The Arcadia Institute

Making it possible for people with disabilities to be welcomed, supported and respected in their community

Living with Autism in Our Community

The blog this week was written by Dr. Allison Hammond, Executive Director of The Arcadia Institute.

A few years ago, George Martin, the President of The Arcadia Institute produced a video titled Living with Autism in Our Community. It is available for anyone in the community to view.

This video seems even more relevant today as more children are being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Many of the families that we work with struggle when the community at large is less that understanding of their children. You can view that video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LrtNW_I7U0&feature=youtu.be

Neighborliness: A little more Mister Rogers

The blog this week was written by Dr. Allison Hammond, Executive Director of The Arcadia Institute.

Recently, I read the book Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Counterculture Mister Rogers. Fred Rogers was an advocate, though quietly through his children’s television show on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), for those who are marginalized, forgotten and sometime mistreated. However, he was of the mindset that we not “Do” for others but that we do “with others” and create community. Here is one quote from the book:

“I knew how tempting it could be to encourage generosity by asking people to help ‘the needy’ or those who are ‘less fortunate.’ ” But Rogers opposed the labels. “That kind of thinking divides people into ‘us’ and ‘them,’ and doesn’t necessarily contribute to a sense of ‘neighborliness.’ ”

After reading this book, I wanted to learn more about Fred Rogers and his quiet compassion and passion for social justice. Then I found this quote:

“Part of the problem with the word disabilities is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”

From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 142-146).

I think we all could us a little more Mister Rogers now.

For more information about The Arcadia Institute visit our website at www.thearcadiainstitute.org or contact Allison Hammond at 269-254-8224 or ahammond@thearcadiainstitute.org.

Wondering What The Arcadia Institute Does?

The blog this week was written by Dr. Allison Hammond, Executive Director of The Arcadia Institute.

Activities of The Arcadia Institute:

Community Brokering is a process, really a journey, not a program. Through Community Brokering we help people with disabilities to

· identify their communities,
· discover their dreams,
· understand their life story, and
· plan for their future in the community.

During the futures planning meeting, there are two processes used:
MAP (Making Action Plans) or
PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope).

A Facilitator who guides the meeting and a Recorder who draws the MAP or PATH.

See the video on Youtube – The Arcadia Institute Community Brokering at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btx0zviydi8

Connect Kalamazoo is a network of organization committed to Kalamazoo being a place where everyone belongs that is facilitated by The Arcadia Institute. Connect Kalamazoo meets monthly and conducts an annual Building a Community of Belonging Forum.

Educational Workshops are available to any individual or organization who is committed to people with disabilities participating in, volunteering for or working for them.

For more information visit our website at www.thearcadiainstitute.org or contact Allison Hammond at 269-254-8224 or ahammond@thearcadiainstitute.org

Connect Kalamazoo Survey

The Connect Kalamazoo network is looking forward and wants your input. We are looking for next steps and want your thoughts and ideas. Please take the following survey so that we can determine which direction to move in going forward.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DB3LXPR

Thank your for your time, thoughts, and ideas.

Independence Day: A Look Back to a Blog from Philadelphia from May 2011

The blog this week was written by Dr. Allison Hammond, Executive Director of The Arcadia Institute.

What does independence have to do with community participation?

For the Blog this week, I found myself looking back through past blogs. We have published a Blog for all but maybe 2 weeks since April of 2010. That is over 300 blog posts! There is a lot there about the history of The Arcadia Institute Community Participation Initiative, Community Brokering, Building a Community of Belonging, Success stories.

Given some of the tone in this political campaign season, this one stood out for me.

Blog from Philadelphia May 17, 2011

I was recently in Philadelphia for a conference where one is surrounded by the history of the beginnings of the United States of America. Just down the street from my hotel The Declaration of Independence was signed.

What does independence have to do with community participation? Everything. The rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are only realized by fully being part of one’s community.

Do people really experience these rights if they are told that because of a disability they only have options to be in special programs that actually exclude everyone else? Would you be happy if because of a certain condition or characteristic you only had a particular set of options for activities that are separate from your fellow citizens?

Through the Community Participation Initiative we support individuals to be part of their community not only by supporting the person, but also by supporting the community to welcome, support and respect all people.

You can find out more by contacting us here.