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. Funded by the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council & administered by Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services.

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Presentation on theme: ". Funded by the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council & administered by Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 . Funded by the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council & administered by Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services.

2 Joining Circles Mission Statement Joining Circles is committed to increase the natural supports and connections to the community for individuals with developmental disabilities by developing partnerships with service providers to train and provide technical assistance for their staff to achieve connection.

3 Training Objectives -What is Social Capital and Natural Support? -Embrace the philosophy of natural support and why friendships with community members are important -Introducing JC Tool Kit “how to connect”

4 JC Definition of Community Integration integration … encompasses not only the physical presence in the community…but also the maintenance of social relationships with other community members and the development of a sense of belonging in relation to the community” “ integration … encompasses not only the physical presence in the community…but also the maintenance of social relationships with other community members and the development of a sense of belonging in relation to the community” Wong & Solomonson

5 Community Integration Projects Logan Square – Chicago Friendship and Community Connections between People with and without Developmental Disabilities - Minnesota Project Friendship – British Columbia

6 Mirrored community integration projects in US/British Columbia Developed FRIENDS Survey for Individual with developmental disability, family and support staff. What do you do in a typical day?. Who are your friends?. How did you meet them?. Do you feel lonely?. What are you good at?. What is your passion/interests? Interviewed 77 individuals with developmental disabilities, 24 family and 48 support staff in the St. Louis Community Survey analysis on website Joining Circles Research

7 Key Findings: Daily Life What do you do in a typical day? typical day? Top 5 answers Insight: 4 out of the 5 top answers are situations where someone is isolated or with other people with disabilities

8 Do you spend time with someone without developmental disabilities who is not part of your family or support staff? Key Findings: Spending time with people w/o developmental disabilities? Insight: The overwhelming answer was “No”

9 Do you spend time with someone without disability who is not part of your family or staff? Qualitative Research “I have never heard of that before.” - Pat On being in the community? “I liked being the only person with a disability working at Whole Foods because I was just another woman doing a job.” - Georgia “They are so confined to a space, they don’t know what the outside world is like.” - Linda

10 How have people with developmental disabilities integrated into the community over time? Institution Community Homes Service Industry

11 People with disabilities need services but…

12 Public Perception is… Paid Support Natural Support This separation provides little motivation by the community to wonder about the absence of people with disabilities. Special people with special needs need special places with trained staff

13 STIGMA People with developmental disabilities live in a world which fails to foster participation from them due to STIGMA. Unless we break STIGMA by infusing natural support to teach & educate our communities, we will unlikely reach ACCEPTANCE of DIFFERENCE in the fabric of our communities across Missouri. The result is a lack of community based employment & equality for individuals with developmental disabilities. Barriers, Stereotypes, Myths

14 Overwhelmingly, “YES!” Key Findings: Making New Friends Would you be interested in making new friends within the community?

15 O “The real dis ABILITY is dis CONNECTION.” - Pat Worth

16 Joining Circles Shift in Thinking From Focus on deficits More services Focus on individuals See people as clients Fix people Programs are the answer Emphasis on agencies To Focus on assets/gifts Fewer services Focus on community See people as citizens Develop potential People are the answer Emphasis on associations

17 System Focus - Bottom Two Tiers Current System Joining Circles

18 Scope of the Joining Circles Project Place: St. Louis Regional Area Participants: 12 Intensity/Duration: ********************* 97 contacts with the larger community Average 8 potential organizations before finding the final connection Sustained Connections: 8 out of the 12 have sustaining connections free of Joining Circles staff support (monitoring) Time Frame: 9 month period of time Participant Demographics: 20’s – 60’s, diverse ethnic backgrounds

19 Strength based: Everyone Has Gifts! Passion Ownership of the passion interest The sustainability of the connection Examples of areas to explore in community life to pursue connection: Home & neighborhood Family & friends Work Learning Spiritual & religious Community associations Sports & fitness Creative expression

20 How Does Joining Circles Work? Research & Outreach JC Tool Kit/Research/Outreach Google/Resource Directory/Meet up Groups/ Community Newspapers/Social Media Joining Circles Staff/Colleagues JC Tool Kit/Research/Outreach Google/Resource Directory/Meet up Groups/ Community Newspapers/Social Media Joining Circles Staff/Colleagues Research opportunities & present to participant Participant chooses option to try first Make the ask! community organization Make the ask! community organization

21 All connections had a few things in common: strictly voluntary level of self determination ownership of the interest Joining Circles Participant Examples

22 Breeze Park K-Mart Easter Seals Midwest

23 Joining Circles Tool Kit for Connection -Interview Process -Social Network -Participant Plan for Connection -Community Mapping Link to create a Community Resource Directory STL

24 How can agencies/staff “join” the circle of support from the community? a) One person – one worker Choose the individual on your caseload with an emerging gift or interest b) Use the JC Tool Kit for Connection to develop an ACTION to CONNECTION Plan c) Research! Facilitate! Document! d) Embrace “teaming” at its best! e) Questions? Call Me! follow up/assist onsite TOGETHER WERE BETTER!

25 JC Tool Kit – Interview & LISTEN! JC Tool Kit – Interview & LISTEN! What things do you love to do more than anything else? Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do or try that you haven’t yet had the chance to do? Pay attention to behavioral cues as well as verbal. What has the person’s life experience been like? Lived, work, school Who are the most important people in your life? Are there people from the past with whom you’ve lost contact with and would like to reconnect? What do you know about your neighbors? What places do you like to go to --- and why? Are there any neighborhood places where you like to spend time? What are your skills and talents? How has the person’s life been different from a typical, nondisabled person of the same age? Who’s the person you most enjoy spending time with? What is it about this person that makes him or her so good to be with?

26 Jane Connecting Strategies Friendships (Best) -Grade School -High School -Work Acquaintances -Butcher -Mailman -others Memberships -Clubs -YWCA -Church Keeping In Touch With? - Social Network Tool Neighbors - Life Partner -Significant other -Husband/Wife Family/Relative - In State - Out Of State Example

27 Joining Circle Participant Plan Tool Mary BethInterestsConnectionsBarrierOutcome Returning to Church and singing in choir Staff support to register at local parish Mary Beth does not need to take a test before she rejoins the church Mary Beth attends Mass at her center or with her boyfriend who drives her to church KnittingMB attends with staff for the 1 st mtg Location too far, group too advanced for participant Continue to research beginner knitting groups in the Tower Grove park area AnimalsCat ShelterBoyfriend becomes ill, connection on hold Begins volunteering at a cat shelter with staff support MB enjoys holding cats since her apt complex does not allow animals Dolls and doll making Example

28 Local Media Charitable Groups Men’s Group Women’s Groups Church Groups Self-Help Groups Youth Groups Civic Events Neighborhood or Block Clubs Community Support Groups Outdoor Groups Elderly Groups Political Organizations Ethnic Associations School Groups Health & Fitness Groups Service Clubs Interests Groups Social Cause Group Local Government Study Groups Business Organization Artistic Organization Business Organization Charitable Groups Church Groups Community Support Groups Elderly Groups Ethnic Associations Health & Fitness Groups Interests Groups Community Mapping Tool Asset Based Community Development Asset Based Community Development

29 Important questions to answer BEFORE you think about making a connection Is the opportunity for connection within the organization? Will there be a time & place to meet people and get to know them? Does the organization have a welcoming & comfortable atmosphere? How far is the connection from the participant’s home?

30 Making the Ask! a. Do you know someone who might help me? I am trying to get someone connected to ……… Make sure that the focus of the conversation is on the interest, strengths, and gifts rather than on the support needs or disability label. Just think People First, Later I say, I am from the Joining Circles Project, our organization tries to connect people He/she has some support needs. I will be there…… Offer support that minimizes the disability and maximizes the interest. b.Make the ask by email or phone. Remember, People First philosophy, strengths & interest of the individual will set the tone of the conversation. c.Most people like to share their interest and are happy to welcome and support new members

31 Tips for asking!. Case the joint!. Be courageous!. Accompany the individual. Address the triangle of fear

32 How Does Joining Circles Work? Facilitate the Connection Facilitate the connection Document and evaluate the connection with participant and organization members

33 How Does Joining Circles Work? Continue the connection and work on logistical issues Monitor the connection with regular phone calls Sustain Connection Try out another option More research on opportunities Further research and outreach YES Did the adult with a developmental disability feel comfortable and enjoy the organization? NO

34 An activity equates to the following: Pleasant events Positive interaction Skill development Moving from Activity To Connection To Connection But unless they are strategically focused on deepening connections, activities alone are unlikely to lead towards meaningful relationships and community connections

35 Supports self determination process Supports independent living Shifts away from specialization - breaking stereotypes, teaches and educates Provides normalization Never enough $$$$$$$$$$ paid support (waiting lists) Breaks paradigm of parallel systems Reduces staff burnout Increased social capital Health & Wellness Benefits of Natural Supports

36 Training Support Staff to Sustain the Joining Circles Project Job Description – Human Service Staff Build community connections and assist persons with disabilities in having more friends. Work towards a goal to widen the person’s circles of relationships with non- disabled people based on strengths, interests, preferences Know the community and the people within it Act as the bridge between people with disabilities and the larger community

37 I don’t have time to do this work! I have too many individuals on my caseload! I can’t spend my time in front of the computer eight hours a day ! You were two individuals that had nine months to make a connection for 12 individuals Obstacles for Human Service Workers

38 individual with a developmental disability a) ownership b) level of self determination. parents/family service coordinator – know the resources in your community direct support professional already in the community, look to their expertise access GOOGLE & library for resources on interest do ISL’s have computers in their homes? allot time for individual & support staff supervisor of the agency over DSP – support staff in assisting with a connection if they can’t find one The Team Approach

39 Staff Meetings – Add an agenda item dedicated to making connection on interests of individuals with disabilities Brainstorm new ideas! Email each other on connection leads Give teaming awards and highlight the accomplishment of staff on connection Use Joining Circles website as a resource: - 100+ organizations & clubs - ask JC staff for technical assistance/questions Changing Roles

40 Joining Circles – Lessons Learned O Relationships are based on interests and skills, NOT deficiencies. Project Friendship and Friends Manual O Provide support for everyone involved/look to the assets of your community. Logan Square Project O Respect the independence of the relationship. Friends Manual O Start simply, make the ASK, look for solutions. Project Friendship

41 CHALLENGES TO CONNECTION O Fear of difference O Time commitment O Transportation O Safety. “networks of trust” O Support needs. open and honest discussion

42 Suggestions for Agency Practices Focus on Be willing to experiment and maybe take some community relationships and friendships Start conversations relationships the staff role of supporting friends and full community belonging, staff evaluations Redefine staff roles, incorporating the ideas of Recognize that small changes can make a difference and overall change will take a long time

43 More More Requiring community people to be volunteers, rather than “just friends” Turning friends into volunteers, formal training programs) Using “liability” as a justification for not supporting individuals in having as integrated and independent life as possible. Using “risk-taking” or “trusting the community” as a justification for carelessness or thoughtlessness

44 discovered from the Joining Circles Project. When a group or organization is receptive to including one person with disabilities don’t flood them with all the others. Think through individual approaches for each person – one person, one environment (location). Think carefully about the situations you choose to introduce individuals to in the community, and be sure you are providing support for the experience to be successful for all parties.

45 Beliefs for Success! Valuing and personal appreciations of the individual with disabilities Faith and trust in community members Belief in the importance of community building for everyone

46 “Joined” Leaders of Natural Support Center for Head Injury Services – St. Louis County Community Choice – St. Louis County Bridges – St. Louis County Next Step for Life – Jefferson County. Boone County Family Resources – Boone County Columbia. St. Louis Arc – St. Louis County. Pike County Developmental Disabilities Council - Bowling Green

47 “It gave me the opportunity – to see beneath his systems, he’s a person just like the rest of us.” What do parents say about the Joining Circles Project?

48 What does the St. Louis Community say about the Joining Circles Project? say about the Joining Circles Project? What is the economic & social loss to the community when people with disabilities are not employed or volunteering in our community? You enrich our community. Thank You! Clayton/Ladue Rotary Club

49 Every single person has capabilities, abilities, and gifts. Living a good life depends on whether these capabilities can be used, abilities expressed and gifts given. If they are, the person will be valued, feel powerful and well-connected to the people around them and the community around the person will be more powerful because of the contribution the person is making. Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993 Friendships must be carved into the professional practices with a deep recognition of its importance. Dr. Angela Amado A great community systematically and mobilizes the gifts of each of its members. John McKnight

50 Why did you do this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.” “You have been my friend, replied Charlotte. That in itself is a tremendous thing.” *************************************** E. B. White, American writer, Charlotte’s Web

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