I was recently in upstate NY meeting with 3 excellent groups; Mountain Lakes Services in Port Henry, the Autism Alliance of NENYS in Plattsburgh, and the NY Partners in Policymaking meeting in Albany, but coordinated by the Advocacy Center of Rochester. In each of these meeting we were talking about a shift in thinking from "micro" (the person with a disability has a problem to be addressed) to "macro" (the community needs to be more inclusive and flexible).
In exploring this shift we used a lot of examples to articulate this change and examined other social movements that used a deliberate set of strategies to change society attitudes and perceptions. Sometimes these strategies were formal in looking to pass a law, or change a regulation that would afford people their rights; and other times the efforts were more informal, and used relationships and social influence theory to promote macro change.
But even with some of these examples some folks struggled to understand the macro agenda until I used an example any family or person with disabilities has experienced, and that is the IPP. This acronym means Individual Program Plan, which virtually every "client" of disability services has been given. The IPP suggests that the client has to work on some goal that requires them to change - micro change!
The ah-ha moment for some people occurred when I said let's abandon IPP's, and instead, develop CCP's (Comprehensive Community Plans). With a CCP, the agency begins to turn attention to creating a more inclusive community - one that accepts people for who they are, not what people think they should be.
So advocates, let's wake up and shift our gears from IPP's to CCP's. This is the energy that will begin to #changetheworld!