The Arcadia Institute

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

Building a Community of Belonging in New Mexico

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

On the Learning Tour in Georgia, I met Kay Lilley. She is the Manager of the Beloved Community Project in Dona Ana County NM. Read this article about this project that is very similar to our work in Kalamazoo.

http://krwg.org/post/beloved-community-helping-young-adults-disabilities

For more information about The Arcadia Institute visit us at www.thearcadiainstitute.org or call Allison Hammond at 269-217-2205. Like us on Facebook too!

Another Poem from the 2016 Building a Community of Belonging Forum

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

Anyone who has ever gone to a new school, job, church or any place for that matter can feel uncomfortable. But what if you are a person who has disability? Would you have extra worries about being welcomed, supported and respected? In the poem below please note just how very important it is for those of who see a new person come into a place we know well to take the time to help them feel that they BELONG.

New at school and I had

no friends.

But you took the time to

help me out and clue me in.

and helped me make new friends

There’s no one else I would

have wanted to include me

in. . .

To this very day You are

my only best friend

It all started that day

You helped me fit in.

— Arrion Hill

For more information about the Connect Kalamazoo Network and The Arcadia Institute please contact Allison Hammond at ahammond@thearcadiainstitute.org or 269-217-2205.

A Full Life When You Belong in Your Community

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

My days is good to all my family and friends

and my case workers and my staff and my bowling friends

and work and clubs and Metro drivers

and aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins and my brothers and sister-in-law.

My mom and dad and my dog Molly and my workers.

And my TV shows, Mystery Science Theater 3000, DVDs and videos

Battle Star Galatica, The A Team, Knight Rider, Bat Man and Dukes of Hazzard DVD.

Jamie LaPorte

Jamie LaPorte is a regular member of Connect Kalamazoo. Her rarely misses a meeting. One of the best things about Jamie is that he often shares little gems of information and ideas when we are planning for the Annual Building a Community of Belonging Forums. Jamie reminds us that we need to appreciate all of our community connections and celebrate those who make our lives full!

Belonging: It is not always easy to fit in

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

This poem is by a young man who attended the 7th Annual Building a Community of Belonging Forum in March 2106. Often we talk about people with disabilities being given a choice, but does the community really offer opportunities and supports for people to belong?

When we heard this poem at the Forum, it reminded us that while we have moved the community to be more welcoming, supportive and respectful – we all have work to do.

I always feel trapped.

I’m always in that small box that they want me to be in.

I have no free will like they say.

They try to trick me, and say I choose how my life goes.

That’s not true though, because they’re always in control.

Zach Scott

On May 24, 2016 at 12 noon, please join us as we continue the conversation about the next steps for Connect Kalamazoo: A Community Where Everyone Belongs!

Where: The Arcadia Institute

1822 Alamo Ave.

Kalamazoo MI 49006

Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: Mixed Greens in Savannah

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

The last stop on the Learning Tours was Savannah GA. We met with the group Mixed Greens who organize the Forsyth Farmers Market. The original organizers of the market looked around the table and noticed that some people in the community were not there – people with disabilities. They joined with the GCDD Real Community efforts.

There is a link to their video Mixed Greens Savannah

And here is a link to more information about the Forsyth Farmers Market.

Enjoy a little trip to Savannah!