometimes they may make you promise to keep a secret. They force you to do things by making you feel guilty; for example, “You made me do this because you wanted to.” They force you to do things by threatening to hurt you; for example, “If you tell anyone, I’ll hurt you.” Or, they force you to do things by promising gifts or money; for example, “I’ll buy you your favorite music or pay you money if you have sex with me.” At the end of the session, review each of the major points above and answer all questions with as many concrete examples as possible. V. Stopping Abuse


This activity emphasizes what must be done to stop abuse and notes the steps to be taken in deciding and reporting abuse. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating only Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad and markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Write, “Stopping Abuse” on the paper. Discuss the following point and use examples. Have the participants generate examples and illustrate each idea. 1. Act now - Act right away and in time and before it happens again. Try to stop abuse before it happens. 2. Take control of your life – Realize YOU have the ability to control what happens to you. 3. Change things from the way they are if you are not happy. 4. Protect your personal space - Our personal space is the space around us that no one should enter unless you invite him or her to enter. 5. Speak up and say NO to abuse – If you don’t want something, you say “NO.” 6. We can prevent it from happening again - Reporting abuse means to tell people like the police or your counselor what happened. 7. Tell someone you trust. Keep telling people until someone believes you and they do something about it. To make a good decision we must think through the decision carefully. The four main steps are: 1. Deciding if there is a problem and how you feel? If you think it might be abuse, ask yourself what type of abuse would this be? 2. Think about all the choices you have. Ask yourself, “What are the choices?” 3. Know what will happen with each choice and decide if the choice meets your goals. Ask, “What will happen if ….?” 4. Decide which choice is best for you and make a decision. Eliminate the choices that do not meet your goals. Select the best choice that meets your goals. W. What is Neglect? Knowing it when you see it Before ending this chapter, information on the important subject of neglect will be shared. While it is sometimes difficult to illustrate neglect, perhaps the illustration below will be helpful to use in conjunction with the explanations provided.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Comfortable seating only is needed Writing pad and markers; supplemental illustrations may prove helpful.

Thoughts and Instructions: Explain that the law concerning neglect (DD Act: 61 Fed. Reg. 51155-56, to be codified at 42 CFR 1386.19) says that "Neglect", as applies to community services agencies, refers to “a negligent act or omission by an individual responsible for providing services in a facility rendering care or treatment which caused, or may have caused, injury to an individual served or which placed an individual at risk of injury, and includes an act or omission such as the failure to carry out an appropriate individual program plan or treatment plan, failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing or health care or the failure to provide a safe environment.” Explain how neglect refers to something not done by a caretaker, and the person that employs them, to make sure a person is adequately fed and clothed, and to provide services to meet their needs and protect them from injury. In other words, it is not a mean action, but it is not doing the right or needed action. As human beings, we have a right not to be treated with neglect. We must let other important people know when this occurs so that is does not continue. Provide examples to illustrate these points and then have the person(s) present discuss what the word means to them, and how they would know neglect if they saw it or heard it. Then ask them to rehearse the steps they would take to end neglect if it should occur to them or someone they know. List the steps noted above for making the decision to act, and then note the action steps to report neglect.


Chapter 5 Stories of Courage
Introduction: The dictionary informs us that courage may be defined as, “The attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as difficult or painful, instead of withdrawing from it.” It also refers to holding onto convictions; having the courage of one’s convictions means to do what one thinks is right. With that in mind, let’s look at some examples of courage. A. Three Stories of Courage: Let’s Talk About It The following stories are told for use as both examples for the related activities which follow and as a stimulus for further discussions around the meaning and need for courage. Additionally, the stories are based on actual persons known to the author and serve as short tributes to three common, but extraordinary people who embodied courage in their daily lives. Movement Level: Space Requirements: seated Materials Needed: Minimal Only enough space is needed for the group to be comfortably, perhaps in a circle around the narrator. None. As an option, the stories told below may be illustrated with appropriate photos or prints depicting persons of ages similar to the characters, i.e., elderly, middle aged and young adult.

Thoughts and Instructions: The topic may be introduced by first discussing the meaning of courage for each person present. Each person might also be asked to give a specific example based upon person(s) they have known or from events in their lives where they believe courage was shown.

Alberto’s Story
Alberto is getting older. He walks with a cane now, though he waves it around freely when pointing out directions to others. And, he doesn’t walk as sprightly or lively as might be remembered from even a few years back. But he walks… nearly everywhere, from one end of town to the other. I should say that he walks everywhere except when he catches the bus near his apartment to work out on the edge of town, Monday through Friday, every day


of the week, every week of the year, rain or shine. He is quite proud of his staying power. It’s too far to walk and be on time, or he would no doubt walk there. After all, he has aluminum to weigh, floors to sweep, customers to meet and greet --- sometimes cheerfully, sometimes with a grumble if they distract him from what’s at hand. But he loves his work, almost as much as he loves the small town where he has lived all of his years. It would be safe to say that Alberto would rather be at work than be on vacation. For instance, he loves his work clothes, his khaki overalls and ball cap with the insignias, buttons and colorful pins that he readily doffs each time he passes a church. And he doesn’t just pass on by, often he will go inside. He loves what he wears so much, he wears them everyday, even weekends and holidays --when he is at work and when he is off work. And, over the years, there have many times when many people have encouraged him to go on excursions or visit distant family in distant places, but Alberto doesn’t go on trips. He doesn’t like distant places; he likes it at home where he knows nearly everybody and nearly everybody knows him. The long and the short of him is that he keeps up with people, and people keep up with him. Alberto has always been a bachelor; but, at times, he is known to flirt with the women… in fact, it is most of the time. You are likely to see him walking off to the local pub after work, stopping by for a beer or so. “Get out of here,” you might hear him say to an occasional tease or mocked come on, letting everyone knows he’s not buying any con jobs. But when it’s time to leave, the women all want a hug; and he is there with open arms and pats on the back before heading for home. Well, the truth is, he loves just about all women; but when the subject of marriage comes up, you always get the same response: he will quickly drag his finger across his throat and compare it to getting too close of a shave, so close that one’s throat is bloodied in the process. Why he is reluctant about marriage, no one seems to know, and he never had the desire to say exactly, but he has never been reluctant about love. Until only a few years ago, Alberto lived at home with his mother and they looked after one another faithfully. He had always been very close to his home and family. He never had the opportunity to go to school with other children. Instead, he stayed at home, chasing off marauding goats that came to eat from the garden, running errands, and generally looking after matters at home. His mother’s passing was probably the hardest thing he has ever had to face, but he faced it squarely. It takes courage to carry on when you are left behind, but Alberto knows about courage, in his own way. With chin up, much like the style of the cowboys he loves, he put her to rest, and with a little assistance from family and others, he found his own apartment, and made a new life. He has carried on, making friends, finding


out all about their work and families, and then inquiring about them with all detail the next time their paths cross. For some strange and unknown reason people long ago decided that Alberto wasn’t the sort of guy that was able to learn. They were so wrong. Alberto knows nearly everyone in his town and just about everything there is to know about each one. While he could have turned bitter and resentful of opportunities missed, of pleasures never known, instead, he smiles, picks up his cane, doffs his cap, and walks away until another day. You might see him out ambling along, simply carrying on with dignity. Questions to Think About and Talk About: o Is “carrying on”, as Alberto does, an act of courage? o Do you believe that by showing simple courage in your day-to-day life, that you will be encouraging to others? Why do you believe that? o What would you say are the things that might give Alberto the strength to carry on? o If Alberto was having a bad day, what words of encouragement would you give to help cheer him up?

Gene’s Story
Gene is rather tall, lanky and slender, and, on most occasions, you can see him wearing a ready smile, along with his boots and cowboy hat. If he had been around in the Old West, he would surely have answered to the name of “Slim.” While he walks proud, he does wear his boots out rather quickly from dragging a palsied leg, something that he has had to deal with since childhood. But once you get to know him, you never think about his withered leg or arm, and neither does he. Gene grew up on a ranch out in the wide-open spaces of Eastern Colorado. What he wanted most was to be on his own, to be a real cowboy out on the range. One of his favorite stories recalls his decision to attempt the rodeo circuit by first riding a bull at the local rodeo. He tells about slowly mounting the bull while cooing words in the bull’s big, ugly ears. He harnessed his good hand bound to the back of the bull and nodded a go. The moment the gate swung opened, he started counting slowly to three…and nearly made it all the way to three before launching from the bull into the mud and dust of the arena floor. Gene calmly explains the event, “The bull went one way, and I went the other!” His only rewards for the effort was the obliteration of his new hat, a mouth full of dirt to chew on, and a set of bruised ribs to serve as a constant reminder of the event. He says that it taught him a good lesson about what he should not be doing in the future. Figuring out what to do


took much longer. He relishes the story, though, and can’t tell it without lots of leg slaps and belly laughs. On coming of age, Gene moved to town, to be more on his own, and went to work at a sheltered workshop. At first, he lived with others, in either shared apartments or small group homes. He found things to laugh about. He made friends easily and was quick to put other people at ease with his limitations. He thought for himself, and trusted his own thoughts and beliefs. He became a man that others trusted. He was the kind of guy that said what he meant and meant what he said. Though he didn’t own a gun, you might say he was still a straight shooter, in his own way. He no longer talked of buying a pickup truck, or riding bulls; but he still dreamed of someday owning his own home and being on his own. By the time he was forty, he was ready to take his dreams out for a ride, but this time, he didn’t fall off. With both the support of his family, and the support of a persistent program director at the local developmental disability services agency, Gene applied for a low-income housing construction program available at the time. And he had the financial resources he thought were needed --- he supplemented his monthly disability payment by working regularly afternoons and weekends doing janitorial work with a business cleaning crew. And he was a good worker, and a regular worker, one that could be trusted to show up for work, and work hard until the job was finished. However, when the application was processed, the news that came back was bad. The housing authorities rejected his application for a federal housing assistance loan, and apparently based on nothing more than the limitations of his income and his well-documented disability. Thankfully, the loan application provided for an appeals process, and thankfully, a law was passed in 1990 called the Americans with Disabilities Act. With the encouragement of those that supported him, and with the assistance of an attorney, he appealed the decision based on the new law that prohibited unreasonable discrimination against persons with disabilities. The process was slow. Weeks led to weeks and months led to months of waiting and filing further legal appeals. At last, however, the final decision was delivered. Gene had won. He had stood up for his rights to have his own place in this world, and he had won. In fact, he was the first person with developmental disabilities in that part of the country to win such an appeal. Not only was he soon to open the door on the home of his dreams, but in the process he opened the door for many others as well.


It took courage to fight the legal battle, but he fought it and stayed with the fight until he won. Because of the delays, it would have been easy for him to have thrown up his hands and walked away. But he didn’t. He had walked away from the bull, but he wasn’t about to walk away from his dream. Questions to Think About and Talk About: o How does the courage to ride a bull compare with the courage to fight a legal battle? o How did the character and habits that Gene formed prepare him for his later challenges? o How hard is it to give up on some things that aren’t meant to be? o Is it harder to wait for what you want, or harder to take action to get what you want? o What lesson is there to learn from Gene’s example?

Glori´s Story
Glori kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the other half of her nightmare to be told. She found the courage to accept that things were going to be hard for her, but came to believe it was only going to be harder in the future. It seemed that she had her very own gray cloud following her. It took both time and friends to teach her otherwise. Glori was the youngest child in her family, but she always acted more like a mother, father, and oldest child in the family all rolled up into one. It seemed that most members of her family were barely able to take care of themselves, so Glori took care of them. Over the years, her mother became ill and grew weak; she was barely able to walk, bathe herself, and care for herself, so Glori did. Glori learned to do most of the cooking, most of the cleaning, the shopping, and tending to the grooming and care of her mother. It was not only her mother that needed her desperately, there was also her older sister Janey. Janey was barely able to make sounds, she could neither talk, reason, or take care of the simplest of tasks. This meant that Glori might be seen out walking the street with Janey, holding her hand, guiding her steps and giving her a chance to feel the sun on her face. The family needed Glori, and Glori somehow found the strength inside to be there for them. Yes, she had help from others in the family and from friends of the family, and she wasn’t alone in any physical way. What Glori wanted most, though, was to learn what she needed to make a life of her own.


What Glori never found was a refuge, somewhere she could get away to that was safe and pleasant and her own that allowed her to recharge her batteries and meet some of her own needs. In other words, somewhere she could escape from the endless needs of others. For many, school serves as such a place, but not for Glori. She never thrived in school, but she stayed in school until other kids starting mocking her slow ways. After stomaching all the harassment she could take, she walked away from school, but not from learning. Shortly afterwards, thanks to some helpful adults in her world and a resourceful older sister, she found work at a sheltered workshop. This was a place that offered her simple tasks and the satisfaction that comes from working. She put things together, packaged things for sale, cleaned things, and recycled things for further use. But perhaps most importantly, she learned how to get along with others, and she learned how to make friends. Soon she had made several new friends on her own, friends to chat with, to go out shopping with, to go to the movies, or just to get away from things. In fact, her new friends probably meant more to her than anything. It would have been so easy for Glori to have stayed at the workshop forever. After all, it was safe, pleasant enough, and warm in the winter; and people showed her they cared about her. True, she learned work habits and skills, but Glori had long known about work at home, and so she quickly mastered all the new skills available to learn. Sure, she made extra money to help her buy the things she needed, but it didn’t get her where she wanted to go. In short, she had gone as far as there was to go. Rather than making her peace and settling for less, Glori did something very brave, she settled for more… she decided that she had to learn all there was for her to learn. After finding a summer job helping out at the family store, Glori quit the workshop. She still helped her family in the morning, helped stocked shelves in the afternoons, but evenings were for classes. She enrolled in adult education classes so that she could learn to read. She was soon checking books out of the library and talking to her friends about how she would love to have her own business some day. The best bet is that she will be running her own business some day. Glori´s gray cloud had shrunk; she found more sunlight in her life. She found the courage of hope and wouldn’t let it go. Questions to Think About and Talk About: o Do you believe that it takes courage to leave the safe places in life for the chance to continue growing as a person?


o At times, Glori tried to do too much. How can you tell when you have become overburdened or taken on too heavy of a load? o Does it take courage to admit it? o How important are friends in trying to be all you can be? o Which is more important to you now: a safe place or a more risky opportunity to grow?


Activity: Collecting Stories of Courage

People learning to extend their personal limits, and live a full life in spite of the discouragements along the road, likely have a story of courage to tell. Each person’s struggle may be a lesson for others. Each person, each family has a unique story to share that may inspire courage in others. As there is such a wide array of stories out there waiting to be told for lessons they have to teach, the first activity in this chapter is much like a treasure hunt. Movement Level: Minimal. This activity mainly involves identifying the people who might be willing to share their story, then listening, recording and compiling the assorted stories into a storybook. The space needed for collecting stories will vary based on the needs of the individuals involved. For later writing and compiling of stories, a small kitchen table or desktop surface should be sufficient. A small scrapbook will be needed, or as a substitute, construction paper bound together with strings or inserted in a three-ring binder might be used. The stories might be written directly on the pages of the scrapbook or pasted onto a heavier stock paper with non-toxic glue.

Space Requirements:

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: Some judgment and discretion with this task is needed. Before recording the stories, the person contacted should be informed about the purpose of the assignment and assured of the confidential use of the information. As a way of


guaranteeing the confidentiality, the person’s name may be omitted entirely from the recording itself. We would encourage each individual and each family member to learn the stories of others who may have dealt with issues similar to what is currently being faced. Ask one family member to be the official “Recorder” or “Historian” to collect and categorize a scrapbook with as wide array of personal stories and pictures of courageous individuals and families. BASIC TASK: Assemble and collect an assortment of seven stories, one for each day of the week. If helpful, the stories may be tailored to address any special themes, needs, tasks or goals confronting each specific individual and family during a typical week. A challenging variation on this task would be to look at not only the stories of those who have strived to achieve not only a good quality of life, but who also try to make a difference in the world. Additionally, you may wish to assemble as a project, 12 stories, one for each month of the year, that reflect the special efforts of those to try to reach out beyond themselves to enrich the lives of all members of the community. Tape or glue the collected stories to a calendar as a way to provide a more constant reminder of the need for courage throughout the year. ABLER: Perhaps you and your family would like to take the further initiative of compiling several story collections into a Community Book of Courage to be shared with all families. If you would like further assistance in getting your collection printed and published, you may refer to the following websites: for a free self-publishing guide, see http://www.iuniverse.com/contact/request.htm or http://www.lulu.com/ or http://www.trafford.com/ or http://www2.xlibris.com/ C. The Mule’s Story: Let’s Talk About It The following is a true story about courage coming from where it was least expected. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal Only enough space is needed for the group to be seated comfortably, perhaps in a circle around the narrator.


Materials Needed:

The story may be illustrated by directly using this book and sharing the pictures with the participants. If a larger group is involved with the activity, thought might be given to having the photos enlarged and mounted on display tripods in front of the group to allow for better visibility.

Thoughts and Instructions: The topic may be introduced by mutual sharing of incidents from the lives of the participants that illustrate the fact that animals are able to show courage. The previous meanings of courage defined by the group might be briefly reviewed to introduce the activity. An Introduction to the Story: While many people show courage at times, so do animals. From them we are able to learn even more about how to find and show the courage we need to grow as human beings. For example, a memory from childhood is that our father kept a mule around our small farm. Brownie was his name…he was gentle to the core, a good and faithful companion to all, he was always there to help with the common chores, e.g., pulling a plow for breaking the earth for the spring garden, carrying endless burdens with only the smallest of complaints, giving the neighborhood kids a ride on his back just for fun, and helping to keep the tall grass and weeds grazed short with his voracious appetite. In addition to all that, he also took us all out for an occasional ride. But mules are mules, and not the most beautiful of animals. So, they also serve as the brunt of many jokes, especially among the young. Because of all the ribbing I got, I found that I spent less and less time with Brownie. Years later, after reading the story by Shirley Mitchell from Raton, New Mexico, it made me wonder if I had ever learned all about Brownie. Now I also wonder how much courage is hidden from those who do not fully know their animals and fail to look beyond the surface. (The following story and photos are by courtesy of Shirley Mitchell, Regulatory Analyst – Rockies, El Paso Energy, Raton, N.M., (505) 445-6785) A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a mountain lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you'll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision…The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion; but before he could get off a shot, the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That's when all hell broke loose...for the lion. As the lion approached the dogs, the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around, banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it


was dead, than whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride...as if nothing had just happened. Fortunately even though the hunter didn't get off a shot, his wife got off these:




Activity: Finding the Courage in Your Hand This activity is done strictly for the fun of it, but it does continue with the theme of courage being found where least expected. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal A space of about 3 feet by 3 feet is needed for each participant. Water-based, non-toxic tempera paint should be used on a table covered by an absorbent, disposable paper to soak up all accidental spills and mishaps. Paper or cloth aprons may be provided to each participant to insure against accidental spills and staining of clothes. As an alternative plan, the participants would be informed in advance of the activity and asked to wear old clothes appropriate for painting with water-soluble paint. Black, white, yellow tempera paint. As an alternative, non-toxic glue and feathers from a pillow might be used for a more realistic construction, and a more full range of paints might be used, if desired. Also, if the group would like to project their eagle on a blank screen or wall, a slide projector or strong flashlight will be needed.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity is designed to feed the imagination of the participants, so there is no one right or wrong way to do it. Setting some time limit on the activity is encouraged to help them better focus on finishing the activity. Introduction to the Activity: Remind the participants about the story of the mule and the lesson it taught about courage being found where least expected. Explain further, that courage is found in our very own hands and that you are going to show them an example. (Then share the picture of the eagle below with the group). Tell them that if they would like to make an eagle from their own hand, they have everything in front of them to enable them to do it. Give all a choice of drawing other animals on their hand if they would prefer and let them try out all the possibilities by rehearsing with a flashlight against a screen or white wall while the room is darkened to allow for clearer projected images. You will also want to set a time limit on the activity, and then step back and let the imagination take over.




The Starfish Story: Finding the Courage to Make a Difference --- There are There are no simple answers or instructions to one wanting to find the courage needed to live a full-grown life, but there are inspirational words that may help to motivate one to realize that courage. The following story qualifies as one such inspirational story. It is a simple story you may have heard before, but bears repeating. This version was taken from the website of the Tri-Development Center of Aiken County, South Carolina (www.aikentdc.org.resources). It may prove to be inspirational to both individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as to those who work with them. It is a message that acknowledges that while single-handedly we may not be able to change the world our efforts can make a major difference.

Movement Level: Space Requirements:

Minimal Only enough space is needed for the group to be seated comfortably, perhaps in a circle around the


narrator. Materials Needed: No supplemental materials are needed. As an option, the stories told below may be illustrated with appropriate photos or prints of beach scenes and starfishes.

Thoughts and Instructions: The topic may be introduced by first noting the mystery surrounding the nature of courage. Also, provide the reminder that it remains a mystery as to what it takes to inspire a person to do courageous actions. Close by expressing the wish that the following story might serve to inspire at least one person who hears it retold. Early one evening, an old man was walking alone along the edge of seashore. From a distance, the old man could see a young boy busily tossing objects into the sea. As the old man drew closer, he could see that the young boy was picking up starfish from the sand. One by one, the boy was tossing each starfish back into the ocean. As the old man looked about himself, he could see that the shoreline was covered with many thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the sea tide. "What is it you are doing?" inquired the old man. "Why, I am throwing these starfish back into the sea so that they may live," said the boy. "But there are so many of them lying on shore . . .," said the old man. "Do you really believe your time and effort will make any difference?" As the young boy tossed the next starfish he was holding into the sea, he looked up at the old man and said: "It made a difference to that one."


(images from http://www.perspective.com/nature/animalia/starfish.html)

F. The Courage to Be a Self Advocate Finding one’s voice and speaking one’s truth is not always an easy task, no matter how well constructed your voice box may be. As a support for this necessary process, some information may be helpful. This activity points in the direction of some readily available support that is out there. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Only enough space is needed for comfortable seating. Use of a computer with internet access.


Thoughts and Instructions: Share the following information with the individual or group concerning the national support group S.A.B.E., i.e., Self Advocates Becoming Empowered. Locate the website, http://www.sabeusa.org/ for demonstration purposes, and share the following summary of information. 1. As a brief history, S.A.B.E. is an organization that came from a meeting held on August 2, 1991. Over 800 self-advocates from across the United States and Canada met in Nashville for the Second North American People First Conference. The excitement was high as self-advocates voted to start a national self-advocacy organization. They decided to divide the country into nine regions and elected regional representatives to further develop the organization. Representatives meet four times a year. 2. S.A.B.E. as an organization has these stated beliefs:  People with disabilities should be treated as equals.  People should be given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up and empower themselves.  People should be able to make new friendships and renew old friendships just like everyone else.  People should be able to learn from their mistakes like everyone else. 3. The goals of the organization are:  Make self-advocacy available in every state including institutions, high schools, rural areas, and people living with families with local support and advisors to help.  Work with the criminal justice system and people with disabilities about their rights within the criminal justice system.  Close institutions for people with developmental disabilities labels nationwide, and build community supports. Also, note the list of statewide chapters, the newsletters, reports and resources available and listed to become more involved with this work locally, as well as products available including “T-shirts and lots of other cool items” to financially support the organization, if one so chooses. Close by noting other links to websites by person(s) with disabilities promoting self-advocacy: http://www.parentsconnect.org/linkster/linkster.php?CID=10 G. An Empowering Story This is a story telling activity to share with either an individual or group. Read the following story aloud for the empowering lesson it brings to us all. This story was found on the website for the Tri-Development Center of Aiken County, South Carolina, and is used by permission (see


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Comfortable seating only. None (See story below.)

Thoughts and Instructions: Read aloud the following story; and on finishing, talk about the messages taken from the story by the participants.

Something for Stevie
I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had an employee with a mental handicap and wasn’t sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy, with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Down Syndrome. I wasn’t worried about most of my trucker customers, because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The mouthy college kids traveling to school were the ones who concerned me; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truckstop germ;" the pairs of white-shirted businessmen on expense accounts who think every truckstop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie, so I closely watched him for the first few weeks. I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truckstop mascot. After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21 year-old in blue jeans and Nike’s, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, and not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was convincing him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus the dishes and glasses onto the cart and meticulously wipe the table with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing


his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met. Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truckstop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between their being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That’s why the restaurant was such a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work. He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Down Syndrome often had heart problems at an early age, so this wasn’t unexpected; and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months. A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, my head waitress, let out a war whoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of the 50year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look. He grinned. "Okay, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked. "We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and is going to be okay," said Frannie. "I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?" asked Belle. Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the two other drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery; then sighed. "Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be okay," she said, "but I don’t know how he and his mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie, and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we


decided what to do. After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face. "What’s up?" I asked. "I didn’t get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off until after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup." She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something for Stevie." Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his mom and everything and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something for Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply, "Truckers." That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he’s been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday. He called ten times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work, met them in the parking lot, and invited them both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting. "Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took them and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate your coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me." I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up that mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.


Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table. Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There’s more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. Happy Thanksgiving." Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears as well. But you know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table . . . Best worker I ever hired .

If anyone knows the author of this story, please let us know how to get in touch with him/her so that we can give credit for this work. -Ralph Courtney, Executive Director


Chapter 6 What Else Is Needed?
Introduction: Several of the activities included in this chapter will require teamwork, i.e., joining with others that you trust to have your best interest at heart. They may be people you care about deeply, such as family or close friends, or they may simply be people you know from work or from the neighborhood that you believe to be worthy of your trust and confidence. The reason for the need for putting heads together is that some of the things discussed are quite abstract, i.e. there is no way to make them concrete. For example, we each know what love means; but there is no object or thing one can see, touch, taste or feel that goes by the name of love. It is very important to each of us and to each of our lives, but it is not so easy to put your finger on it.

A. You Need Good Work Habits: Let’s Talk About It
This exercise looks at the way we act on the job and asks about the Do’s and Don’ts of behavior on the job. It primarily focuses on the behaviors that are appropriate in office and business settings. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating room only. Writing pad and markers, or tape recorder

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity draws on resources of the support or peer group to help identify behaviors that have no place in business settings. After getting the ideas of the individual, build on them with the ideas of the support group or peer group. The following are supplemental thoughts to be used as needed and to stimulate further discussion. 1. In general, your first job and main guide for behavior is to act in ways that will help complete the job for which you were hired. 2. In general, you will need stay as clean as possible. Wash your hands regularly. 3. You will want to keep your clothes in good order. If a uniform is required, keep it tidy. Remove stains promptly. 4. Offensive language is not tolerated. 5. Bringing personal possessions is usually okay, but don’t overdo it. 6. Displays of affection or personal relationships are usually frowned on.


7. If you don’t know how to do it, don’t do it. Generally only do the tasks for which you have been trained. 8. Don’t be sloppy. Objects strewn about may be safety hazards for others, if not yourself. B. You Need Values to Guide You

The next three activities ask the question “What matters to you? or “What is really important to you?” We say that each individual, way down deep at the core of the person, has underlying values. These values contribute to our beliefs, ideas and opinions. Values serve to guide the direction of our day-to-day lives and to guide the course of our growth. Values, such as Truth, Equality, Generosity, Service, or Kindness, help to give meaning, purpose and worth to our lives. They are important in our lives and are worthwhile to consider, to identify clearly, and to use. Persons who use their values on a daily basis are said to have personal integrity, which is a highly respected value in our society. 1. Asking Others What’s Important. We are going to begin to identify our personal and family values with the following exercise. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Allow sufficient space for each person to be comfortably seated. Pencil or pen and standard-sized paper.

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a beginning exercise in the process of clarifying personal values. Depending on personal preferences and needs of the individual, this activity may be shared with others in a small group format, or may be done on a private, individual basis. If the purpose is to better identify family values, it is recommended that the activity be completed with only family members present. The paper provided to each individual involved in the activity is for the purpose of recording thoughts or future plans for further clarifying values. The person directing the activity should simply ask the participant to concentrate and listen closely as the letter below is read aloud. At the end of the activity, each person should have a short plan of the things they would like to do in the next week to help them better identify their personal values.

To realize The value of a sister or brother, Ask someone Who doesn't have one To realize


The value of the next ten years into the future: Ask a newly Divorced couple. To realize The value of four years: Ask a graduate. To realize The value of one year: Ask a student who Has failed a final exam. To realize The value of nine months: Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn. To realize The value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to A premature baby. To realize The value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize The value of one minute: Ask a person Who has missed the train, bus or plane. To realize The value of one second: Ask a person Who has survived an accident. Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. The origin of this letter is unknown, 2. Using Your Imagination---This exercise asks you to imagine briefly being away from almost everything that you now value. You are asked to relax, close your eyes if you


would like, and then use your imagination. You have just learned that your best friend has moved to a deserted island to live. He or she invites you to come for a visit, a long vacation there. You would really enjoy going on the trip, but the problem is that the boat that goes to the island only stops there twice each year. So, knowing that you will be staying with your friend for the next six months, besides clothes, grooming articles, and personal necessities such as medications, what are you going to take along with you? After you have thought about it deeply, make a list of at least three things that you value most and want take with you on the trip. These may be words or pictures of the objects. Ask a friend or family member to help you make your list, if you would like. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space is required for each participant to be comfortable during the exercise. Paper or writing board and pencil, pen or markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Determine ahead of time how each person would like to record his/her values and provide the tools and means of accomplishing this. It should be stressed that the activity is meant to be both enjoyable, yet helpful, to each person in better identifying personal values. Before concluding the activity, advise the participants that after more time and thought is given, they are free to change their list, if they choose. At least one week should be allowed between the timing of the first two activities in this series and the third follow-up activity noted next. 3. Follow-up Activities: The activities below are intended to provide an end and conclusion to the values clarification process. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal. Both follow-up activities may be done while comfortably seated. Sufficient space is required for each participant to be comfortable during the exercise. Paper or writing board and pencil, pen or markers; (poster board, glue, and colored pebbles, if the last activity is included)

Thoughts and Instructions: These follow-up activities should be done in a relaxed environment where encouragement is given to be honest and open in expressing their values, feelings and beliefs.



Sharing - If the previous two activities have been done in a small group setting, an opportunity should be given to the participants to share what the have learned from the activities with others. If the activities were done in a private or small family setting, an opportunity to share the experience experiences within the family should be provided. Of course, this would be done on a volunteer basis and everyone present should be given an opportunity to share and discuss the lessons learned with others.

b. What if? - Introduce this activity by recalling the opportunity that each person has been given to look at what they value, i.e. what is important to them in guiding and directing their lives. Ask each person if they know what their values are now? Are they able to list them as to which is most important, next in importance, etc? If not, ask them if there is anything they might do that would help them to understand better? If so, assist the person in making a plan to complete the process and plan for further follow-up at a later time. Before concluding this activity, ask them to consider if their values would change if they knew for certain that they would only have five more years of life remaining? Would they change if they knew that they only had one more year of life remaining? Suggestion: to conclude this series of activities you may wish to read the letter entitled “Values” aloud again. c. Making a Plague (Optional final activity): As a way of remembering these activities and the conclusions reached, the participants may wish to make a permanent record or plaque of the three primary values identified. As a way of symbolizing the permanent nature of values, the use of pebbles or colored chat, available at any handcrafts store, may be glued onto the lettered plaque with common household or craft. This plaque may also be framed and kept as an ongoing reminder. You May Need to Improve Your Coping Skills There are times in just about everyone’s life, when problems and worries seem to pile up and challenge one’s ability to deal with them well, i.e., to cope. Having a known way of dealing with them helps to lessen the sense of being overwhelmed or hopeless. The following activity presents a five-step process for the improvement of coping skills. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient for being seated comfortably and for paper or board space. Paper and pencil, pen or markers.


Thoughts and Instructions: If this is done in the context of a group, other than a family group, it is suggested that the process be explained by using an example drawn from


someone outside of the group to ensure better that privacy will be fully respected and possible embarrassment will be avoided. (The example provided by “Will’s Story” is a sample case study available in the last chapter of this book). Also, organizing a worksheet with four columns at the top labeled, “problems, coping resources, coping barriers, and strategies for overcoming barriers” may be a helpful method to use (see sample worksheet provided in Chapter 10) 1. Begin by Listing all Current Problems - Make a list of all the issues that have been a concern or have taken a lot of energy (whether physical, emotional, or mental) to deal with in the past week. If it is a concern of any member of the group, list it. (After the current problems are addressed through this process, you may wish to identify problems anticipated in the near future or problems from the recent past that may return again to be an issue). 2. Order the Items - First, rank the items on the list according to the amount of energy that they have consumed over the past week. Then prioritize them according to their importance or urgency. Choose the items ranked as highest in priority or urgency as the first difficulties to address. 3. Identify Coping Resources – Coping resources are things inside you or outside one’s self in the environment that can help to deal better with the difficulties at hand. Outside resources may include such things as the availability of support agencies or support services, money assets, access to transportation, access to needed information or expertise, etc. Coping resources within may include strengths and qualities that you have that may help in coping, e.g., time, a sense of humor, confidence, ability to find and accept help from others, sensitivity to others, ability to speak up and be assertive, ability to organize, persistence in addressing tasks at hand, creativity, etc. 4. Identify Barriers to Effective Coping - It is important to recognize factors that can interfere or reduce successful coping so that they may be minimized. External barriers may include such things as a lack of information about the problem, deadlines noted, and a lack of resources, a lack of time, heavy workloads or other demands. Internal barriers may include limiting emotions, impaired judgment, emotional distress, or unhelpful beliefs about the problem or about your ability to solve the problem. 5. Reduce the Coping Barriers – Once the barriers are identified, it is important to address them. Challenge any unhelpful thoughts or beliefs about the issue. Remember that is all right to seek out further help or guidance. Develop specific strategies for overcoming the barriers with specific time and task commitments included. D. You May Need to Simply Solve Problems

Problem solving is not such a very difficult thing to do. In fact, it is likely to occur on a daily basis with very little thought involved. For example, at night a friend may call wanting to go out for a cup of coffee and chat. If the hour is getting late and you know that the coffee may keep you awake, and you also know that you need to get up early in the morning for work or something special, the possible choices and relative risks and benefits of accepting the offer seem to run through your mind in the process of providing your friend with an answer. If you are able to define problems, consider alternative choices, and


make decisions about choices, and work a planned solution, you have all the skills needed to effectively solve problems. If not, consider all the very knowledgeable people in the world, that seek out professional problem solvers and consultants for assistance when things become too difficult to deal with alone. In other words, there is nothing wrong in asking for help when needed. In fact, being able to accept needed help should be considered as a personal strength of character. Having a step-by-step procedure for resolving problems may help to make all problems seem a little smaller in size. The following is a basic six-step process for helping people to solve problems. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal; may be done while seated. Sufficient paper or board space. Paper and pencil, pen or markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: If this is done in the context of a group, other than a family group, it is again suggested that the process be explained by using an example drawn from someone outside of the group to ensure better that privacy will be fully respected and possible embarrassment will be avoided. (If desired, “Will´s Story” is a sample case study is provided in the last chapter of this book). Also, as before, organizing a problem-solving worksheet may be a helpful method to use. (See the last chapter of the book for a worksheet sample.) 1. Clearly Identify the Problem – State the problem as clearly as possible, e.g., “I do not have enough money to pay the utility bill.” Be specific about all the circumstances of the problem, e.g., the situation, circumstance, time involved, etc. that make it a problem. Try not to confuse the problem with pre-conceived solutions. Also, ask yourself if it is definitely your problem, and not someone else’s. Try to identify what is maintaining the problem rather than just what caused it, and set reasonable and achievable goals for resolving this. 2. List all Possible Solutions – Don’t limit yourself by considering the worthiness of the possible solution ahead of time. Be creative and forget about the quality of the solution. 3. Evaluate Alternatives - Start by crossing out unreasonable or the least desirable solutions. Put the alternatives in order by order of preference. Then, look at all the solutions left in terms of both their advantages and disadvantages. 4. Decide on a Solution - Be specific as to who, what, when and how. 5. Work the Solution as Planned. 6. Evaluate the Outcome – Did the solution work okay? Does the plan need



to be changed or improved? Does a new plan need to be developed? If so, return to step #2. You Need to Laugh About It

The following information about the value of humor and laughter is taken from information found at: www.holisticonline.com. It serves as an informative introduction to the following activity. A guide or instructor will be required. Patients, doctors and health-care professionals are all finding that laughter may indeed be the best medicine. Laughing is found to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, increase muscle flexion, and boost immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being. Laughter is infectious. Hospitals around the country are incorporating formal and informal laughter therapy programs into their therapeutic regimens. In countries such as India, laughing clubs – in which participants gather in the early morning for the sole purpose of laughing – are becoming as popular as Rotary Clubs in the United States. Humor is a universal language. It's a contagious emotion and a natural diversion. It brings other people in and breaks down barriers. Best of all, it is free and has no known side reactions. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for the participants to be comfortably seated. A notepad of sticky notes, pencil, pens or markers furnished to each participant.

Thoughts and Instructions: Setting some preliminary limits is required. Instructions and guidelines may take the following form: “The next activity involves sharing some of our favorite jokes. You are free to share any joke that you find to be funny or that makes you laugh. However, some jokes are funny only at the expense of other people, e.g., making fun of them or putting them down for the sake of a cheap laugh. We welcome all humor except the humor that comes at the cost of putting someone else down or may offend another member of the group.” After insuring that each person has a sticky note and something to write with, ask them to write a number on the top part of the note that rates how happy they are at that moment. Ask them to pick a number on a scale of one to ten - one stands for “very unhappy,” five would mean “neither happy nor unhappy,” while ten would mean “extremely happy”. Then


begin the activity by telling any favorite joke to the group. If you can’t think of a favorite joke to share, you may choose one of the jokes provided below. After allowing all members present to share their favorite jokes, ask the group to again rate their level of happiness on a 1-10 scale. Tabulate the results and then allow the group to discuss the benefits of laughter that they have discovered by this activity. Note how humor is an inner resource, or coping tool, for us all; and it is especially helpful in difficult or trying times. When times get tough, that seems to be when humor is most needed. Joke #1: There was no rain for a month, and Marvin the mudbug (crayfish) was dry as a bone. Marvin crawled into a yard where there was an Olympic sized swimming pool with sparkling blue water. Marvin was at the edge of the pool when a fat tabby cat appeared. This was the first time the cat had ever set eyes upon a mudbug and so the curious cat decided to keep a close watch on Marvin, just in case the other cats asked about it. "What are you doing?” the cat queried. Marvin said to the cat, "I am tired and dry, and I am going for a swim." The cat said, "There is no swimming in this pool because there is no lifeguard." Marvin said, "How can you stop me from going in?" The cat said, "My paw will stop you." Marvin sneered in the cat's face. "Big deal! I already AM a 'Dad.'" Joke #2: Roy Rogers, known as the King of the Cowboys, for many years and to many people, owned a ranch in the foothills of the mountains where he raised both cattle and sheep. Even though a number of his livestock had recently died, it was his birthday and he intended to enjoy it. So, after enjoying cake and ice cream at his birthday party with a number of his friends that he invited to the ranch house, it was time to open his presents. He enjoyed them all, but the present that pleased him the most was a new pair of fancy, diamond-studded shiny boots that his beloved wife, Dale, had given him. After the party was over, Roy told Dale that he was eager to try out his new boots by going for a ride on Trigger, his favorite horse. So, Roy saddled up Trigger and away he went. After riding a ways into the mountains, he passed by a huge boulder. From the top of the boulder, a huge mountain lion saw Roy approaching and noticed the new boots by their bright shine. At once, the mountain lion jumped down from the top of the boulder and sunk his teeth into the tip of Roy’s new left boot. With a quick jerk, the lion was able to shred Roy’s boot and quickly tear it to pieces. Thankfully, Roy wasn’t hurt, but he saw with disgust what the lion had done to his boot. He became outraged and quickly rode back to the ranch to get his rifle. After briefly explaining to Dale what had happened and how he knew it must have been the same lion that had been killing his livestock, he loaded his rifle on Trigger and headed back out to the boulder. Well, Roy has always been an excellent shot, so after spotting the lion from nearly a mile away, he whipped out his rifle, took quick aim and plugged the vicious mountain lion right between the eyes. He then hopped down from Trigger, loaded the dead lion on the Trigger’s back and headed back to the ranch to show Dale. After seeing him coming, Dale ran out on the porch to greet him. She was so


overcome by joy that she burst out in a song, that goes like this: “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat-who-chewed-ya-new-shoes?” Joke #3: A guy walks into a restaurant, sits down to order, and asked the waiter does he serve crayfish. The waiter says yes. The guy says 'I'll have a pizza'. He points to a chair and says, 'and a plate of chips for my crayfish friend here.' Humor Resources and Conclusions: This activity is a good lead in to pointing out the benefits of humor to improving the way we feel and the power that it gives to each of us has inside to master our moods. If you or the group want to explore the topic of the benefits of humor further, you will find the following subject areas at the website of http://www.holistic-online.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy.htm Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter Humor and Cancer Humor: How Does It Work? Humor Therapy for Stress Management Humor Therapy for Stress Management Humor Therapy for Diabetes Humor and Health, by Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D. - Voltaire (and your grandmother) recognized long ago that humor and laughter are good for you. You've probably noticed yourself that you simply feel better after a good belly laugh. The problem, of course, is that your sense of humor generally abandons you right when you need it the most--on the tough days.


You Need Positive Thoughts

This activity is similar to the previous one in that it involves a demonstration of the benefits of entertaining positive thoughts. It also provides another tool for taking more control of ourselves. However, they are more than just a tool for our use. Positive thoughts seem also to be much like flowers in the garden of life --- to grow and bloom, care and attention is needed. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for the participants to be comfortably seated. A notepad of sticky notes, pencil, pens or markers furnished to each participant.

Thoughts and Instructions: After insuring that each person has a sticky note and something to write with, ask them to write a number on the top part of the note that rates how happy they are at that moment. Ask them to pick a number on a scale of one to ten:


one stands for “very unhappy”, five would mean “neither happy nor unhappy” while ten would mean “extremely happy”. Then begin the activity by informing the person or group that they will now have a chance to enjoy again the happiest day of their life. To serve as an example, the activity leader should briefly describe their happiest day to the group. Then invite the participants to close their eyes and relax. Ask them to imagine, or picture in their minds, all the details of the happiest day in their lives. Ask them to remember all the details about how the day both looked and felt. In particular, ask them to note all the colors present, the smells present, what sounds they heard, and how things felt to the touch. Ask them to make the memory as clear as possible and to enjoy the experience to its fullest. After at least five minutes have passed, ask them to return slowly to the present time and to open their eyes. Then ask the group to again rate their level of happiness on a 1-10 scale. Tabulate the results and then allow the group to discuss the benefits of remembering happy times and pleasant thoughts rediscovered in this activity. Point out how this activity confirms that giving pleasant thoughts room to grow makes for a very good coping tool for each of us to use as needed, and especially when times are tough. Ask them to try during the next week to stay focused on the positive as much as possible. Rather than dwelling on what is wrong, ask them to look for what is right and good, and celebrate it every chance they get. Then the week following this activity, give the persons involved an opportunity to discuss what they have learned in using positive thinking to improve the quality of their life on a daily basis. G. You Need an Encouraging Song

The following two simple tunes have a history of providing encouragement to many people over many years of time.. This activity provides self-affirming songs that might be used as the need arises with the individual or group. If there is an individual present that enjoys singing, ask them to lead the remainder of the group in singing the following two songs. It is likely that some of the older persons present will remember the melody to each of them. The first is adapted from a traditional African-American folk song. I’m On My Way Song --- (Group sing-a-long:) I´m good enough, just like myself, Sure good enough, just like myself, Yes, good enough, just like myself, I´m good enough, OHHH, I´m good enough. I´m on my way to my freedom land, I´m on my way to my freedom land, I´m on my wayyyyy to my freedom land, I´m on my way, Ohhh, I´m on my way.


If they build up a wall, gonna tear it down If they build up a wall, gonna tear it down If they build up a walll, gonna tear it down I’m on my way, Ohhh, I´m on my way. This Little Light of Mine This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Oh, this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shiiiine. This little light of mine, gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine. Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shiiine, This little light of mine, gonna let it shine. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal – feel free to sway to the music. Standing space only. See above lyrics.

Thoughts and Instructions: Hopefully, the participant or participants in this sing-along will find some inspiration in the lyrics. Perhaps the individual or group would wish to add additional lyrics of their own composing. This would also be a good occasion for other songs that the participants find personally encouraging to be shared. H. You Need to Carry On: Coping with Grief and Loss

All of us as human beings are affected by personal grief, loss, and trauma at some point in our lives. Not only does the individual coping with loss need to know about the grieving process, but those persons close to the individual will need to be aware of how they might be of more assistance, also. The material in this section is for informational purposes. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal The material may be reviewed at leisure of in a more formal group setting requiring comfortable seating arrangements. None.

Materials Needed:


Thoughts and Instructions: The following is provided as an educational resource intended to be of assistance primarily to parents, guardians, caretakers or professional staff in human service agencies. It will be helpful to summarize and discuss many of the points noted below, as appropriate, with all concerned. There is a season in all of our lives where we are faced with losing someone we love. Coupled with this natural destiny, if one watches much television, listens to much radio or simply tunes into what people are chatting about at the corner cafe, one will need to deal with the numerous human tragedies, whether man-made or natural. Sooner or later, horrifying images of suffering and pain may confront each of us. We are also likely be called upon to explain and help loved ones deal with personal crisis and the larger questions of pain and suffering. The following information will hopefully prove to be of assistance. 1. Factors Affecting Our Response to Trauma A. Closeness - How physically close was the person to the incident or event which happened? Were family or friends killed or injured in the event? Was their home, school, or work environment either harmed or threatened? In general, the closer the contact, both physically and emotionally, the more severely the individual is likely to respond. Severity of Stressor Involved – A stressor is an event that requires change or adaptation from the individual affected. The greater the change or adaptation required to return to a balanced lifestyle, the greater the stress. In this psychological view of stress, it is not so much the events themselves that are stressful but the degree to which the person feels impelled to change or adapt. Psychologists and mental health professionals are routinely called upon to rate the severity of stressors on a six-point scale with the number 6 being reserved for catastrophic stress, such as those involving multiple deaths. Catastrophic stress may totally derail functioning and adaptation. In evaluating this matter, it is helpful to think in terms of whether the immediate protective and supportive environment is threatened as a consequence of the trauma.


C. Duration – Was the traumatic event a one-time occurrence or is it enduring or likely to reoccur in the future? There are different consequences to anticipate if permanent threat to life or safety is involved. D. The Maturity and Developmental Level of the Individual – Persons with developmental limitations do not reason and emotionally process events in the same manner as others. Persons with broader knowledge, experience, and maturity tend to have more coping tools at their disposal. Younger children and adults operating at a pre-adolescent developmental level tend to be very concrete in their thinking. For example, this implies that if the person sees a dozen replays on television of a bombing or fire, they may think that a dozen fires or bombing have happened.


E. The Reaction of Parents/Guardians and Significant Others – Persons with developmental disabilities will tend to gauge their reactions to traumatic events on those of others – in particular, those of significant adults, whether they be parents, guardians, family members or the key care providers in their lives. They are sensitive to the feelings around them. Feelings and body language often communicate more clearly than spoken words. By observing the behavior of the individual affected, one may get clues as to how they are feeling inside and coping with the trauma. It is a time to be particularly sensitive to changes in behavior and routines that may reflect some disturbance or difficulty coping. Look for any of the common reactions to trauma and crisis noted below. 2. Common Reactions to Trauma and Crisis: • • • • • • • • • • Disturbances to sleeping and eating patterns; Nightmares; Physical complaints, e.g. complaints of stomachaches and headaches; Unusually repetitive patterns of behaviors. Depending on the developmental level of the individual, they may attempt to re-enact the trauma and work through their feelings with repetitive behaviors or play re-enactment. Returning to former behaviors, i.e., regressive behaviors. These may include thumb-sucking, soiling or wetting clothes, or clinging more than usual to those persons on whom they depend. A usually passive individual may become more aggressive and expressive with their behaviors. Similarly, a more aggressive or active person may become more withdrawn. Exhibiting responses to trauma typical of adults, e.g., over reacting to daily stress and frustration, either verbally or behaviorally. Relying more on alcohol and other substances to mute or cloud their feelings. Building and elaborating on revenge fantasies. The common cycle of Grief and Loss noted by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross are typically first denial, shock and confusion, followed by bargaining, anger, guilt, and fear, which leads over time to deepening sadness and depression, followed finally by acceptance and resolution.

The last noted cycle varies considerably from individual to individual. Also, it may be repeatedly processed and recycled over time. In short, there is no right or wrong way to move through the process of grief and loss. Respecting individual differences and coping patterns is more helpful. While normal functioning is likely to return within a few weeks, it may take up to a full year of time to fully assess how well an individual has managed to cope with the loss or trauma. In other words, fully regaining a sense of balance and optimism about the future may take time. 3. Some Helpful Things to Do:


• After time is given for full expression of the initial shock, returning to an maintaining routines is helpful. There is a sense of safety and security inherent in daily routines and they can provide clear sense of comfort. • Don’t alter expectations over the long term. While extra support and nurturance, even extra flexibility is needed at first, the loss or trauma represents a change point that could lead to developing habits and patterns that are unhealthy or counterproductive. For example, if it was not okay to throw dishes or glasses in anger before the crisis, there is no reason why it should be okay as a consequence of the crisis or loss. • Share your own feelings of loss, sadness and concern and in doing so model how to open up and honestly express your feelings. Don’t be afraid to feel. • Normalize feelings - Let the person know that strong and conflicted feelings at a time of grief and loss are perfectly normal and okay. In other words, they are perfectly valid to feel and experience. Help the individual to name or label both their simple feelings and mixed feelings in full sentences that link them to events and actions. For example, “After John died, I was left feeling both anger and sadness: anger that he left so unexpectedly, and sadness that I won’t be seeing him again.” • Be Honest - We all deserve to know the truth of what happened in a language that is appropriate. All the minute details of the event, however, may not be needed or be most helpful. Let the individual guide you by the extent of their questions as to the amount of detail needed for them to understand. • Express your feelings of continued love and support. Reassure the individual that they are safe. If profound grief and extreme emotional reactions persist and interfere with a return to normal functioning, it may be necessary to consult a professional: a doctor, therapist, religious leader, or a behavioral specialist. I. Where Never is Heard a Discouraging Word

This activity is about making affirmations, or positive statements, that we can say to ourselves in times when we need to be our own fans and cheerleaders, our own encouragers. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Sufficient space for the participants to be comfortably seated. A notepad of sticky notes, pencil, pens or markers furnished to each participant.

Thoughts and Instructions: Begin by asking the person or group to share what positive messages they tell themselves when they need to focus their strength to better face difficulties. The activity leader is also encouraged to share with the group the self-


messages that work for them. Alternative ways of introducing this activity would be to either recall the words from the song Home on the Range and its refrain of “never is heard a discouraging word…” or recall the classic story of the “Little Engine that Could” with its’ simple affirmation of “Yes, I can! Yes I can!” Then ask the group to choose for themselves the encouraging words that they most need to hear when both times are tough or the days are tough. Then ask them write it down on the sticky note, (provide assistance, as needed), and to post the note by their bedside so that each morning when they first awaken, they will be reminded of the positive, able to make their own self affirmation. J. It is Okay to Make Mistakes or How Going Backwards May Really Be Going Forward

This activity is meant to help normalize the making of mistakes, i.e. convey the message that it is okay to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are often quite helpful. Similarly, one may find that going backward is only a disguise for going forward. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal May be done while seated. None

Thoughts and Instructions: This is mainly a sharing and discussion activity supplemented with an illustrative story. Begin the activity by discussing how helpful mistakes may be. You may wish to illustrate by examples from your own life or ask the group to share the mistakes they have made that proved helpful in the long term. Then note how learning is often a matter of trial and error. Mistakes are not only okay, but they are helpful in teaching us what not to do and leading us in the direction of what we need to do. You may also to point out how science is simply a systematic way of learning from our mistakes: by taking one’s best guess and putting it to the test, and then correcting the guess if it proves to be a mistaken guess. First, ask the person(s) present to share aloud any mistakes they have made that they learned from or later found to be helpful. After the message has been clearly made and reinforced with examples, ask the participant(s) if they know what a crawdad, or crayfish, is. After processing the responses and allowing for mutual sharing, tell those present that you would like to tell them a little about the crawdad: The crayfish, commonly known as the crawdad, has a lesson to teach us about living. The crawdad protects itself well; it wears a hard outer coating or shell, and it has a set of pincers to bite or to hold objects. Besides the pincers in front, it has four pairs of walking legs to move about. It has quite an appetite, but usually feeds at night when it is safer. It eats both plants and animals, so it has come to have quite a menu of things from which to choose.


While it usually crawls around on the bottom of lakes, rivers or streams, its general movement is always a slow walk. As most youngsters living near creeks can tell you, if you try to get close to the crawdad from the front where one is easily seen, or if you startle it, crawdads are able to use rapid flips of their tail to swim backwards like a shot and escape danger. So, if the crawdad were able to don a cap and gown and mount a lecture hall stage, he might give the following advice to one and all: “If we insist on always going forward, the path ahead may prove to be a nightmare of our own making…. it may only lead us straight into the lap of trouble. Therefore, the next time you find yourself edging backwards, stop to consider… you may be headed in a life-saving direction.”

(Image from Wikipedia.org)


Chapter 7 The Community Side: Path Lighting
Introduction: This chapter considers model programming for inclusive and encouraging community development. Alternative ideas that address human needs and are worthy of further exploration will also be presented. While stories of successful group efforts to deal with the Big Picture are related, individual efforts, initiatives, and successes will also be noted for the lessons that they may have to teach. A. Starting with Teamwork: Lessons From The Geese This simple narrative has inspired many to develop the teamwork needed to make successes happen.

Photo from: virginiasbestkeptsecret.com/roney-photography.

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Space for comfortable seating only. The story may be supplemented with paintings or photos of flying geese.

Thoughts and Instructions: Consumers with disabilities, parents, staff, businesses, etc., all need to work together. The word “synergy” is used to explain what happens when we work together in harmony. The end result is greater than the parts. Just as the crawdad might have something to say to us, there’s a great deal to be learned about teamwork from the following lessons from the geese:


As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone. Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the "lifting power" of the bird immediately in front. Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will join in formations with those who are headed where we want to go. When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position. Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership – with people, as with geese, interdependent with one other. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging – not something less helpful. When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow their fellow member down to help provide protection. They stay with this member of the flock until he or she is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or catch up with their own flock. Lesson: If we have as much sense as the geese, we’ll stand by each other like that. "A Lesson from the Geese" was authored by Dr. Robert McNeish, former Associate Superintendent of Schools, Reisterstown, MD. First delivered at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Reisterstown, MD, 1972. B. Reviewing Model Programs, Initiatives and Resources This section provides a condensed overview of ten model programs, projects, initiatives and resources undertaken in North America to address community development for persons with disabilities and developmental disabilities, in particular.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal Space for comfortable seating only. Suggest the chairs be placed in a circle. A writing pad with markers may be used to note the main points and features of each program and initiative being reviewed by a community group. With more formal group meetings, the material reviewed may be coordinated in advance by means of a Windows Powerpoint presentation.

Thoughts and Instructions: The suggested format for this review would be to involve a community group with at least ten individuals, each assigned a program or initiative to review in advance and present their findings to the group as a whole. The purpose of such a meeting would be to identify workable model initiatives as a base for local program development and initiatives.  Model Communities: An Informal Discussion Among States. This report came out of a meeting of people from six states: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, and Texas. The meetings were held in July 2003 to share information, learn from one another, and explore ways to help each other build better and stronger communities in which people with disabilities are more a part of the fabric of everyday life. All these states received funding to create lasting changes in communities to benefit people with disabilities. (For more information, see http://www.hcbs.org/)  National Technical Assistance Exchange for Community Living. In September 2001, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded two grants for the implementation of this technical assistance exchange, one to Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU), a program of the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, and the other to the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University. The resulting project, Community Living Exchange Collaborative, provides a program of technical assistance for grantees Implementing Systems Change Grants for Community Living under the CMS National Community Living Initiative. The Community Living Exchange Collaborative at ILRU directs its training and technical support toward systematic changes to enable children and adults of any age who have a disability or long-term illness to be as fully integrated into the community as possible, to exercise meaningful choices about any and all aspects of their lives, and to obtain quality services consistent with their preferences. For more information or to request technical assistance contact The Community Living Exchange Collaborative at ILRU, 2323 S. Shepherd, #1000, Houston, TX 77019, or phone 713-520-0232; also see http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ and search Real Choice Systems Change Initiatives and New Freedom


 Seattle – “Involving all Neighbors.” This project was funded jointly by the city and the state Division of Developmental Disabilities to support each Seattle neighborhood in including its members with developmental disabilities. As of 2000, it was the only city in the USA with a staff position dedicated to neighborhood inclusion. Since 1994 this project has focused on encouraging persons with disabilities to get involved in their neighborhood life. The goal is to help neighborhoods become genuine communities and explore ways of involving people who might not other participate in their communities.  Savannah, Georgia – Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community. This was originally a video and more recently published as a book about the life of Waddie Welcome and the community of Savannah that surrounded him and brought him out of a nursing home back into community life. It all began as Tom Kohler joined slides and written materials with a reflection written by Susan Earl to create a talk for people concerned about community building, and especially about community building done by people associated with Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy. Response to the talks led to this book involving Lester Johnson, a citizen advocate, who worked to make Savannah truly a home for Mr. Welcome. (See http://www.waddiewelcome.com/index.htm)  Madison, Wisconsin – Options in Community Living. Options is a service provider agency that has a thirty-one year history and commitment to community building through giving people opportunities for relationships, belonging, inclusion and a meaningful life. Two staff positions at Options focuses specifically on building connections within community but the organization also mandates that this be the responsibility of every staff member. They have recently published “Sharing Community: Strategies, Tips, and Lessons Learned from Experiences in Community Building,” available at http://www.optionsmadison.com/.  Community Member Forums – Minnesota. Small communities in southwest Minnesota started in 1995 to assure that all human service agencies in the area worked together to identify their vision for an inclusive community. Agency personnel invited key leaders in the community, including ministers and priests. They committed themselves to monthly meetings for a year and its members were asked to make friends with persons with developmental disabilities. In the community of Fairmont, a town of 11,000, the goal was set to involve all 250 DD adults in friendship relations. Human service agencies were forced to reorganize their staff and agency focus. Some were not willing to make this commitment, so the goal was not fully reached. Community leaders appeared more adept at meeting the challenge. Lessons learned included: 1) I had to be asked; 2) "I'm getting more out of it than he is;" and 3) "Can I be John's friend? Yes, I can do that." For further information, see Lessons From Community Members About Bridge-Building by Angela Novak Amado, PH.D. see http://www.mnip-


net.org/ddlead.nsf/d0124d90f77b83c9852569a7005c7c68/ada5c869ef190b318525 6a71006957ad!OpenDocument and http://www.brookespublishing.com/store/books/holburn-5907/index.htm  Waterloo, Iowa – Foundations Program. This program focuses on helping young adults with disabilities transition from school to community participation and work life. It aims to help its participants make choices and decisions about their future that incorporate an active involvement in community life.  Ontario, Canada – District Association for Community Living. Community Living is an organization that provides completely individualized supports for people with disabilities. There are no day programs, group homes or any other kinds of programs. Instead, they meet the needs of individuals by building teams around people, helping them plan their lives and working to follow through with those plans to ensure that the people they support are fully integrated into community life and able to build relationships within their community. (http://www.communitylivingontario.ca/features/buildingcommunity.htm)  TASH Connections. This is a news magazine published by the Association for the Severely Handicapped with information about the latest developments in the disability field. Recent articles include: “Lessons Learned About Promoting Friendships,” by Angela Amado; “Friendship: What’s the Real Problem,” by Carol Tashie and Zach Rossetti; and “Requesting Inclusion from the Community” by Angela Novak-Amado and Jacqueline Victorian-Blaney. (See http://www.tash.org/publications/). Refer to the article, entitled “Requesting Inclusion from the Community – The Necessity of Asking” by Angela Novak Amado and Jacqueline Victorian Blaney, TASH Newsletter May 2000. In summary, it notes that “Success for full inclusion involves the absolute necessity for “asking” and of becoming an “askee”. Northwestern University’s Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research were pioneers in this direction. In the original Logan Square Project in the City of Chicago, the neighborhood association was the organizing entity for efforts to determine to what degree ordinary citizens were aware of fellow neighbors and citizens with developmental disabilities, and for asking these ordinary citizens to involve and include all members of the community in their lives.  Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network. Plan is a non-profit organization established in 1989 by and for families committed to future planning and securing a good life for their relatives with disabilities (See http://www.plan.ca/). Two resources available include an article, entitled “Connecting to Citizenship: Social Policy Recommendations to Address Isolation and Loneliness,” by Jack Styan; and “Personal Networks,” a program and service within Plan to help create and sustain personal networks for the purpose of helping individuals to have a more active role in their community.


C. A Community Resource Website: Developing a Website for Building Friendships With estimates of more than half the population of the United States now connected to the web and the cost of registering a domain and establishing a website plummeting, it has become increasingly attractive and feasible tool to consider when trying reaching out to the community. An example of such possibilities comes from Langley, British Colombia, where the Langley Association for Community Living has established a website to further its friendship-building initiative. Review the highlights from this website below in considering this as an alternative your community might wish to explore further. A summary is provided below. (See:http://www.langleyacl.org/friendship.) You've Gotta Have Friends is a group working to ensure that citizens in Langley, including those who live with a disability, have caring people involved in their lives with whom they share friendship and a sense of connection and belonging. The group is sponsored by the Langley Association for Community Living [LACL] which, since 1959, has provided individuals with developmental disabilities and families with children and youth with special needs with a wide range of services. However, a goal not yet realized by LACL is the presence of genuine friendships and relationships for many people who live with a disability. There remains a critical need to build more community connections and authentic friendship opportunities for people who are isolated. While many people have "services," this does not always equate with having a “good life.” LACL is establishing an endowed foundation that will support various community building activities. You've Gotta Have Friends brings together people who have found community for people with disabilities and who want to share their experiences. This group, which has broad community representation, is designing a series of activities to help achieve the goal of creating a welcoming community where everyone embraces a sense of belonging, cares for each other, connects through friendship, and has fun. You've Gotta Have Friends has a goal of breaking down barriers that keep people from experiencing a rich and rewarding life in the community. D. Reviewing Lessons Learned in Community Support

This section summarizes lessons learned by those doing relationship-development and community-building initiatives in North America. Movement Level: Minimal


Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Space for comfortable seating only. Suggest the chairs be placed in a circle. A writing pad with markers may be used to note the main summarized points and note additions or follow-up needs, if indicated. A more formalized presentation is advisable if the material is being presented in a more formal group setting.

Thoughts and Instructions: This educational activity was designed to be conducted as an addition or supplement to the previous activity. It is most appropriate for community group planning purposes. This material was adapted from Learning from Others: Lessons on Relationship and Community Building – a report prepared for You’ve Gotta Have Friends, Tammy Pong [Kwantlen University College], May 6, 2005. The full text is available at: http://www.langleyacl.org/friendship. Lessons Learned: • Concerning Programs: When people are in programs, i.e., day programs, make sure the program itself is inclusive and in the community or risk it being a parallel community. • Don’t do too much at once: Pick three of the biggest issues and tackle them first. • Myths regarding friendship building: 1) “Physical presence translates into social relationships.” Just sitting in a room or beside someone does not a friendship make. 2) “It should happen naturally”. Friendship takes continuous effort. 3) The “social skills” of the person with the disability determines their friendships. Instead, focus on abilities of persons and the willingness and open hearts of the community members. • Transportation is a big obstacle for people with disabilities. It keeps people from going out in the first place or stops someone who was an active participant. • Connectors: When looking for people to get involved, recruit people to be connectors, not companions. Make sure a connector is comfortable with being a connector. • Education and mass media: Mass media has not worked out as one would hope other than being satisfying to those involved. It has not been helpful to do formal education with communities around inclusion because it can group people and further isolate the people who we are trying to help. Try making changes on a smaller, more intimate and individual


scale. • Volunteers: Be aware of situations where “payment” becomes involved; for example, someone gets paid for volunteer hours or gets school or community service awards. Friendships don’t involve payments. Organizations may put limits on volunteers and therefore put limits on relationships. • Don’t leave people out through misunderstanding: Different people have different ideas, beliefs and philosophies of inclusion and friendship. Make sure we meet people where they are at in terms of their beliefs, ideas, and philosophies. E. Sharing Dreams and Empowering Communities This activity assumes there is community interest in reconsidering social programming. Even with expressed interest and support for looking into model programming and lessons learned for improving opportunities and community possibilities for persons with developmental disabilities, still it will likely take a measure of inspiration for the work ahead. One way of providing this inspiration and motivation is through the sharing dreams and visions of a better community for all. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Dependent upon the size of the assembled community group. Dependent upon the means of communication chosen.

Thoughts and Instructions: There are at least three different avenues that may be taken in accomplishing the purpose of this activity, which is to empower the local community through the sharing of the dreams and visions of a better tomorrow. It may be done through: 1. A personal presentation made before a community group by a willing volunteer member or members of the developmental disability community, 2. A videotaped or audio-taped presentation of the message; or, 3. A scripted written presentation by a trusted support person or representative of the individual(s). A place to start would be with the dream-sharing activity discussed in Chapter 3 or the wish-making introductory activity. After reviewing these activities, consider whether there are any elements or themes shared by several individuals. If so, the dream-sharing project


may become a shared group activity. Regardless, dreams that capture the unspoken aspirations of many are likely to be the most effective in inspiring many others to action. As you will want to “strike while the iron is hot”, the leader needs to follow the presentation with an enlistment of community support for making commitments and taking needed first steps to realization. F. The First Two Tools: Looking at the Community Toolbox and Community Asset Maps

Regardless of the community undertaking, whether the project goal is to improve access to public facilities, recruit assistants or mentors, improve access to needed services and assistive technology, increase employment opportunities or increase community leadership and volunteer opportunities, tools will be needed by the community to make it happen. This activity considers two basic tools that will very likely prove helpful. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal Space for computer(s) with internet connection, printer, table and workspace for project members and meeting space. Internet-connected computer(s), printer, table and workspace, writing pad and markers.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This review and information-gathering activity will require two or three volunteer community members with time and resources to review the information available, condense and summarize options, and present the findings to the larger project group. Two valuable community tools will be reviewed and evaluated in terms of the role they may play in future group efforts. Namely, the two resources are: 1. The Community Tool Box at the website: http://ctb.ku.edu . This website was developed by the University of Kansas with the stated mission of “promoting community health and development by connecting people, ideas and resources”. The Tool Box provides over 6,000 pages of practical skill-building information on over 250 different topics, including 125 resources concerning developmental disabilities. Topic sections include step-by-step instruction, examples, checklists and related resources; and 2. Creating Community Asset Maps: When a community undertakes a process of developing community resources, it only makes good sense to choose a thorough assessment of current resources and assets as a starting point. When looking at community resources, it is fruitful to consider all sources, including individual, association, institutional, and economic


resources. This website provides a step-by-step approach to mapping community assets (see http://www.ecnh.unh.edu/asset.ppt) G. Building on Positives: What are the Community Strengths? This individual or collective activity attempts to identify community strengths, prior positive initiatives and success stories for the light and direction they may provide for new undertakings. It then presents them in a format that may be helpful for future community efforts in serving as building blocks for the future. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Moderate The information-gathering component will vary by circumstances; the compilation component will require about one square yard of table space for each participant. Paper and makers, poster boards, old magazines and newspapers, scissors and craft glue. If internet service is available, there is also the option of printing illustrations from that source (see Wikipedia.org for a listing a public domain images).

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity asks participants to first consider the things in the community that have had a positive effect on their own life. From this starting point, speak with their friends, family, neighbors and other people in the community they know for the purpose of identifying the things done in, by or for the community that have made a difference or improved people’s lives. This may include physical improvements, e.g., park benches, or services, e.g. 9-1-1 or home delivery of meals to the elderly. After three or more positives have been identified, ask the person to place them boldly on a poster board and illustrate with pictures taken from the newspapers or magazines. When completed, make arrangements to have the posters presented to the local planning group undertaking new community development initiatives. H. Identifying Community Needs: What’s Missing in this Picture?

This individual or collective activity attempts to identify community needs, or gaps in services or support, for the help it might bring to community decision makers in identifying needs. It then seeks to present them in a format that may be helpful for future community planning efforts.


Image from: http://www.raton.info/mesasgallery.htm

Movement Level: Space Requirements:

Moderate The information-gathering component will vary by circumstances; the compilation component will require about one square yard of table space for each participant. Paper and makers, poster boards, old magazines and newspapers, scissors and craft glue. If computer access is available, illustrations may be printed from the internet.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity asks participants to consider their own needs and wishes for things that might improve their own life and then to speak with their friends, family, neighbors and other people in the community they know for the purpose of identifying the things missing and the needs unmet in the community as a whole. This may include physical needs, as well as social, educational, vocational or recreational needs. After three or more needs have been identified, ask the person to place them boldly on a poster board and illustrate with pictures taken from the newspapers or magazines. When completed make arrangements to have the posters presented to the local planning group undertaking new community development initiatives. I. Perhaps You Just Need to Dodge the Bullet? Project Civic Access

Sometimes the motivation to act may come from a simple desire to avoid a negative or costly alternative. This possibility is increasingly being faced by communities when confronting the legal requirements and mandates for equal access specified in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read the following informational item to see if this possibility might apply to your community. Project Civic Access: Common Problems with the ADA and City Government


Under Project Civic Access, a total of 129 cities, towns and counties have entered into 135 settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to make their programs, services and facilities accessible to people with disabilities (see website for further information: www.ada.gov or call (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TT). In most cases, the compliance reviews were undertaken on the Department of Justice’s own initiative because the governments receive financial assistance from the Department and are prohibited by the Act (Rehabilitation Act of 1973) from discriminating on the basis of disabilities. The following is a partial listing of projects completed to date: accessible parking, accessible routes into and through the facilities, accessible rest rooms, drinking fountains, and telephones, accessible service counters and concession stands, accessible bathing facilities at public pools, physical modifications of polling places, establishment of ADA grievance procedures where none existed in communities employing more than 50 persons, installation of assistive listening systems in assembly areas (legislative chambers, court rooms, municipal auditoriums); strengthening of 9-1-1 emergency services through the acquisition of additional text telephones, and better telephone communication between the government and citizens with hearing or speech impairments through the acquisition of additional text telephones. (See the above website for a listing of all communities involved) J. Community Improvement Ideas?

The following ideas and suggestions were made by community planners in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in response to a funding opportunity to development a model community initiative. They are worthy of exploration by any number of communities (see

Ideas for Action: 1. Concerning Schools: Find even one supportive, sympathetic teacher who would be willing to work with kids on enhancing awareness. Begin with one class, using a video, such as “Interroburst 2003” to stimulate discussion. Support this teacher in working with students on an Awareness Fair, where, for example, kids would be able to experience first-hand what it is like to have a disability. 2. With parents: Work with the local Parent Teacher Association, getting their support for activities such as the Awareness Fair. 3. In town leadership: Approach the Mayor presenting the information that there is a group of individuals in the community who want to be involved with disability issues. Begin discussions around the formation of a core group that can form the basis for a commission or task force. Constituents voicing their needs and concerns can be a powerful agent for change. 4. Town Recreation Departments: Support the hiring of “Inclusion Specialists”. Both Ridgefield and Groton, Connecticut have created such positions, which appear to be working well. In Ridgefield, the Inclusion Specialist helps guide families of children with disabilities in finding appropriate activities for their child, offering options and


contacting instructors as needed to ensure that the child’s needs are fully met. In Groton, the Inclusion Specialist is available to anyone needing support in order to participate in an activity offered by the Parks and Recreation Department. 5. Places of Worship: Outreach to religious groups can be very effective. However, it is important to stress that it is not sympathy you want but action. Start small: one goal or two projects, such as developing a “Welcome Wagon.” 6. Find a Speakers Bureau: Organizations such as “Ability Beyond Disability” (formerly DATAHR) and UCONN Center on Disabilities have speakers available who can present on a wide range of subjects, from the Americans with Disabilities Act to issues affecting inclusive childcare. 7. Educate Hospital Social Workers: Often discharge planning does not take into account the needs of the whole person; and people are discharged from hospitals into nursing facilities rather than community settings due to a lack of understanding on the part of hospital administrators that living in the community is the preferred option where supports are, in fact, available. The Bottom Line: The bottom line is doing the legwork one person at a time. It takes a lot of planning and groundwork to make change happen, first with individuals, one-toone, then with organizations. K. Community Gardens

Community gardens are small plots of land assigned to individuals or groups of people by some organization that holds title or lease to the land, sometimes for rent, sometimes simply as a grant of land. A fee for usage may be charged to defray any additional costs involved in managing such a project. It seems that many community human service organizations and developmental disability agencies may be in a position to establish community gardens on unused or under-used plots of land. Establishing a community garden is a good way for promoting a diversity of interactions which help to promote the development and renewal of community ties, and a solid strategy for promoting community integration. As pointed out in the Wikipedia encyclopedia (www.wikipedia.org), community gardens run from 5'x5' plots to as much as 25' square plots. Usual sizes are in the 10 x 10 to 15 x 15' range. Community gardens are often run by a self-governing set of bylaws, some elect boards in a democratic fashion while others can be run by appointed officials. Most are run by a non-profit, either a community gardening association or a church or other land owner, and sometimes by a city's recreation or parks department or a school or University. There are many different governing models from which to choose. The American Community Gardening Association http://www.communitygarden.org/) is a nonprofit organization of professionals, volunteers and supporters of community greening in urban and rural communities that has a wealth of information on starting your own


community garden. They offer a fact sheet designed to give many different groups the basic information they need to get their gardening project off the ground. ACGA estimates that there are 18,000 Community Gardens throughout the United States, Canada, and the world. In addition to lots of general gardening and horticultural information, their above website also provides links and connections to all Community Garden Programs with known websites.

(Mirian’s Garden from http://www.communitygarden.org/publications.php) For related information, see also, Canada’s Office of Urban Argriculture http://www.cityfarmer.org/, the website of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome)or http://www.nal.usda.gov/pavnet/yp/ypcamgar.htm for information on a model community gardening project that focused on the activity as a part of a violence prevention programming targeting under-privileged and at-risk youth. L. Community Kitchens A community kitchen is a group of individuals who meet regularly to cook healthy, nutritious meals. Everyone is expected to participate in the menu selection shopping, preparation, and cooking; the only requirement is an interest in food. Good nutrition plays a key role in each community kitchen. Participants learn new recipes and are introduced to new foods which contribute to a more balanced diet. As well, several meals are usually taken home and frozen for later, thus furthering healthy eating habits. Members often share nutritional knowledge as they cook and everyone gains from each other’s enthusiasm.


Community kitchens have been developed throughout Canada as a vehicle for promoting community development (see http://www.communitykitchens.ca/). The FoodShare organization has prepared a toolbox for communities to better understand of how community kitchens affect communities and health issues (see http://www.foodshare.net/toolbox_kitchens01.htm. All research findings on community kitchen programs point to the fact that participants find that the greatest benefit is the development of social support networks. In other words, they help to feed the soul, as well as the stomach by breaking down social isolation. However, community kitchens not only contribute social connectedness, but to improved health through the role they play sharing nutrition information, increasing variety in diet, and providing information around food safety issues, they also play an valuable role in improving health through building community. Community kitchens also provide a way for an individual to enjoy a free or low-cost meal in a friendly, non-stigmatizing environment. The more frequently a community kitchen is offered the greater the impact it will have on reducing a participants’ food budget and increasing food access. The other more long-term impact of participating in a community kitchen may be the development of food skills that can lead to employment. Also some participants may gain greater food skills and nutrition knowledge that help to stretch limited food budgets. The Community Kitchens website noted above provides a listing of planning and development considerations, if the idea interests you or members of your community. M. Community Environmental Campaigns and Activities Becoming more involved with the community through participation in environmental campaigns and activities makes good sense. It is good for the individual social life, the sense of belonging and is good for the community. The range of possible activities is quiet broad: o Awareness projects – for example, by painting fish signs near sewer and drainage outlets to remind people that what we pour into the storm sewer eventually ends up in the river, ocean or even the city water supply. o Stream Restoration – clean up and restore urban streams and shorelines by working with governmental agencies to identify the greatest need. Residents may clean up the stream, reintroduce indigenous plants along the shore or landscape nearby walkways. o Bird Habitat Projects – restore local habitat to bring back birds that may have disappeared from an area. Work might include planting native seed-bearing plants in parks and lanes, or building birdhouses designed o attract a particular species (see http://www.audubon.org/


o River Guardians – these are community volunteers who regularly walk a stretch of riverbank, sometimes doing water tests and sometimes reporting suspicious discharges to authorities. A stewardship society might be established to train volunteers to ensure the quality of this community effort. An example of this sort of community project is occurring on the Willamette River in Oregon (see http://www.willamette-riverkeeper.org/) N. Community Crime Prevention Involvement with the life of the community means involvement with both the positives and negatives. Taking part in community crime prevention presents a path toward meeting neighbors and increasing socialization opportunities. It is also a means of giving back to the community and helping to make the community a safer and better place to live. The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) (http://www.ncpc.org/ ) is a private, nonprofit educational organization. It believes that truly effective prevention requires both addressing causes of crime and reducing opportunities for it to occur and that everyone, no matter what age, position, or capacity, can and must take individual action to stop crime. A more recent program emphasis has been on “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” (CPTED), a theory that holds that one may prevent crime through designing a physical environment that positively influences human behavior -- people who use the areas regularly perceive it as safe, and would-be criminals see the areas as a highly risky place to commit crimes. NCPC offers training and a book on CPTED principles and practice. Organized citizen participation usually begins with the formation of a local Crime Prevention Council or, in Canada, a Community Crime Prevention Office. This is where people can meet with one another and the police to address local concerns. Neighborhood Watch supporters, civic groups, community and business leaders, the police, and government typically organize to form a volunteer advisory council. It would serve in an advisory role and have the ability to influence crime prevention policy. Members should represent a wide variety of community interests, and the council should be a formal organization with elected leaders and bylaws. Local action is most effective when combined with the support of local and state policies. Partnerships with the Crime Prevention Coalition are often pursued. The Crime Prevention Coalition of America is a nonpartisan group of over 500 national, state, federal, and community-based organizations united to promote and work toward citizen action to prevent crime. Established in 1980, its members include youth development organizations, municipalities, law enforcement agencies, federal and state government representatives, state crime prevention associations, and community-based groups.



Building Community Image

Over a period of time, some communities seem to leave behind their defining characteristics and distinctions. As a consequence, campaigns to restore or bring a new identity to light are undertaken. Many communities add signs, banners, flags and gates to set their community apart. Hopefully the signs and banners will solidify the image of the community and add an honest meaning and connection for the place. The following ideas (see www.vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook) are some of the forms image-building campaigns might take: Community signposts – Many communities are now defining and naming their neighborhoods and then erecting colorful street signs to mark the boundaries. Community bulletin boards – As may be seen on many college campuses, bulletin boards, blackboards or posting obelisks may be strategically placed along sidewalks, near parks or intersections to inform the community about current events, activities, block parties, clean-up days, etc. Community signs – These warning signs may be used to slow or caution drivers. For example, one neighborhood in Vancouver saw residents hand paint cat signs that identify the street and ask motorists to slow down. Also, signs referring to kids playing or horseback riding areas have been known to impact the speed of traffic. A community fence- Around two hundred citizens of Vancouver were engaged in creating four hundred highly individual pickets to enclose a community garden. Following a practice common to many community art projects, two local artists were hired to train local residents who then drew and carved their personal statements on fences. People without any woodworking experience—seniors, parents and children, people with disabilities, and members of many different ethnic groups—became parttime sculptors. P. Suggestions for Statewide Initiatives?

To be effective, sometimes the scale of the undertaking needs to go beyond community boundaries. For example, in the state of Connecticut (see the program website: http://uconnucedd.org/Projects/CPASS/Default.htm), they are looking at several programming initiatives to foster inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities. This section provides a summary of those initiatives as models for others to consider tackling. 1) A Program to Develop Personal Assistants: The Connecticut Department of Social Services is subcontracting with the University of CT’s A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCE). The purpose is to implement the grant activities for the project Community-Integrated Personal Assistance Services and Supports, entitled “Project


Home” running from October 2003 to September 2006. This program came from the recognition that the demand for personal assistants in the state far exceeds the supply, and that recruitment efforts were fragmented. It was determined essential to the growth of self-determination initiatives in Connecticut that individuals and families have easy access to a pool of qualified staff who meets basic requirements. In addition, Connecticut recognized a need for an education and support system for employers of personal assistants that can prepare them to confidently direct and manage their services and supports. 2) Criminal Justice Project: The goal of the Criminal Justice Project is to improve the capacity of Connecticut’s criminal justice system to meet the needs of persons with cognitive disabilities and to collaborate with government and community agencies to ensure equal access, equal protection, and equal treatment as appropriate for persons with cognitive disabilities in Connecticut’s criminal justice system. One of the program thrusts was to develop a collaborative that brings together government and community agencies, parents and disability advocates to explore ways to improve the experience of persons with cognitive disabilities in Connecticut’s criminal justice system. Through the work of the Collaborative, a police training curriculum has been developed to introduce police to methods of identifying persons with cognitive disabilities, characteristics of such persons that are relevant to police work, and communication techniques to assist police officers in working with persons who have cognitive disabilities. 3) A Family Support Program: The University of Connecticut proposes a Family Support 360 planning grant for a one-stop center. The purpose of the project is to plan a multi-agency partnership to design a one-stop center to assist poor or underserved families with a child or adult member with a developmental disability to preserve, strengthen and maintain their family unit. This project is funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, US Department of Health and Human Services. 4) Other Proposals Under Development: a. In Bridgeport, collaboration has been developed with Democracy Works to provide training to both individuals and prospective future trainers to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities on Boards and Commissions in Bridgeport; and b. New Haven has organized local implementation of National Disability Mentoring Day promoting employment by local businesses of persons with disabilities. The Disability Office has developed a quarterly newsletter focusing on topics of interest to persons with disabilities. Three issues have been distributed to date.



Ideas for Individual Initiatives: You Might Try Mentoring, Business Consulting and Development Work or Support Planning Involvement

Up to this point in the chapter, we have looked more at community and group initiatives in the community, but the reality is that making a difference only takes the actions of one. Three possible ways of becoming involved that require only a part-time commitment include mentoring, business consulting, and support planning involvement. This section looks more closely at these service alternatives. * A Mentor is someone who through support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement and constructive example helps another person, usually younger but not always, to reach his or her work and life goals. Mentoring relationships are a valuable support to those with disabilities by offering not only coaching and guidance, but also serving as effective role models. All mentoring relationships share a common goal of being of service to others; however, it is a two-way relationship. If done in employment situations, it is found that increasing numbers of employers have implemented mentoring programs for one simple reason—mentoring produces positive results, both immediate and for years to come. Evaluations undertaken generally show that mentors report derived benefits from their experience, note increased self-esteem, a sense of accomplishment, the creation of networks of volunteers, and increased patience, and improved supervisory skills. The “mentee” may profit from improved behaviors and sense of personal efficacy, stronger relationships with others, improved interpersonal skills, a first-hand exposure to the realities of the workplace, increased awareness and increased ability to make good choices about the future. Successful Mentoring Relationships - Each mentoring relationship is unique; however, effective mentoring relationships tend to have things in common. For example, the longer the relationship continues, the more positive the outcomes are. People are more likely to benefit from mentoring if their mentor maintains frequent contact with them and gets to know their families and supportive others. As a general rule, developmentally disabled young adults who are disadvantaged, or at-risk, stand to gain the most from mentoring. Program practices that promote quality relationships include: a. Highly qualified staff, b. Screening of mentors c. Structured monitoring d. Training for mentors, and e. A focus on the needs and interests of the individual and not the expectations of mentors.


Research cited by the U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy indicates that mentoring is especially effective in helping those transitioning into the workplace and adulthood. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has funded pilot projects to expand the capacity of community and faith-based organizations to promote mentoring programs for youth with disabilities through intermediary organizations. (See website: U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/cultivate.htm * Business Consulting Probably the biggest need in terms of providing business consulting expertise concerns assistance with helping people start their own business or enterprise, i.e., with entrepreneurship. Today, small business ownership and other self-employment options have the power to lower the traditionally high unemployment rate among people with disabilities and help them achieve economic independence. Concerning the benefits of entrepreneurship, many people with disabilities, particularly those in rural areas where jobs are often scarce, have already created opportunities for themselves through entrepreneurship. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2000 census found that people with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed as the general population, 14.7 percent compared to 8 percent. Addressing Barriers to Self-Employment - Meeting the consulting needs of people with disabilities should start with the recognition that they will often confront barriers when attempting to start entrepreneurial ventures. For example, they may not be able to access the capital needed to start a business because they lack satisfactory credit or assets to use as collateral for a loan. Also, they may not have the information and resources they need to develop an effective business plan. Increasingly, traditional public service providers such as vocational rehabilitation (VR) professionals and workforce development professionals are implementing strategies and establishing partnerships with other public and private sector organizations to advance entrepreneurship as an effective route to economic independence for their clients. Resources which may help to break down these barriers include:

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) program allows people with disabilities receiving SSI benefits to set aside money and resources to help achieve a particular work goal, including selfemployment. The Ticket-to-Work program connects SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with Employment Networks (EN) for training and other support services needed to achieve their employment goals, including self-employment. More than 1,100 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) offer free or lowcost counseling, training and technical assistance to individuals seeking to start their own business in communities across the nation.


The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), comprising more than 10,000 counselors at 389 offices nationwide, provides free small business start-up advice through one-on-one counseling, group workshops and online resources. Local One-Stop Career Centers funded through the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) assist people in training for and obtaining employment, including self-employment. In addition, many non-traditional resources may provide assistance to entrepreneurs with disabilities in turning their business ideas into operating businesses, including: a. Microboards consist of family members, advocates and others who come together to support a particular individual’s self-employment goal. b. Microenterprise organizations include capital development corporations, community and faith-based organizations, micro-loan funds and venture capital firms that offer access to capital and business planning expertise. c. Business incubators are physical facilities that assist small businesses in getting started by providing office space, shared meeting rooms and necessary computer and other equipment such as phones, fax machines, and copiers. d. Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are matched-savings accounts that can help certain people save to buy a home, further education or start a business. There are more than 500 IDA programs, including credit unions and community banks. Accessing the resource of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is a good place to start. The SBA sponsors a variety of programs and resources to assist entrepreneurs with disabilities start and grow their businesses, including the nationwide network of SBDCs that offer free or low-cost one-on-one counseling to help potential entrepreneurs with planning, financing, management, technology, government procurement and other business-related areas. Other resources, include: A. the Small Business and Self-Employment Service in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy that provides advice and referrals to entrepreneurs with disabilities who are interested in starting their own business or exploring other self-employment options. The SBSES Web site includes links to other entrepreneurship sites, including the SBA and state VR programs; and B. Small Business Administration.

* Tips on Being an Effective Member of a Planning Team Some community members may volunteer their services or be asked to serve on support plan development teams. If you are interested in being of such service, it is suggested that you contact a local developmental disability services agency and inquire about the need of the individuals they work with for this service option.


After spending time with the individual getting to know about them and their social network, their needs and dreams for the future, you will need to identify the role and function you might play to maximize the benefits of your service to the individual. The following summary looks at some tips on how you might maximize your experience and service to individual being served. The following tips and suggestions are offered as general guidelines for effective service as a team member for an Individual Support Planning meeting. Certain knowledge and skills are needed to increase the effectiveness of the work accomplished by the planning team. Below is a summary listing: 1. The team needs to adhere to methods and procedures that support high quality planning. Preliminary training is recommended to clarify the role and function they will be serving on the team. 2. Bear in mind that the service and support plan you will be involved with needs to address three primary needs: a) How does it address the need for belonging? b) How does the support plan address the need for autonomy, for being one’s own self? c) How does the support plan address the need for competency? 3. The planning process moves through successive cycles of setting goals, selecting needed action steps, assessing progress, and then adjusting goals and strategies as needed. For this yearly, or more frequent, process to be meaningful in the long term, the identification and statement of a long-term goal or mission is needed. 4. Establishing observable indicators are necessary for meaningful evaluation of the progress made toward the goals. 5. The team should consider multiple alternatives before making decisions. The loss of creative potential appears to come about because team members are often over-eager to commit to the first goal, strategy, or solution that comes up, rather than generating multiple options and then choosing the best among them. Brainstorming procedures are helpful in stimulating creative, open-ended thinking. 6. Individual tailoring of the plan to meet the specific needs or goals of the individual is required based on their own sense of strengths, needs, and priorities. 7. The team needs to assure that there are planning methods in place that lead all members to feel that their input is respected and valued. 8. In general, conflict around the best ways to achieve goals may be decreased when all action steps are clearly linked to the goals. 9. Teams require specific strategies for dealing productively with conflict and controversy. For example, facilitators should be able to recognize and intervene quickly in “negative process,” any cycle of blaming and attacking behaviors. Where skills in conflict management are lacking, there is a high probability that the team’s effectiveness will suffer. 10. Team builds an appreciation of strengths when several strategies are used to focus on strengths. As much as possible, the individual must be trusted and empowered to drive the ISP process.


11. When newcomers to the community are members, guidance may be needed as to the culture of specific communities. Differences in norms and values may increase the difficulty that teams encounter in truly hearing the individual and following their lead in planning.

Chapter 8 Attitude Change
Introduction: This chapter considers all community perspectives in the need for furthering inclusion: the first half of the chapter provides information needed by the general community, while the second half provides information and suggests activities more focused on the individuals involved. The chapter is introduced with an overview of needed attitudinal changes and consequent actions needed for a more full sense of inclusion to occur. The material and activities included in the chapter seek to foster mutual empathy and mutual understanding, acceptance and growth. You are Just You are just As I might be If on your hill, If in your tree. So make a wish The best to be, For all on hills, To all in trees. If in some rut, Or sunk within, Still better dreams May yet attend. Then strike on out To livelong days, Till last in bed Where last to stay. Go find your wings And way to sky,


If all’s the same, Forget good-bye. (verse by Ronald L. Oliver) A. What is needed? New Attitudes and New Actions In her article, entitled “A Gentle Revolution” (see www.disabilityisnatural.com), Kathie Snow argues that what is needed in society is nothing short of a paradigm shift in how we think about disability. As her website title suggestions, disability, like ethnicity, religion, age, gender, and other characteristics, is a natural part of the human condition (U.S. Developmental Disabilities/Bill of Rights Act). She notes that one in five people have some form of disability. While some people are born with disabilities, others acquire them later in life, whether through an accident, illness, or the aging process. “The medical diagnosis may be constant, but whether the condition represents a ‘disability’ is more a consequence of the environment than what a person's body or mind can or cannot do.” Tom Nerney, President of the Center for Self-Determination in Ann Arbor, Michigan (see www.self-determination.com) takes a much more sweeping view of both needed attitudinal and public policy changes. In his address, entitled “This is Freedom” delivered in June, 2000 before the American Association for Mental Retardation (available at http://www.aamr.org/Reading_Room/) he overviewed his beliefs this way: “We believed that all individuals with disabilities are equal and are citizens of this country and should be part of our communities. Then we looked at what “the system” had wrought in terms of human services, and we said “they”—people with disabilities served by the system—are not part of our communities in meaningful ways, not most of them, certainly. If we believe that people with cognitive disabilities are truly equal and if we had a coherent legal and ethical theory to back that up, what would we stop doing right now, if we could? I compiled a very short list of answers.” His list is summarized, as follows: • We would certainly stop “placing” people with disabilities. • I think we would immediately abolish sub-minimum wages. • We would immediately abolish the imposition of guardianship, and we would replace it with something much more respectful. [He later discusses the concept of assisted competence.] We would not allow individuals with disabilities to be deprived of basic citizenship, not if we believed in equality. • We would immediately end what we call group community experience programs… • We would immediately stop the ongoing and continued impoverishment of individuals with disabilities. • We would immediately stop supervising people with disabilities. Free men and women are not supervised.


• We would stop pretending that quality is present in the human service system when there is no freedom. Being treated as equals is a precondition for equality. • And with regard to health and safety, I think we would stop pretending that look-behind strategies, punitive monitoring, or compliance review safeguard anybody long term.” (Nerney, 2000, p. 1-2) If there is an overall key to the proposals for attitudinal change noted it is for society to affirm that a disability label is not the defining characteristic of a person, any more than one's age, religion, ethnicity, or gender is the defining characteristic. We must never use a disability label to measure a person's value or predict a person's potential. And we must recognize that the presence of a disability is not an inherent barrier to a person's success. The consequence of this position is that we come to conclude that We do not need to change people with disabilities! The changed needed is to change ourselves and how we think about disability. If employers believed adults with disabilities have (or could learn) valuable job skills, we wouldn't have an estimated (and shameful) 75 percent unemployment rate of people with disabilities. If merchants perceived people with disabilities as customers with money to spend, we wouldn't have so many inaccessible stores, theaters, restrooms, and more. If the service system identified people with disabilities as "customers," instead of "clients/consumers/recipients," perhaps it would begin to meet a person's real needs (like inclusion, friendships, etc.) instead of trying to remediate his "problems." In Snow’s article, “From Inconvenient to Ordinary”, (also available www.disabilityisnatural.com) she asserts “The solution, it seems, is to present the idea of inclusion as an ordinary need, not as an entitlement, or even a favor. She concludes that while inclusion is actually a moral and ethical issue, and it occurs because of a conscious decision to do it, even though unsure exactly how to make it happen. One must learn by doing, and be willing to make mistakes along the road to inclusion. B. Barriers Unseen The following narrative provides another perspective on the problem of attitudes and the need for meaningful equality of opportunity. (The following was abstracted from an article at the American Association of People with Disabilities, AAPD, website http://www.aapddc.org/.) Barriers Unseen by Olegario "Ollie" D. Cantos VII, Esq. Without a doubt, no one may credibly disagree with the assertion that we as people with disabilities must have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else, but what exactly does that mean? How will society come to embody a celebration of differences and


a spirit of equality rather than paternalism? This question is sometimes as difficult to answer as it is to solve, because paternalism is not always obvious and degrading as in someone blatantly saying, "Awww, look at the handicapped person. Let's do what we can to minimize what must be a debilitating condition characterized by a lower quality of life." Rather, the paternalism (though not consciously intended by any means) takes form in more subtle but no less harmful ways. The attitudes, both of people with and without disabilities, are key to making the difference between failure and success, ignorance and understanding, and limited beliefs and boundless expectations. Legislation, litigation, and direct advocacy are only PART of the ultimate solution. The rest must take form in good old-fashioned basic education. People with and without disabilities must constantly assess how they are to identify and confront negative attitudes. What happened to me as a person who is blind may just as easily have happened to people with any disability and of any age. The disability may vary as may the particular circumstances and situations, but the fundamental tenets are the same. Limited beliefs cross all disabilities and have a direct impact on the views of and about the disability community. These unseen barriers are also a factor behind limited expectations within social, educational, political, and economic contexts. Our reaction to all of this, of course, is not to become embittered or to lead members of the general public to think that we as people with disabilities and those who love and support us must have some sort of chip on our proverbial shoulders. We need constantly to educate the public about our abilities and to strive to enable people to understand that the most basic of daily tasks and recreational activities are not something to be praised simply because we do them. Instead, we should be praised for the true quality of what we do (judged on the same expectations as others) and, in a recreational setting, our having fun should simply be looked at as our enjoying life to the same degree as those without disabilities. People should not view disability as a basis for our somehow being unluckier than the rest of the population. Gone are the old notions of disability either as a curse or a blessing. We are neither tragically deprived nor wondrously gifted simply by virtue of the disabilities we possess. To cause a revolution in the societal mindset, we as members of a united community (both with and without disabilities) must renew our commitment to the ideal of equality of opportunity in every setting. Meanwhile, we as people with disabilities will assert our right to participate fully in the life of our respective communities, NOT under the rubric of "beating the odds" but in the spirit of simply doing what others do, fulfilling and exceeding expectations as others fulfill and exceed them, living as others live, striving for our dreams in the same way that others do, and persisting to achieve our goals as all of us should. As a society, our attitudes may be our greatest assets, or they may be the chief contributors to our worst downfall. The choice is ours. C. Working on Communication


It is not unusual for people unacquainted with persons with developmental disabilities to feel uncomfortable in their presence. One may have doubts about how to act or what to say, but it is all about manners and respect. The following suggestions are drawn primarily from the Littleton, New Hampshire website, www.gotlittleton.com. Start with hello and consider the first words and actions needed to be no different from the way anyone else would be treated. Adults are adults. Don’t rush to be helpful. Always ask before assisting someone with a disability, as your assistance may not be required.

Be considerate of the extra time it might take a person with a disability to do some things. If directly addressed by a person with a disability it is disrespectful to respond to their companion and treat them as if they were not there. Speak directly to the person, even if he or she has a sign language interpreter. If the person is in a wheelchair, consider it to be an extension of their personal space. For example, don't rest or lean on a person's wheelchair Most persons in wheelchair appreciate the attempts you make to speak with them at eye level. Don't pet or distract a guide or companion dog when it is working. Give unhurried attention to a person who stutters or has difficulty speaking. Don’t pretend to understand. If you didn't understand what the person said, ask them to repeat it. To aid in lip reading, when speaking to a person who is hard of hearing, look directly at them, and speak slowly and calmly. Greet a person who is visually impaired by telling the person your name and where you are. Use People First Language, i.e., people with disabilities are people, first. Try saying 'people with disabilities' instead of 'the handicapped' or 'the disabled'.

 

D. Finding Space in Community Business As generating supportive community environments is the direction needed for community inclusion to flourish, we need to be aware of the following relevant information, drawn principally from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy,


(see: http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/diverse.htm) entitled, “Diverse Perspectives: People with Disabilities Fulfilling Your Business Goals.” By fostering a culture of diversity or a capacity to appreciate and value individual differences, in all aspects of their operations, employers benefit from varied perspectives on how to confront business challenges and achieve success. Although the term is most often used to refer to differences among individuals such as ethnicity, gender, age and religion, diversity actually encompasses the infinite range of individuals’ unique attributes and experiences. As the USA’s largest minority – comprising almost 50 million individuals – people with disabilities contribute to diversity, and businesses can enhance their competitive edge by taking steps to ensure they are integrated into their workforce and customer base. In the Workforce Perhaps more than any other group of people, individuals with disabilities have the ability to adapt to different situations and circumstances. As employees, they add to the range of viewpoints businesses need to succeed, offering fresh ideas on how to solve problems, accomplish tasks and implement strategies. Hiring people with disabilities can positively affect a business’s bottom line. Recruiting and retaining workers with disabilities is one strategy to counter the effects of the aging and shrinking workforce. This untapped labor pool can offer a source of skilled employees and can contribute to increasing retention and reducing turnover. In addition, tax incentives and technical assistance can assist with accommodations, which are often relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. To gain these benefits and others, employers should take steps to attract and retain employees with disabilities, such as:
• • • • • • •

Seeking out qualified candidates with disabilities for job openings Establishing a system for educating all workers about the value people with disabilities bring to an organization Incorporating a disability focus into any diversity training program Ensuring that internal professional development programs are available to people with disabilities Providing employees with disabilities with candid and prompt feedback on their performance in the same manner as provided for individuals without disabilities Making certain that training and other off-site activities are accessible to employees with disabilities Taking advantage of tax credits and education resources to provide accommodations for both new employees with disabilities and employees returning to work following an illness or injury


Related Supplemental Information: The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy website (http://www.dol.gov/odep/) also offers two additional informational brochures worthy of attention and careful reading: 1) Guides to Hiring Practices, which notes the following resources helpful to the potential employer in ensuring that their hiring practices is inclusive of individuals with disabilities: Job Accommodation Network (JAN): 1-800-526-7234 (V/TTY) Access Board: 1-800-872-2253 (V) or 1-800-993-2822 (TTY) Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 1-800-669-3362 (V) or 1-800-800-3302 (TTY) ADA & IT Centers: 1-800-949-4232 (V/TTY) 2) Disability Friendly Strategies for the Workplace (Prepared in cooperation with the Business Leadership Network (BLN), an employer-led endeavor of the Office of Disability Employment Policy supported by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Some of the disability friendly strategies are briefly noted as follows: Make a corporate commitment to include persons with disabilities among your stakeholders -- CEO commitment means senior leadership will embrace disability policies and that the organization will “talk the talk and walk the walk.” Educate all staff on disability -- Providing disability education dispels myths and enables all staff to make sound disability employment decisions Provide ongoing information on disability-- Continued education enables employees to utilize pertinent disability information to resolve everyday family and work life situations. Form a disability support group -- Disability perspectives enable all employees to contribute their full work potential to corporate success. Provide accessible facilities and services -- Accessible facilities and services are more useful for everybody. Accommodate applicants and workers with disabilities --An open policy on accommodations allows candidates and workers with disabilities to demonstrate what they can do.


Project a disability friendly image to attract candidates and customers with disabilities -- Building relationships with community agencies increases referrals of candidates with disabilities. Hire applicants with disabilities -- A diverse workforce includes employees with disabilities. Train and advance workers with disabilities Encourage staff to volunteer in the community --Employers who want to make a difference in the disability employment arena are eager to influence tomorrow’s disabled workers and help job candidates with disabilities with their search. E. Looking at the Common Ground

This activity is appropriate for presentation before most community groups or groups of interested citizens. It may be conducted by either a professional or lay persons in the field. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal About two square yards for presentation space Large writing pad, markers, and tripod for mounting the writing pad.

Thoughts and Instructions: First draw a line down the length of the writing pad and on one side indicate “Positive Characteristics: Strengths and Abilities” and on the other side note “Negative Characteristics: Weaknesses.” Then inform the group that you have a point to make about persons with developmental disabilities and you would like to do it by making a comparison. Start by making a provision to respect the privacy of the individual involved by asking that they withhold the name or identifying information. Then ask a volunteer member of the audience to describe first the qualities and characteristics of a person with developmental disabilities that they know well and start with the positive characteristics, strengths and abilities. Then ask them to note any negative characteristics, weaknesses or needs of which they are aware. Number the responses on both sides.


On a second sheet of paper, ask the same person to do the same task for someone he or she personally knows well that does not have developmental disabilities. When completed, compare the numbers on both sheets and point out the likelihood that the positive characteristics will greatly outnumber the negative characteristics for both individuals analyzed in the exercise. Then note how this points to our common humanity and similar range of characteristics. If you look first at abilities and strengths and think of persons with developmental disabilities as a person first then all sorts of meaningful implications follow. This exercise is a simple way to pointing out the obvious conclusion that there are many more similarities than differences, i.e. more common ground and connections than disconnections. F. What’s It Like? Tell me About It

This is a hands-on, sensitizing activity that uses a variety of teaching tools for sharing with a community audience. The intent is to educate and provide a heightened awareness of some the daily realities and challenges faced by persons with disabilities. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal to moderate This was would depend on the amount and size of the adaptive equipment and devices being utilized. None (optional video-recording equipment)

Thoughts and Instructions: This is a show-and-tell community presentation activity. Once a speaking invitation has been extended by a local group or organization, participants will need to be interviewed and screened for their willingness to participate. If the facilitator is faced with shyness, reluctance or refusal to participate, consideration could be given to providing a second option of rehearsing and recording the presentation in advance. That might be done in any feasible environment that would be most comfortable for the volunteer participant. As the focus is on educating the public, start with a simple introduction and let the person focus on his strengths and abilities. Then note how the needed adaptive device or equipment is used, pointing out advantages and disadvantages, such as any special care or handling difficulties to give the audience a more accurate picture. Such assistive technology devices as adaptive dinnerware and utensils, addressing adaptive equipment, special helmets and protective devices, in addition to ambulation devices might be assembled for purposes of the presentation. G. Walk a Mile

This activity builds upon the accepted wisdom in the saying concerning the need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before beginning to understand them. This activity has as a purpose offering others such a perspective.


Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Moderate Service agency access. The individual hosts might be asked to design their own brochure or poster that summarizes the places and patterns of their daily lives or the services and programs of the agency, if so involved. If involved in a day program or service agency setting, the opportunity might also be provided to customize and adapt the current agency brochure to reflect the individual involvement of the host. For example, replacing lengthy written descriptions with snapshots. An invitational card might also be designed and mailed to the participant by the host as a formal reminder of the agreed visit, time and location, as well as contact information.

Thoughts and Instructions: Many administrative leaders in developmental disability service agencies have the opportunity to inform the public about the work of their agency. In the course of doing community presentations, the agency leader might ask for members of the audience to make a commitment of taking twenty minutes of their time, about the time it would take to walk literally a mile, to visit, meet with and better get to know the individuals the agency serves. Several volunteers drawn from among agency consumers would be chosen to act as host and guide. The visits might be coordinated to occur on designated days, or on days dedicated to promoting community involvement or an initiative similar to an open house experience. This is a win/win activity as the host and guides, as well as the visitors would profit from arriving at a better understanding and sensitivity to mutual needs. As a means of broadening the impact of the experience an agreement might be made in advance that the visitor would be obligated to share the experience with others. (Note: A simple alternative experience might also be arranged. The guest might simply be invited to go for a walk with the consumer as a way of getting to know them one-on-one. Also, depending upon individual and agency needs, both a screening and brief introductory training element may also need to be added as supplemental component of this activity.) H. Let’s Make it a Date

As a way of providing a reciprocal opportunity to the previous one, this activity proposes a framework for arranging additional mutual encounters and learning experiences. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Dependent on the experience planned. Calendar; appointment or invitation cards.


Thoughts and Instructions: This activity might be made part of a packaged deal with the previous one. It would then be viewed as the second part of a mutual learning experience when marketed to the community. In other words, the proposal would be to combine two “Welcome to my World” experiences. The community member would have the opportunity for a first hand experience in the world of the consumer and the consumer would likewise be afforded a similar opportunity. In reciprocating, the arrangement might simply be to have lunch together at a favorite restaurant, to take a short tour of the office or worksite of the community member, or share a night out at a local sporting event. The person charged with finalizing the arrangements, the Coordinator, would need to take into consideration the needs and interests of both parties and mediate any differences that might surface. I. Frat Chat

Rather than making community connections in the framework of a service or congregate setting this mixer activity promotes the development of contacts directly in the community.

Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed:

Minimal to moderate Table reservations only needed. Scheduling calendar and colored markers; reminder cards and flyers to promote the activity.

Thoughts and Instructions: This activity establishes direct community linkages, including making arrangements, promotions, and advertising to get the word out to those interested about meeting and chatting. Through preliminary contacts with community service organizations, e.g. Elks, Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, Business and Professional Women’s Club, the opportunity would be extended to interested members for them to take their coffee breaks to meet and chat with people who would thoroughly enjoy the chance to meet and chat awhile. “Frat Chat” could be scheduled for the period of an hour during the morning or afternoon break time, or after work for that matter. To reduce uncertainty, schedule it for the same day at the same community location each week. Arrangements might be coordinated with five different community merchants to be held at a different location each day. This strategy would spread the opportunity throughout the community. Informative flyers could be circulated announcing the arranged dates and locations and a calendar might be posted in service agencies as reminders. Keep guidelines simple, e.g., this is simply an opportunity to get to know an active member of the community who is interested in all of the people in the community. Therefore, let them know what you do, how you think, and emphasize your strengths and abilities. Keep expectations minimal and bill the event simply as a chance to meet new people and chat.



Let me Bend Your Ear: Promoting Volunteer Community Consultants

This activity both offers a volunteer service opportunity to interested members of the community, as well as a potentially enabling and empowering experience and service to persons with developmental disabilities. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Minimal to moderate Small, confidential space requirements, e.g., an available office or private meeting room space anywhere in the community. Table and chairs, appointment or reminder cards, pocket organizer.

Materials Needed:

Thoughts and Instructions: Initially, contacts would be made with community individuals and groups to recruit and enlist volunteers. This activity primarily involves the coordination of volunteers and services, information dissemination, making physical arrangements and assisting as needed with scheduling. Community member expertise would be needed over an array of daily living needs and issues. For example, consultations might be offered at nominal or low cost to individuals with developmental disabilities concerning meal planning and preparation tips, basic budgeting and money management problems, small business development issues, recreational and exercise needs, health or legal advice, safety planning, social etiquette issues, event planning, etc. If the request for volunteer time was kept minimal, e.g. for only one hour each week or each month, it will appear to be more realistic and a less daunting request. Ground rules and limits on the each service would need to be determined and logged. Service providers would need some type of orientation and training to effectively address the needs of the individuals with whom they would be working. Similarly, each individual requesting service would need to be screened for the appropriateness of the request and the goodness of fit with the service provider. The appointments would also need to be coordinated with support staff or family, and transportation arrangements finalized. Due to the scheduling and coordination demands, this service might be offered under the auspices of a current community human services agency as a supplemental program offering. Other than basic good listening and problem-solving skills, the volunteer would not be expected to possess any special sophistication. Depending on the needs of the individuals involved, this activity could also be conducted, at least in part, as a telephone or email consultation service. K. We Have a Speakers Bureau


To personalize messages concerning service and support needs in the community, or to provide testimonials in support of current programs and initiatives, a team of speakers could be formed and organized into a Speaker’s Bureau. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Practice and rehearsal space that hopefully would replicate typical presentation venues. Podium and microphone, any needed visual or audio supporting materials to allow simulations and practice sessions.

Thoughts and Instructions: After recruiting interested individuals and securing service commitments, assistance might be provided, as needed, in fashioning and tailoring the information and message, they may wish to share. It might be supplemented with appropriate audio-visual supports to give their message a greater impact. The emphasis would be on simply telling others about themselves, their strengths, talents and dreams for both themselves and the community. Perhaps a community volunteer could be enlisted to act as a consultant or coach for the Speakers Bureau. Arrangements would also need to be made for practice and rehearsal purposes. The closest approximation of the actual speaking venue would be a helpful aid to learning. If information about the availability of the service is spread through local public service announcements or in connection with a chamber of commerce or community internet sites, the demand for brief, or even more extended presentations, might be cultivated. L. We Have This Volunteer Bureau: Connecting Through Service

This activity is a variation on a Speakers Bureau, except instead of offering a community informational service, the offering would be one of volunteer assistance for community service and organizational service needs. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Moderate Based upon the project. No materials are required, but transportation and logistical arrangements may require assistance and coordination.

Thoughts and Instructions: Initially, the abilities and desires for service, as well as the number of hours and days available would need to be surveyed to determine the level of interest of the participants. This information would need to be matched with the results


from a similar survey of the volunteer needs of community service agencies, organizations and identified projects. Unless the initiative is taken on strictly an individualized basis, a group leader or Coordinator of the activity would need to be selected. The main responsibility of this person would be to arrange and facilitate the volunteer service bureau. Arrangements would need to be made and confirmed in advance to permit coordination of transportation, provision of any specialized training or advanced instructional needs, as well as follow-up to evaluate the experience and need for further volunteer work in the future. An example of such an initiative was a project for delivering daily hot meals to ill and elderly persons in the community accomplished through a coordinated program of Southern Colorado, Developmental Disabilities Services in Trinidad, Colorado (see www.scdds.com for further information). The person arranging the volunteer work, or the Coordinator if done as an agency initiative, might be encouraged to document the experience through photos, videotaping short segment, or use of other supplemental memorabilia that illustrate and help others to understand the experience and decide if they might like to participate. This information could later be used in sharing experiences with other potential volunteers, recruitment purposes, or evaluating the experience for future referral. M. Let’s Talk About the Joy, and Making More of It By emphasizing the positive and the joys found in community involvement, this activity seeks to reinforce and emphasize the things that were done well, and accomplished through more active community involvement. It may serve to help identify the directions needed for the future. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating arrangements; circle the chairs to improve visibility and interaction. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: Ask the individual or group to point out the things that came easiest or most natural and proved most enjoyable from their experiences of involvement in community life. Ask about those experiences and what was most enjoyable or personally rewarding. Explore how one might go about increasing both the number and length of those experiences. Ask and explore the topic of what needs to happen for this to happen. Explore what the experiences tell you about yourself, your needs and desires, and what help this information might offer you in planning future involvement in community life. N. What About Those Potholes? What’s to Learn?


The purpose of this activity is to see difficulties and problems in a more positive light, i.e., opportunities to learn and grow from the experience. The activity provides a practical learning and problem solving experience that serves to demonstrate the steps in problem solving as well as provide an opportunity for sharing and further developing mutual support. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating arrangements; circle the chairs to improve visibility and interaction. Blackboard, whiteboard or writing pad with markers.

Thoughts and Instructions: This mutual sharing activity asks the participants to identify examples and instances they found to be the most difficult or troubling to them in their attempts to involve themselves in the life of the community. Whether the examples are drawn from volunteer work, paid employment, special events, community outings, or simply the everyday encounters of daily life, share the information for the purpose of deciding what might be learned by the individual and by others as a result. This type of group activity might be designed with an assorted mixture of people present, a type of community forum. In other words, members of the community who have been active with issues advancing the needs of persons with developmental disabilities would be meeting with persons with developmental disabilities to better understand their current and future needs. This forum would present an opportunity to explore fully both the greatest difficulties and the major lessons learned to date in advancing the cause of inclusion. The question then posed for the group might be “What did that experience teach you that you would like to share with the group?” This forum would provide a method and vehicle for facilitating an open discussion of community-based issues. O. How Does the Community Story End?

This activity might be done by any member or group of community members. It starts by assuming that communities, i.e., the place of common union, are like people. They change, develop and grow over time and will eventually die. This activity invites the individual or group to compose a fitting epitaph, i.e., the inscription on a memorial to be erected for the community. Movement Level: Space Requirements: Materials Needed: Minimal Comfortable seating only. Writing pad and markers.


Thoughts and Instructions: While poets have previously branded “exclusion” as the dirtiest word in the language, it seems that less attention has been given to the true value and worth of inclusion for every member of the community. This activity may help to address this deficiency of perspectives. It may be done individually or in a group setting. Ask the audience to assume that the end of the community has come, for whatever reason imagined, and that it is now time to compose a few words to serve as fitting memorial to the life of the community. The following directions are given: 1. 2. 3. Briefly write or tell me what is the most fitting epitaph that best describes the life and accomplishments of the community? If your efforts and the efforts of other members of the community could change things in your community, how would you like the epitaph to read? Regardless of the inscription composed, allow the factor of community inclusion to be reflected in your answer.

What would then be done with this epitaph and with whom it might be shared will be left to the imagination of the reader.

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:The_Walls_Came_Tumbling_Down.jpg


A Closing Wish: Author Unknown AN IRISH FRIENDSHIP WISH Good Luck!!


I hope it works... May there always be work for your hands to do; May your purse always hold a coin or two; May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you;

Chapter 9 What If It’s Just Not Happening?
Introduction: One of the assumptions this book works from is that the possibilities for living and doing well in the community with some measure of support and planning is the option that persons with developmental disabilities will most want and need to pursue. Hopefully, this guidebook has helped in some way to advance on that path. However, from my own experience I know that this option will be much easier for some to develop than others. Along the way I have met any number of individuals that presented daunting challenges and obstacles to accomplishing this purpose. Perhaps the reader is now confronted with such a challenge and needs more assistance and guidance than has been provided so far. This chapter is meant to address those needs and challenges. Rather than using an activity format, this chapter is presented in a question-and-answer format that seeks to provide meaningful information and some directions on where to turn and directions to take. 1. Question: Where should I look to find the resources and answers to needs that aren’t being met? Answer: First, start locally with visits and consultations with your local or area developmental disability services agency. Typically, these professionals have the expertise and experience in either directly dealing with challenging behaviors and difficult issues or, if not, will likely be able to steer you in the right direction and assist you in finding the


specialized you may need. They will also be able to put you in touch with support groups and the resources available from other individuals and families dealing with similar issues. Second, consult with your local ARC and talk with individuals and families who have personal experience to draw upon in answering your questions. The ARC is an organization composed of such people and supportive others. They are devoted to promoting and improving supports and services for people with mental retardation and their families. The Arc is a grassroots organization now with about 140,000 members affiliated through approximately 1,000 state and local chapters across the nation. At the national level, a 24member national board of directors and a delegate body of representatives from each chapter guide The Arc's work. Their national headquarters are located in Silver Springs, Maryland, Bedford, Texas and Washington, D.C. The mission statement of The Arc reads as follows: The Arc of the United States (see www.thearc.org) “advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Together with our network of members and affiliated chapters, we improve systems of supports and services; connect families; inspire communities and influence public policy.” The core values noted include: People First, Democracy, Visionary Leadership Community Participation Diversity Integrity and Excellence. Third, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Developmental Disabilities maintains a website where all state Developmental Disability Councils are listed, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/add/states/ddcs.html. Finally, three other resources may need to be considered: o A listing of Disability-Specific National/International Organizations, which include advocacy organizations, information organizations, wish-granting organizations and nonprofit organizations may be found at http://www.makoa.org/org.htm o The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) - CCD is a coalition of approximately 100 national disability organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society. The University of Colorado assists with program coordination and the website may be accessed at http://www.cu.edu/ColemanInstitute/stateofthestates/Links.html o See the Supplemental Resources listed in the final chapter. 2. In finding and pursuing an answer, what should be avoided?


Answer: The truth is that persons with developmental disabilities are vulnerable to maltreatment and mistreatment. Among others, the international nonprofit agencyof people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals, formerly referred to at the Association for the Severely Handicapped, that now goes by its acronym, TASH, has taken a firm stand on this issue that one needs to know about. TASH has gained international acclaim for its uncompromising stand against separatism, stigmatization, abuse, and neglect. They actively promote the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. Their mission is to eliminate physical and social obstacles that prevent equity, diversity, and quality of life. Twenty-five years ago the organization adopted the following resolution: “TASH affirms the right of all persons with disabilities to freedom from coercive and/or aversive procedures of any kind. TASH is unequivocally opposed to the inappropriate and prolonged use of restraint and seclusion. They urge every state to pass legislation that result in the cessation of dehumanizing and unnecessary use of restraint and seclusion. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, THAT TASH, an international advocacy association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates and people who work in the disability field calls for the cessation of the use of any educational, psychological, or behavioral intervention that exhibits some or all of the following characteristics: 1. dehumanization through the use of procedures that are normally unacceptable in community environments for person who are not labeled with a disability; 2. obvious signs of physical pain experienced by the individual; 3. physical injury and potential or actual side effects such as tissue damage, physical illness, and/or severe physical or emotional stress; 4. effects which would require the involvement of medical personnel, and/or other health care authorities; 5. ambivalence and/or discomfort on the part of the individual, family, staff, and/or caregivers regarding the use of interventions or their own involvement in such interventions; 6. signs of community or peer repulsion or stress from witnessing procedures that are widely divergent from the standard of acceptable practice; 7. the use of physical restraint for any purpose other than crisis intervention to protect individuals from imminent harm; and/or 8. the use of sedative drugs (chemical abuse or restraint) for the sole purpose of behavior management.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT TASH, calls for all persons with severe disabilities to have access to approaches that enable them to positively affect their lives in ways that are meaningful to them. Therefore, educational and other support services applied in situations involving problem behavior must: 1. be developed in collaboration with the individual in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner that facilitates self-determination; 2. be based on a functional behavioral assessment of the internal and external variables that may be affecting the person's behavior; and 3. use the findings of the aforementioned analysis to develop constructive and comprehensive approaches -- including medical, education, communicative, and environmental interventions -- to assist the individual to address the circumstances that adversely affect his or her behavior. Further, supports should be provided in a manner that maximizes access to, and participation in, the full range of typical home, school, and community settings, in order to maximize the individual's personal well being. Adopted October 1981 Revised November 1986 Revised March 2000” 3. If it wasn’t for certain behaviors there wouldn’t be a problem? Answer: First, you should consult a well-qualified Behavioral Specialist experienced in working with adults with developmental disabilities. You need to be aware that behavior consultation is provided to adult recipients who qualify for the HCBS/DD Waiver who need support in learning new life strategies for increasing positive self-direction and promoting well-being. It is also provided to those who are currently experiencing, or may be expected to experience a psychological, behavioral or emotional crisis. These behaviors may include (but are not limited to) aggression, impulsivity, an inability to express feelings or problem solve, as well as a whole range of communication deficits related to the needs and demands of practical daily social life. Consult with the rules that apply in your area and state, but generally, an approved number of behavior consultation hours per week for the development of a behavior plan will apply. The implementation strategies and consistent follow through should be maintained to prevent crisis situations. The Behavior Consultant serves a dual role as therapist and advocate for the client who is experiencing behavioral or emotional difficulties. This service provides intensive collaboration and training for the client as well as any staff development and training to providers and team members related to this need of a client. Second, you need to be informed concerning Positive Behavior Support (PBS). As is noted on the website of the Association for Positive Behavior Support (see www.apbs.org) PBS involves changing situations and events to reduce the likelihood that challenging behaviors


will occur while increasing social, personal and professional qualities and events in their lives. It is referred to as a set of research-based strategies used to increase the quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person’s environment (both home and community). It combines valued outcomes, behavioral and biomedical science, validated procedures and systems change to enhance the quality of life and reduce problem behaviors, including self-injury, aggression, property destruction, pica, defiance and disruption. It involves a team of individuals working together to create prevention strategies and includes processes for functional assessment, comprehensive intervention, and lifestyle enhancement. You need to be aware that a synthesis of more than 100 research articles (see http://ericec.org/digests/e580.html) that involved individuals with various cognitive disabilities found that: • PBS is widely applicable to individuals with serious challenging behaviors.

• Research in PBS is rapidly contributing to our knowledge of how to use the results off assessments and how to correct environmental deficiencies. • PBS is effective in reducing problem behavior by 80 percent in two-thirds of the cases. • Success rates are higher when intervention is based on prior functional assessment

TASH makes this summarization of PBS: “Focusing solely on the reduction of problem behaviors such as through the use of positive or negative consequences, and/or simply reinforcing appropriate behaviors by itself is not considered PBS. PBS interventions and supports involve teaching new skills to replace problem behaviors over time, and assisting the individual to change their interactions. This change must be based on the conduct of a Functional Behavior Assessment. An important difference between positive strategies and restrictive strategies is that positive strategies place treatment emphasis on making desirable responses more probable, where restrictive strategies focus on making negative responses less probable. With positive approaches to behavior change, as desirable behavior increases, problem behaviors, including aggression, self-injury, tantrums, and property destruction become less likely to occur. When individuals with disabilities are supported in ways that validate their worth and when their attempts to communicate through their behavior are responded to constructively, they have less need to behave in ways that are dangerous or that challenge those around them, and the quality of life of all involved improves. This is the goal of positive approaches to behavior change.” See the following additional resource listing concerning PBS: Bambara, L.M., Dunlap, G. & Schwartz, I.S. (Eds) (2004) Positive Behavior Support: Critical Articles on Improving Practice for Individuals with Severe Disabilities. PRO-ED: Austin, TX


Carr, E. G., Horner, R. H., Turnbull, A. P., Marquis, J. G., McLaughlin, D. M., McAtee, M. L., Smith, C. E., Ryan, K. A., Ruef, M. B., Doolabh, A., & Braddock, D. (1999). Positive behavior support for people with developmental disabilities: A research synthesis. Washington, D.C.: American Association on Mental Retardation. Carr, E.G., Dunlap, G., Horner, R.H., Koegel, R.L., Turnbull, A.P., Sailor, W.,Anderson, J.L., Albin, R.W., Koegel, L.K., & Fox, L.(2002) Positive Behavior Support: Evolution of an Applied Science. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 4, 4-16,20. Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice (see www.cecp.air.org) at the University of Oregon and associated with the American Institutes for Research the latest methods and advancements in the field are discussed. Glaeser, B.C., Pierson, M.R. & Fritschmann, N. (2003) Comic Strip Conversations. Journal of Special Education, 36(2) Nov/Dec. Horner, R.H.,Vaughn, B.J.,Day, H.M., Ard, Jr., W.R. (1996). The Relationship Between Setting Events and Problem Behavior. In R. Koegel, L.Koegel & G. Dunlap (Eds.) Positive Behavioral Support: Including People with Difficult Behavior in the Community. (pp 381-402). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. Information Center on Disabilities (http://ericec.org/digests/e58.html) Kansas Institute for Positive Behavioral Support (see www.kipbs.org) LaVigna, G.W. and Donnellan, A.M. (1986). Alternatives To punishment: Solving behavior problems with non-aversive strategies. New York: Irvington.186-187. National School Psychologist website http://www.naspcenter.org/factsheets/pbs_fs.html National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) http://www.pbis.org/main.htm On-line Academy for Positive Behavioral Supports (see http://onlineacademy.org/ U.S. Office of Special Education Programs and University of Kansas. The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, http://www.tash.org/pbs/ Also, See These Articles Available Online


• • •

Beach Center on Disability Research Library (http://www.beachcenter.org/research/) Non-English Resources from the Beach Center (http://www.beachcenter.org/languages/default.asp) KIPBS Glossary of Positive Behavior Support and Applied Behavior Analysis Terms (http://www.kipbs.org//Library/KIPBS/toolbox/OverallGlossary.aspx)

4. While there is obviously a behavioral problem involved, I still believe that more is going on. What needs to be done? Answer: Generally, the direction to take is first to eliminate possible physical causes of the concern or problem. However, recognize that multiple factors may be involved. For example, an authority in the field, Joe Schiappacasse, who previously both consulted nationally and worked with the State of Colorado’s Department of Developmental Disability Services’ Behavior Pharmacology Clinic, noted over 85 percent of the people seen in their traveling clinics for behavioral problems actually had an undiagnosed or untreated medical or neurological condition that either caused or contributed to the "problem behavior." He notes that “Our society has been programmed to see a person's ‘problem behavior’ as a willful act of choice, instead of as a symptom of a person's whole being-current biology included.” He noted that while applied behavioral analysis was often a useful tool, it needed to be combined with “…medical, neurological, biological, contextual, spiritual, and cultural assessments. And through these processes, our goals must always include a plan to discover, from the individual being assessed, ‘Who do you want to be?’ and to learn what intrinsic (internal) motivators and reinforcers he prefers.” (See interview, “Joe Schiappacasse on Everyone's Behavior” in Kathie Snow, (Ed.), Revolutionary Common Sense Newsletter, Oct-Nov 2001 and Dec 2001-Jan 2002 available at: http://www.disabilityisnatural.com/email/index.htm) 5. Can behavioral support programs actually create problems? Answer: Definitely. Repetitive, challenging behaviors over time is able to wear down and exhaust the patience of most people, even those with extensive training and experience. Direct care and treatment staff appear to be the most vulnerable for this eventuality. Aside from the issue of staff in frustration resorting to coercive and restrictive procedures, it is also possible for supposedly supportive environments to lead to the unlearning of positive behaviors, as well as the creation of new dependencies. Joe Schiappacasse discussed this question in conjunction with his introducing the concept of “enviable behavioral supports.” In the disabilityisnatural.org interview noted in response to the last question, Joe was quoted as follows: “It's a concept I use in an attempt to get at the core of what positive behavior supports really are. The concept of positive behavior supports has been twisted into so many different things. Some people


define positive behavior supports as "not using aversives." Well, that's a nice start, but it's only a fraction of what positive support requires. While I appreciate the concept of not using aversive treatments, people with disabilities can still be hurt under the auspices of what some people call positive behavior supports. Not taking a long-term, whole-person perspective; building in artificial supports without a plan to fade them to natural and community supports; indiscriminately reinforcing certain system and staff behavior; or predominately using extrinsic forms of reinforcement are just some of the ways that wellintended support can create greater problems for the individual. It's time to up the ante and focus on enviable behavior supports. We'll know supports are "enviable" when a person looks at the supports and approaches being used in another person's life and says, "Hey, that looks good to me! Can you do the same thing with me? Those are the things I need in my life." Consider the flip side: how many of us have ever read the behavior plan written for a person with a disability and said, "Gee, I'd like this to happen in my life."Providing enviable behavior supports is really a common sense approach that's right for all human beings. We've got to move beyond offering supports from an “us vs. them" orientation.” It's time to recognize that people with disability labels have abilities! The solution to behavioral complexities will come not from focusing solely on a person's perceived deficits, but from identifying and understanding a person's abilities, gifts, and desires. Looking at the whole person is the key. And the ultimate test of whether we're providing healthy behavioral supports is really quite simple: do the supports sustain and increase an individual's belonging, autonomy, and competence?



Chapter 10 Supplemental Resources
The following are supplemental resources and listings of resources that may be of value both to the individual with developmental disabilities and their families, guardians and service and support workers. A. Sample Checklist for Evaluating Social Skill Development (Chapter 3) (Sample checklist for evaluating skill of Accepting Compliments) Participant:___________________________ Date: ________________________ Observer: ______________________ Social Skill Being Demonstrated: ___Accepting Compliments________________ SKILL STEP BEHAVIORS Did the speaker look directly at the person and use his/her name in addressing? YES NO COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS


Did the speaker say “Thank You”? Did the speaker say something like “I am so glad you liked what I did”? Did the speaker share the credit with someone else? (optional step) Did the speaker avoid boasting or discounting the compliment?

Other Comments: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ What were the strength(s) of the demonstration?___________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Recommendations: What might be done to improve the skill?________________ _________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________


Sample Worksheet for Coping Skill Development (See Chapter #7, C) Problem or Source of Stress Coping Resources Barriers to Coping Ways of Overcoming Barriers



Sample Worksheet for Problem Solving Activity (Suggested for use with Chapter #7, D) Worksheet for Identifying the Problem Problem Definition Maintaining Factors 1. 2. 3. Goals for Problem Resolution

Worksheet for Generating Solutions List of All Possible Solutions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Worksheet for Evaluating Alternative Solutions Possible Solutions Advantages Possible Solution #1 Possible Solution #2 Possible Solution #3 Disadvantages List of Solutions After Eliminating Poor Solutions (i.e. unreasonable or undesirable solutions) List the Remaining Solutions in Order of Preference


Possible Solution #4 Worksheet for Deciding on a Solution Action Steps Who When Where


Case Study (Coping and Problem Solving Sections of Chapter #7) Will’s Story

Will was doing just fine in his apartment until his roommate, who shared all the expenses with him, decided to try the greener pastures of a newer apartment and moved. Will’s monthly expenses greatly increased, which left his budget almost unworkable. On top of this situation, a new neighbor, Harry, moved next door and started contributing to his problems. Harry would drop by for a visit at all hours, even late at night, asking to use Will’s telephone. Will was a friendly guy and wanted to get along with his new neighbor, so he told Harry that it was okay for him to use his telephone whenever he needed. Harry seemed to talk forever on the phone now, and it kept Will from keeping in touch with his friends and family as he used to do. At the end of the first month when Will got his telephone bill, he found out that Harry had been making long distance telephone calls and charging them to Will’s phone number. The next time Harry stopped by to use his phone, Will told him about the problem. Harry told him that he would stop by soon and pay what he owed, but he failed to do so. When asked, Harry would come up with a reason that he wasn’t able to pay, and Will went along with the excuses. Then Will started noticing that food was missing. It started out with Will missing a can of Spaghettios; then he noticed that the carton of milk was gone, then the potato chips, then the steak he bought. When he asked Harry about it, he told him he didn’t know anything about the food. At the end of the following month when Will sat down with a friend that helped him write his checks and pay his bills, he discovered that he did not have enough money in the bank to cover either the phone bill or the electric bill. He barely had enough money left to buy the food he would need. It seemed his grocery bill was skyrocketing since his new neighbor Harry moved next door. Shortly after failing to pay his utility bills, he received a


notice from the utility companies saying they were going to turn off services soon unless he made the payments in full. This really bothered Will. It became very hard for him to fall asleep at night. As a result, he started showing up late for work the next morning. After the third time it happened, Will’s his boss talked to him about it and warned him that he was at risk of losing his job if he kept showing up late. Now Will became very worried and frightened about his future. He now had so many problems he wasn’t sure what all they were. Also, he asked himself what he was going to do to cope and solve his problems. E. Developing the Supports You Need: Refer to the resource below for centers located near you. Centers for Independent Living (CIL) CIL’s are community-based, nonprofit organizations that improve opportunities for people with disabilities to live independently and productively. This is the Homepage of their website: http://www.virtualcil.net/cils/ F. Safety Tips for Women As a reminder, consider all these things to do in an emergency situation. This is for you, and for you to share with your family and everyone you know. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in. 1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do! 2. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you....chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION! 3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives. 4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. (DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE. 5. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF; repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead, gun the engine and speed into anything,


wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes, bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location. 6. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage: a.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. b.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars. c.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. 7. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!) 8. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zig – zag pattern! 9. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim. Shannon LaForge Courtroom Deputy to Judge Robert Junell U.S. District Court for the Western District G. Physical Activity Planning Resources References and Resources Eichstaedt, C. B., & Lavay, B. W. (1992). Physical Activity for Individuals with Mental Retardation. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers. (800/7475698)


Gabler-Halle, D., Halle, J.W., & Chung, Y.B. (1993). The effects of aerobic exercise on psychological and behavioral variables with individuals with developmental disabilities: A critical review. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 14, 359-386. Rimmer, J. H. (1994). Fitness and Rehabilitation Programs for Special Populations. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown and Benchmark Publishers. (800/338-5578) Rimmer, J. H. (1996). Physical Fitness in People With Mental Retardation. online at http://www.open.org/~people1/articles/med_fitness.htm . Available

Sherrill, C. (1993). Adapted Physical Activity and Recreation: A Transdisciplinary Approach. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown and Benchmark Publishers. (800/338-5578) Winnick, J. P. (1995). Adapted Physical Education and Sport. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics Publishers. (800/747-5698) Websites: 1. Refer to Health Promotion, Reference, and Program Sections of www.ncpad.org (National Center on Physical Activity and Disability) 2. “Preparing and Implementing a Training Workshop for Staff Members Initiating a Fitness Program for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Living in Group Homes”, Presentation by Sheila A. Ward, Ph.D., MPH available at http://www.healthyvirginians.virginia.gov/Resources/HVConferenceMats/Special%20Pops%20Track_Ward.ppt 3. From website of U.S. Department of Agriculture (http://www.nal.usda.gov/foodstamp/Topics/disab1.html#disabphysact Physical Activity and Special Populations Exercise (Physical Activity) for Older People and Those with Disabilities From: American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4557 Handout describing the American Heart Association physical activity recommendations for those with disabilities.


General Exercise Guidelines for People with Disabilities From: The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability http://www.ncpad.org/ Information on general exercise guidelines for a disabled person. Training Materials for Professionals Creating Effective Health Messages for People with Disabilities http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/promo/messages.htm From: New York State Department of Health Guide to creating effective messages concerning general health, nutrition and physical activity with suggestions such as knowing your audience and using focus groups, using alternative formats, and being inclusive of all people.

FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/health.htm How can we improve the health of people with developmental disabilities? People with developmental disabilities can live healthy lives. Many federal and federally-funded programs help people learn to live well with a disability. We list some of these efforts below. The National Women's Health Information Center: Women with Disabilities Twenty-six million American women live with disabilities (Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). The Office of Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services has created a special section on their National Women's Health Information Center Web site devoted to information and resources for women with disabilities. The Web site covers many topics, including access to health care and breast health services, reproductive health, parenting, and special issues affecting older women, as well as materials on different types of disabilities. http://www.4woman.org/wwd/index.htm Closing the Gap: A National Blueprint to Improve the Health of Persons with Mental Retardation People with mental retardation grow up and grow older and need good health and good health care, just like anyone else. But people with mental retardation may face extra problems in staying healthy and in finding the right health services when they are sick. In December 2001, the U.S. Surgeon General held a conference on health disparities and mental retardation. Closing the Gap: A National Blueprint to Improve the Health of Persons with Mental Retardation is the official report from that conference. The report identifies problems and proposes solutions. It sets goals in several areas to improve the health of people with mental retardation, including health promotion and community environments, knowledge and


understanding, quality of health care, training health care providers, health care financing, and sources of health care, http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/mentalretardation/. CDC’s Disability and Health Program The Disability and Health program at CDC funds states and universities to study how people with disabilities can live healthy lives and to help people do so. It also supports information centers on various aspects of disability and health. The program’s Web site has information about making health care and recreation settings accessible to people with disabilities. It also has information about making it easier for people with disabilities to learn about health issues on the Internet or at meetings. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dh/default.htm The Follow-Up Study of Children with Developmental Disabilities In the mid-1980s, CDC conducted the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Study (MADDS), a study of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hearing loss, mental retardation, and vision impairment in 10-year-old children living in metropolitan Atlanta. A comparison group of children who did not have any disabilities also took part in the study. The Follow-Up Study of Children with Developmental Disabilities contacted many of the original study participants years later, when they were young adults. They were asked questions about their health, living arrangements, socialization, employment, quality of life, use of services, and independence. CDC has started analyzing the information collected in the FollowUp Study and will be looking at such issues as obesity, pain, and use of health services among young adults with disabilities as well as what environmental actors (such as wheelchair ramps) make it easier for young adults with disabilities to carry out their daily activities. Study results will be posted on this Web site as they become available. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dd/ddres.htm#madds INFORMATION FROM THE WEBSITE OF NEW YORK STATE: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/fun/0954.htm

How do I start to design a "universally accessible" program?
Ask people with disabilities about their needs and expectations. Include them in planning, implementing and evaluating your program. Encourage feedback and listen to their concerns. No one sees the obstacles to access like someone who must overcome them. Check that programming is accessible. For example, look for safe, well-lit and attractive walkways with ample width and curb cuts for bicycling, walking and wheelchair activities; and, parking spaces that provide room for vehicles' ramps. Ask a person with a disability for an assessment of your facility's accessibility.


Think about how activities can be adapted and what adaptive equipment is available. The professional associations and resources listed at the end of this brochure can provide guidance and identify sources of assistance or adaptive equipment.

I believe physical activity is important for everyone, but I don't feel confident that I have enough information to create a universally accessible program or enough experience with disabling conditions. Why is it important that I make this effort? And, what will these modifications cost?
There are many important reasons to make the effort to create a universally accessible program: People with disabilities benefit from physical activity. When people with disabilities stay physically fit, they accrue the same health benefits enjoyed by others and, at the same time, reduce their risks for developing additional health problems. A modified program or class will attract a more diversified audience. It is estimated that one in five Americans will become disabled during his or her lifetime. Not all disabilities are visible, and many people develop disabilities as they grow older. These factors may influence the composition of your audience in future years. Inclusive, universally accessible activities contribute to a truly integrated community, where people of all abilities work and live together. Wellness and recreation activities are social occasions at which people enjoy themselves and make new friends. When people of different abilities and backgrounds come together, they can develop positive perceptions, break down barriers, and banish stereotypes. Many modifications are often simple and inexpensive.  You may only have to move an activity to an accessible room with a doorway that is wide enough for a wheelchair. Or, you can show an individual how to perform an exercise differently or with adaptive equipment. You can also move equipment along the paths that already exist between equipment in your gym. Some exercises and sports can be modified with adaptive equipment, such as a hand-pedaled, stationary bicycle; or by performing them differently, such as by sitting for an aerobic or hand-weights class. Adaptive equipment is available for most activities, and prices vary. Together with the individual with a disability, decide what is needed. For more ideas and assistance, contact the professional organizations and agencies listed at the end of this brochure.


OK. That makes sense. I like believing I can help people feel better and healthier. But, how can I adapt programs and exercises? I don't have any special training.
  The first step is to relax! Use your imagination and professional experience and work together with the individual to design a program. The usual recommendation to consult with one's physician before beginning any physical activity program holds true for people with disabilities. The health care professional may suggest certain exercises or activities that the person should perform, as well as those that he or she should avoid. Safety measures should be matched to the person's functional level. For instance, make spotters available for people with disabilities who are using free weights, or offer floatation devices for pools. Next you need to learn about the individual's physical capabilities; health goals; special interests and strengths; and, learning style. You also need to identify activities that may be difficult to perform safely, as well as the person's current level of functional ability. Most importantly find out what they like to do. You do all this by simply asking. Get to know the person, just as you would any new member. Adapting is nothing more than using your professional skills and natural creativity in a different way. In some cases, adapting may simply mean taking an ordinary object and turning it into an adaptive device. For example, an elastic wrap may be used to assist with gripping free weights or to secure feet or hands to a bicycle or an arm ergometer. When creating a program with your client, keep in mind that people with the same disability can differ greatly in their levels of abilities. That's why it's important to be clear about the person's abilities, limitations and exercise preferences. Does he or she feel fatigued while exercising? Maybe he or she is working too hard. Work together to find a comfortable level. Do certain movements cause pain or discomfort? Stop, and try to perform the exercise differently.


It's important to keep the lines of communication open. A person beginning a physical fitness program may not know what to expect. He or she may feel self-conscious about exercising, or concerned about getting hurt. He or she will look to you for assistance, guidance and reassurance. Additionally you may want to ask your new participant if he or she would like a buddy. Some people feel more at ease when a supportive, friendly person is there for encouragement and assistance.

Actually, you are describing the way that I've adjusted exercises for women who are pregnant, or for people with heart problems or arthritis. Can you give me specific examples of ways to adjust exercises for other types of physical disabilities?
Programs for people with disabilities should improve flexibility, strength and endurance, all of which are necessary to perform activities of daily living (ADL), such as getting out of bed, transferring (i.e., the act of getting into and out of a wheelchair), dressing and grooming, and showering and bathing. When a person has a disability, being physically fit can help him or her perform ADLs more easily. Tips for Modifying Exercises.... The following list is not exhaustive, but it highlights activities that may be more appropriate for people with disabilities. It will give you some general ideas of where to start making individual modifications. Also, guidelines for modifying exercises for specific disabling conditions and for monitoring the intensity of aerobic activities can be found in the books or from the organizations listed in this brochure. Flexibility People with contracture (permanent muscular shortening due to a chronic spasm or fibrosis; or muscle imbalance due to paralysis) most often need to work on muscle flexibility before beginning a strengthening program, since their abilities are limited by reduced range of motion. Before beginning, it's helpful to know that certain positions can affect individuals differently. For some people, lying on the back will relax certain muscles, while for others, lying on the stomach will relax them. Work together to find the most effective method. Strengthening The muscles involved in transferring and for balance are particularly important to an individual who uses a wheelchair. Wheeling and repeated transfers often result in uneven muscular development. A balanced, strength training


program and stretching of the shoulder muscles can help relieve muscle spasms and prevent injury. People who use wheelchairs should work muscles that counterbalance the anterior muscles used for moving and transferring. Strengthening and endurance exercises help an individual with paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities and, generally the trunk) to: avoid shoulder injury; improve performance in transfers; assist with weight control; preserve muscle mass; and, strengthen affected muscles. Spasticity (a state of increased muscular tone with exaggeration of the tendon reflexes) from cerebral palsy stroke, closed head injury or multiple sclerosis can contribute to muscle imbalance. It's important to stretch and strengthen the opposing muscles, being careful not to increase the abnormal muscle tone. For individuals with limited strength, such as those with multiple sclerosis, a buddy can provide resistance. In another strengthening technique, the individual is positioned on a weight bench, and his or her trunk and extremities are stabilized. A trunk stabilizing belt may be used. Any sign of skin sensitivity or breakdown should be monitored. Help the individual practice the rules of safe lifting: stretch before lifting; breathe normally when lifting; use smooth movements. That might mean using lighter weights. Lift slowly, 2 to 4 seconds per lift. Stay in the pain-free range. Avoid soreness. If the person is sore after lifting, use less weight, for fewer times, and less often. Endurance For people with quadriplegia (paralysis of the legs and arms), depending on t he level of injury and the individual's voluntary control of the extremities, endurance activities can include arm bicycling and wheelchair training. Grip gloves or cuffs can help a person grasp handles of exercise equipment. Trunk stabilizing belts can be used on strength training or endurance equipment. For people with paraplegia, a variety of accessible endurance activities include arm bicycling wheelchair training rower-cycling and swimming. People with multiple sclerosis or lower body limitations may benefit from aerobic exercise performed while sitting or in a pool. The World Health Organization also provides valuable information on nutrition at their website: http://www.who.int/topics/nutrition/en/ Professional Associations


American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD) American Association for Active Lifestyles and Fitness (AAALF) Adapted Physical Activity Council (APAC) 1900 Association Drive Reston, VA 22091 (703)476-3430; e-mail: aaalf@aahperd.org For AAALF (part of AAHPERD), contact Dr. Janet Seaman, AAALF Executive Director, at the address, telephone or e-mail address above. For APAC (part of AAALF), contact Dr. James H. Rimmer, APAC Chair, at (815)753-1401; e-mail: jrimmer@niu.edu National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities Contact: Dr. Claudine Sherrill 89 Windjammer Dr. Frisco, TX 75034 e-mail: F_Sherrill@Twu.edu


Additional Resources: The following is an annotated listing of particularly helpful and informative websites: 1.

The following is a list of Disability Resource Links which may be explored further at the AAPD website, i.e., http://www.aapd-dc.org/index.php

      



               



Information About Mental Retardation and Related Topics: I. Introduction to Mental Retardation J. Aging with Mental Retardation K. Americans with Disabilities Act L. Causes and Prevention of Mental Retardation M. Community Living N. Criminal Justice O. Education


P. Employment Q. Family Support R. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome S. Future Planning/Guardianship/Trusts T. Health Promotion U. Human Genome Project Education V. Parents with Mental Retardation W. Rights of People with Mental Retardation X. Self-Determination/Self-Advocacy Y. Sibling Support Z. Supports/Services Insight - The Arc's Newspaper 3. The California Department of Developmental Services offers a wealth of consumer guides on a broad range of topics relevant to developmental disabilities. Additionally, they provide voluminous information on state and federal services and supports available. See the website: http://www.dds.cahwnet.gov/index.cfm Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities Resources (The following is an updated, alphabetical and annotated listing of generic resources) 4. AAMR – The web site of the American Association on Mental Retardation: (http://www.aamr.org/) 5. AUCD – The Association of University Centers on Disabilities http://www.aucd.org/ promotes and supports the national network of university centers on disabilities, which includes University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD), Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Programs and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (DDRC).


6. Job Accommodation Network and ADA Hotlinks and Document Center – http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/adalinks.htm. The Job Accommodation Network is a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor. JAN's mission is to facilitate the employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing employers, employment providers, people with disabilities, their family members and other interested parties with information on job accommodations, self-employment and small business opportunities and related subjects. 7. Adaptive Computing Technology Center http://iatservices.missouri.edu/adaptive/. The University of Missouri Columbia, Department of Campus Computing, Adaptive Computing Technology (ACT) Center's goal is to implement adaptive computing in a manner which enhances integration of people with disabilities into the higher education environment. 8. Autism Research in Genetics and Neuroimaging http://www.autismgeneticresearch.org/. This is genetic and family studies on autism, autism spectrum disorders, and other developmental disorders. 9. Best Buddies – The mission of Best Buddies is to enhance the lives of people with mental retardation by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. 10. Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy http://www.disabilitypolicycenter.org/. This center is part of the George Washington University Medical Center's Institute for Health Policy, Outcomes, and Human Values. 11. Civitan International Research Center - http://www.circ.uab.edu/. A research center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham devoted to improving the well-being and the quality of life of individuals and families affected by mental retardation and developmental disabilities. 12. Colorado Association of Community Centered Boards http://www.coaccb.org/. The association of boards that determine the eligibility of individuals with developmental disabilities and matches state funds to those with needs. 13. Developmental Disabilities Resource Center - http://www.ddrcco.com/. This center in Colorado provides programs for persons with developmental disabilities from Jefferson, Clear Creek, Gilpin and Summit Counties. 14. disABILITY Resources on the Internet - http://www.makoa.org/index.htm. This WWW page is maintained by J. Lubin with links to other Web sites dealing with disabilities.


15. Discover Technology - http://discovertechnology.com/. ThisWeb site is of a company specializing in technology access for people with physical and mental challenges. Also provides a pen pal connection program. 16. DO-IT at the University of Washington - http://www.washington.edu/doit/. This is the Home Page for DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) at the University of Washington, whose long-term goal is to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in science, engineering, and mathematics academic programs and careers. 17. Down Syndrome WWW Page - http://www.nas.com/downsyn/. This is a compilation of articles from members of the Down Syndrome List Server. 18. The Family Village - http://www.familyvillage.wisc.edu/index.htmlx. A global community on the Internet for families of persons who have disabilities is located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center. 19. FRAXA Research Foundation Home Page - http://www.fraxa.org/. FRAXA Research Foundation supports research aimed at finding a specific treatment for fragile X, the #1 inherited cause of mental retardation, affecting an estimated 1 in 1000 children. 20. Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics http://kennedyinstitute.georgetown.edu/index.htm. The Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Institute of Ethics, established at Georgetown University in 1971, is a teaching and research center offering ethical perspectives on major policy issues. It is the largest university based group of faculty members in the world devoted to research and teaching in biomedical ethics and other areas of applied ethics. The Institute also houses the most extensive library of ethics in the world, the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature; produces bibliographic citations relating to bioethics for the online databases at the National Library of Medicine; and conducts regular seminars and courses in bioethics. 21. The Guided Tour, Inc. - http://www.guidedtour.com/. Since 1972, this site has been providing travel and trained staff who specialize in services for persons with developmental and physical challenges. 22. The Inclusion Website - http://inclusion.ngfl.gov.uk/, Children with special needs are now part of the regular classroom. Teachers seeking success with inclusion will find help and inspiration here. 23. The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1995 - http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/idea2004.html. This is an informational Web page from the U.S. Department of Education.


24. Institute on Community Integration - http://ici.umn.edu/. A University Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota, dedicated to improving community services and social supports for persons with developmental disabilities and their families. 25. International Order of Alhambra - http://www.orderalhambra.org/home.html. The Web site of a Fraternal Order of Catholic Men Dedicated to assisting persons developmentally disabled by mental retardation 26. Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc.- An insurance agency that has developed an insurance program specifically for agencies providing services to people with disabilities - and their special coverage needs. 27. Laureate Learning Systems, Inc. http://www.llsys.com/professionals602/index.html. The Web site of a company that offers over 70 special needs software packages for individuals with developmental disabilities, language-learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and autism. 28. Mental Retardation Research Center UCLA http://www.mrrc.npi.ucla.edu/mrrc/default.html. The general aims of this center are the acquisition of new knowledge on mental retardation and related aspects of human development and the training of research personnel. 29. National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities http://www.nacdd.org/. The Web site of the NADDC, whose mission is to promote national policy which provides individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to make choices regarding the quality of their lives and be included in the community; and to provide support and assistance to member Councils. 30. The National Center on Outcomes Research (NCOR) - http://www.ncor.org/. NCOR is designed to use the national values of independence, productivity, integration, inclusion, personal responsibility, self-determination, and choice to examine the status of people with disabilities throughout their everyday lives. 31. National Home Of Your Own Alliance - http://alliance.unh.edu/. The Web site of a unique program, initiated by the Institute on Disability, a University Affiliated Program, that provides persons with developmental disabilities the choice to lease or purchase their own home, thereby freeing them from the constraints of institutional living and giving them more control over their lives and the services they require. 32. President's Committee on Mental Retardation http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/pcpid/index.html. The Committee established in 1966 to focus on this critical subject of national concern.


33. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Mental Retardation (RRTCAMR) - http://www.uic.edu/orgs/rrtcamr/. A national resource for researchers, planners, providers, self-advocates, families and students in the field of aging and mental retardation. 34. Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center - http://www.umassmed.edu/shriver/. The Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Waltham promotes the understanding of neurological, cognitive and behavioral development associated with developmental disabilities, emphasizing mental retardation. To accomplish this, the Shriver Center conducts basic and applied research to determine the biological and environmental factors that influence typical and atypical development and provides training and service programs that directly benefit people with developmental disabilities and their families. 35. Special Olympics International, Inc. http://www.specialolympics.org/Special+Olympics+Public+Website/default.htm. An international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with mental retardation to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. 36. Trace Research and Development Center - http://trace.wisc.edu/. The Trace Center was formed in 1971 to address the communication needs of people who are non-speaking and have severe disabilities. Since then, the center has expanded its scope to cover "communication" in a broader sense. I. Section on Nutritional Information and Food Preparation



How many calories each day? Not active



Children 2-3 yrs 1,000 1,400 Females 4-8 yrs 1,200 1,800 Females 9-13 yrs 1,600 2,200 Females 14-18 yrs 1,800 2,400 Females 19-30 yrs 2,000 2,400 Females 31-50 yrs 1,800 2,200 Females 51+ yrs 1,600 2,200 Males 4-8 yrs 1,400 2,200 Males 9-13 yrs 1,800 2,600 Males 14-18 yrs 2,200 3,200 Males 19-30 yrs 2,400 3,000 Males 31-50 yrs 2,200 3,000 Males 51+ yrs 2,000 2,800 Strive for the lower figure at all times. The upper limit is for very physically active lifestyles. It's not an okay to eat up to that amount if you can't justify it. ACTIVE is physical activity like regular competitive sports, running, swimming, etc. It is NOT playing video games, chasing the dog around the yard, or playing a few games of hoops on the weekend. Each pound you gain or lose is 3,500 calories and the amount you gain or lose is CUMULATIVE in excess of what your body needs as a minimum. ONE large hamburger, large fries, a large soda and desert can easily be 80% of your daily minimum. If you add 500 calories per day of food and are not active enough each day to offset that 500 calories, in just 7 days you will gain 1lb, in one month 4lbs and one year 52lbs. Of course, if you exercise and use up the 500 calories ABOVE what you consume, you will LOSE the weight.

MILK & MILK PRODUCTS GROUP  1 cup (8 oz.) milk or yogurt  2 slices cheese, 1/8" thick (1½ oz.)  2 cups cottage cheese  1½ cups ice milk, ice cream, or frozen yogurt MEAT & MEAT ALTERNATIVES GROUP  2 oz. to 3 oz. (size of a deck of cards) cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish  2 eggs  7 oz. tofu  1 cup cooked legumes (dried beans or peas)  4 tablespoons peanut butter  1/2 cup nuts or seeds VEGETABLE GROUP  1/2 cup cooked vegetables  1/2 cup raw chopped vegetables  1 cup raw leafy vegetables  1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable juice FRUIT GROUP  1 whole medium fruit (about 1 cup)


 1/4 cup dried fruit  1/2 cup canned fruit  1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit juice BREAD & CEREAL GROUP  1 slice bread  1 medium muffin  1/2 hot dog bun or hamburger bun  1/2 bagel or english muffin  4 small crackers  1 tortilla  1 cup cold cereal  1/2 cup cooked cereal  1/2 cup rice  ½ cup pasta This table shows approximately how many servings of nonfat, lean foods are needed for three different calorie levels (1,600, 2,200, and 2,800 calories).


Milk & Milk Products Group² Meat & Meat Alternatives Group Vegetable Group Fruit Group Bread & Cereal Group

2 to 4 2 3 2 6

2 to 4 2 4 3 9

2 to 4 3 5 4 11

Total Fat (grams)³ 36 to 53 49 to 73 62 to 93 ¹These are the calorie levels if you choose nonfat, lean foods from the five major food groups, and use food from the fats, oils, and sweets group sparingly. ²Teens, young adults, pregnant and nursing women, and women concerned about osteoporosis prevention need at least 4 servings (or additional calcium from alternative sources). ³The lower number is 20% of daily calories from fat; the higher number is 30%. If you are really concerned about disease prevention, try to get down to 20% fat.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The following information was found at: http://www.ncpad.org/newsletter/newsletter.php?letter=37&section=507


Nutrition Corner: Nutrition for Persons with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities People with intellectual/developmental disabilities often have a higher tendency of being obese than people in the general population. For ideas on how to improve nutrition in persons with Down syndrome, see the NCPAD factsheet at http://www.ncpad.org/nutrition/fact_sheet.php?sheet=197&view=all. General Recommendations for maintaining or losing weight include:

Eat a diet low in saturated fat. See the American Dietetic Association factsheet at http://www.ncpad.org/newsletter/newsletter.php?letter=37&section=503#11 for a primer on fats and oils. Eat a diet filled with high-fiber, whole-grain carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrate sources include grains (brown rice or pasta, whole-grain breads/cereals -- one slice of high fiber bread can have as much as 4 grams of fiber), beans, fruits, and some vegetables, which are high in fiber, and have plenty of vitamins and minerals (http://www.ncpad.org/nutrition/fact_sheet.php?sheet=263&view=all; http://www.ncpad.org/nutrition/fact_sheet.php?sheet=296&view=all). o Watch portion control (http://www.ncpad.org/nutrition/fact_sheet.php? sheet=91&view=all). o Read labels to choose foods that comprise a healthful diet (http://www.ncpad.org/nutrition/fact_sheet.php?sheet=94&view=all). For example, be aware of the distinction of the following keyword labels:  fat-free: less than .5 grams of fat per serving  low-fat: 3 grams of fat (or less) per serving  lean: less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and no more than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving  light (lite): one-third less calories or no more than half the fat of the higher-calorie, higher-fat version; or no more than half the sodium of the higher-sodium version  cholesterol-free: less than 2 milligrams of cholesterol and 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat per serving American Dietetic Association (ADA) provides a host of nutritional resources which may be found at the website: http://www.eatright.org/. Topics noted include: Nutrition Fact Sheets; Quality & Outcomes, Good Nutrition Reading List, Food Guide Pyramid, ADA Journal, Daily News, Scientific Summaries, and Medical Nutrition Therapy. A listing is provided for international organizations in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition organizations, and governmental resources for nutrition information (for example, www.nutrition.gov). Of course, the ADA does not endorse the content, products or services on other Web sites.



Resources for Questions About Pets: 1. Website of American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_pettips Information and simple tips are available on all aspects of pet care and pet health. 2. Finding a lost pet- Where to start: The following advice was obtained through the website of the Missing Pet Network, i.e. http://www.missingpet.net/advice/

Finding a Lost Pet – Where to Start
Finding lost pets...
Although finding a lost animal often seems to depend on luck, it is luck you can help make. There are no guarantees, but there are things people who find their pets do that make a difference 1) Knock on doors and talk to people in the neighborhood. Most people walk the streets around their home and call their pet. People who knock on their neighbor's doors and ask if anyone has seen their pet instead of just calling are more likely to find it. 2) Hand out fliers with your pet's picture on them and your phone number. Fliers need only have a clear photo of the animal and a telephone number that someone will answer or that is hooked to an answering machine. 3) Go to all the local shelters and the government agencies charged with picking up stray and lost animals and look for yourself, at least every other day. Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not very effective. Your pet may not yet be listed in the records at the front desk, and the way you describe your pet may not be the way a shelter describes your dog. Any animal may become dirty, matted and neglected looking very quickly, and you must visit the shelter, even if your pet was wearing tags when it was lost. You will need to go to the shelters at least every other day. Few shelters can keep animals for more than 72 hours. Sometimes it takes more than a few days for a pet to be picked up and brought to a shelter. It's important to visit all the shelters within 20 miles of where your pet was lost. In many areas stray animals are picked up by a government agency


which holds them for a period and then turns them over to a shelter. If someone took your pet in for a few days hoping you would knock on their door and ask about it, they might later drop your pet off at the shelter that's most convenient for them, rather the one that's closest. Combining these three things is most effective. Knocking on doors and handing out copies of your flier to your neighbors and to the staff at all the local shelters is the most effective way of looking for your lost pet. K. Technology and Technical Assistance: For technical assistance and technology aids see http://www.rehabtool.com/ Our mission at rehabtool.com is to help children and adults with disabilities enhance their lives, increase their independence and productivity, and gain greater social inclusion through the use of leading-edge assistive technology. www.insource.org. Guidance with transition planning needs of individuals and families Guidelines for Interviewing Persons with Disabilities: http://www.aamr.org/Reading_Room/pdf/SISGuidelines.pdf L. Money Management Tools:
http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm? pageid=19327&ksectionid=19327&top=11488 http://www.hawaii.gov/health/disability-services/neurotrauma/key-servicesmoney.html

Financial Fitness Education for Potential Homebuyers: A Start-Up ...
Campaign for Home Ownership 2002. Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. Financial Fitness Education. for Potential Homebuyers: ... www.nw.org/network/pubs/studies/documents/finfitstartup.pdf

See money management software available through http://sanfrancisco.networkofcare.org/ M. Supplemental Community-building Resources: Citizens Handbook (see http://www.vcn.bc.ca/citizens-handbook/) By Charles Dobson and Vancouver Citizens Committee – This may be the best quick guide to community organizing on the web. A separate section on local information relative to Vancouver was sectioned off to allow easy identification


of other community-building information for people living in other places. (Last updated January 2006). Build a community online from members such as a forum or chat room. Tech support, programming, web development, and internet marketing community. http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread35086.html Designing Community Building Activities and Exercises for Small Groups: http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/community.html Kagan, Spencer. (2001). Teaching for Character and Community. Alexandria, VA: Educational Leadership. (for listing of developmental activities see:

McKnight, J. (1995). The careless society: Community and its counterfeits. New York: Basic Books. Kretzmann, J.P. & McKnight, J. (1993). Building communities from the inside out: A path toward finding and mobilizing a community's assets. Chicago: ACTA Publications, 4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Phone: 800397-2282. Looking Both Ways in Doing Professional Development: Community-Building Activities: http://www.lbw.cuny.edu/how/pd/community/index.html The Social Planning Council of Ottawa http://www.spcottawa.on.ca/aboutSPC_ProgComp_ComBuilding.htm One of the outcomes of the Council's community planning activities is the creation of, and continued support to, community networks that work to resolve social problems that concern the community at large, including issues of poverty, unemployment, economic development, and minority issues. The MAPS Planning Process http://www.inclusion.com/maps.html


MAPS -- Making Action Plans -- is a planning process for people and organizations that begins with a story - the history. Maps has a series of empty container questions that ask a person/organization to tell us some of the milestones on their journey, so we can get to know them, dream with them, and begin to build a plan to move in the direction of their dreams. Maps is about listening to a person's dreams, acknowledging their nightmares, then building a rich portrait of their gifts and talents so we are able to focus on simple daily actions that move them in constructive directions. MAPS is a wonderful way to 'get to know' someone, in schools, in communities, in life. It is powerful and requires skilled facilitation by two facilitators - in order to make it safe for the MAP finder. A simple guideline: do no harm. The books and videos listed here introduce the idea, and demonstrate how it can be utilized with safely and integrity to move people toward a full life. Although MAPS originated in the 'disability' sector, its applications cover the full spectrum of life situations. The End

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