A number of years ago, some fellow advocates and I, all interested in Macro Change, banded together and launched the “Interdependence Network” as an online community of practice. As we saw it then, and even more intent now, what is necessary for a more inclusive and receptive community, is not more services to people with disabilities, but more focus on changing the attitudes and perceptions of our communities today.
That is, most programs and services for people with disabilities continue to be silo-oriented and congregate in nature. These programs gather folks with disabilities in an effort to help them get more involved in community, but get stuck in the process. The Interdependence Network was founded to offer ideas, strategies, and recommendations to service providers, families, self-advocates and any other interested advocates. And as a virtual, world wide community of practice, it is designed to solicit responses from an international audience.
More recently, the IN has launched a podcast we dubbed, “Call Me Al,” which allows me to interview folks from all around the world, to share ideas, thoughts, and recommendations on this formidable challenge.
In Macro Change, there are no easy answers; still, we are convinced that the route to inclusion is found in the building of relationships with everyday people. to this extent, understanding social capital becomes seminal to the process.
So, if any of this interests you, take a look at the IN website, www.buildingsocialcapital.org and join in. More, take a listen to “Call Me Al” podcast found at our website or at iTunes. Changing community takes a concerted effort and we need you in the process.