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CLBC’s 2009 Staff Training Conference “The Power of Community”

April 30, 2009

We enjoyed our day with CLBC folks and other invited community members at their recent “The Power of Community” conference.    CLBC staff and community colleagues were divided into teams, given scenarios to work through, and clbclogowere able to access  a wide variety of resource people.   It was a great networking opportunity and also a brave attempt to look at training differently.    We got to connect with old friends, make some new ones, and learn more about what our colleagues in various areas are doing.    Later we presented a “mini-lecture” as well.  

One of the many highlights of the day was the opening remarks by Sue Swenson, a speaker I’d never heard before.   Sue is a mom and a professional who has had many roles in government advocating for the rights of folks with disabilities and families.   She was a powerful speaker and I would go a long distance to spend some more time with her.   Prior to her talk, I got to connect with some families who had spent the weekend with Sue and Brian Salisbury at Naramata during a FSI retreat and it was great to see how excited and energised they were.    I liked so many things about the too-short talk that Sue gave – her take on accountability particularly interested me, and I loved some of the language she used, and how she talked about relationships.   The thing that is still resonating for me was her definition of how different systems approach folks with disabilities as broken and fixable, in different ways, and her comment that it was a relief for her and her family to realize that “we don’t have to change Charlie.   We just have to change the world.”    I haven’t been able to find many online documents by Sue, but check out this for more of her story. 

We were grateful for the opportunity to spend the day with so many people working in congruence on that goal: “to change the world.”

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