Yesterday, I had the good fortune to be invited to a conference called 'Creating Our Common Wealth'. It was a series of sessions designed to inspire and sustain emerging leaders in the art of community building and social innovation. The 2-days were sponsored by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, and partially funded through a grant from the Spaulding Rehabilitation Foundation. The day started with a welcome by Commissioner Elin Howe followed by keynote Beth Mount (google search "Beth Mount + Person Centered Planning" to verify references that continue beyond 200 pages, and show the scope and variety of references to her work.
The day was packed with speakers, exercises, presentations and many stories related to the guiding questions of the day:
How can we support a journey of transformation in the lives of people with disabilities, their family, support professionals, and local neighborhoods, so that people with disabilities have full membership, relationship, and belonging? How do we invest in the next generation of leaders to make a difference in the lives of people and local communities? How do we nurture personal initiative, courage, and perseverance, leading to personal, organizational and societal change?
Not easy questions to work through in such a short time, but it is a beginning; and an unprecedented beginning to begin assisting individuals with disabilities to have real lives. I will keep you posted as to developments over the next six months of investigation. We hope you will be supportive, helpful, engaging, and want to participate in this process.
Thanks for reading... Dr. V-