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Welcome to the May e-newsletter of 101 Friends; the research issue

April 30, 2012

"Some Words That Address Crucial Meanings in Renewal" - graphic based on a lecture by Michael Kendrick

Research is all about reflection, the thing we must make time for if we want to improve our practices.  We hope our new header communicates the idea of reflective practices.   In this issue we have the first article on researchers and research by self-advocate Sheenagh Morrison, who talks to Fred Ford about his work.   We could not have got this series off to a better start.   A more in-depth look at why research in important suggests attending the pre-conference day of BCACL’s conference.

Jules and Jillian imagine a connected future, Michael Kendrick’s book looks at ways to optimize choices and look at our roles in people’s lives, Jim gives an update on our first children’s book “by, for and about people with disabilities and those who care for them” and our work with Susan Powell, Larry Wells and their focus group(s) and there’s a little gift of a certificate that our friend Sterling thought up.

We look forward to seeing and meeting people as some of us will be supporting self advocate friends at the B.C. People First conference “Nothing About Us Without Us”– itself a kind of research forum, with all sessions run by self advocates.   If you haven’t registered, there are still a few days left!  Drop by and say hello. Alternatively, or as well, you will find us in Penticton at the BCACL Conference where Susan and Jim are presenting on “The Goode Life” – the Story Behind “The Goode Life: Memoirs of Disability Rights Activist Barb Goode,” published by Spectrum Press. This session will answer questions about writing a book such as, why is it important to tell my story? How can friends and family members support this process?   Shelley Nessman, Jim and I will be with Jessica Humphrey and Sylvie Zebroff at a Story Telling Workshop for self advocates who want to learn ways to write, speak, act or create art to represent the story they wish to tell about themselves. People will learn storytelling genres, techniques and explore why stories of lived experience are key to the community living movement.   I will be acting as a graphic facilitator in this, and am really excited about  my third time doing graphics in a BCACL self advocacy workshop – it’s become one of the highlights of my year.   We’ll also be introducing a new workshop/facilitation offering that might interest you, in which we’ll work with agencies to help harvest and then tell in various ways the stories that give us power and hope.   Last but not least, Jules and I are excited about a new workshop on Social Media, “Being Part of the Conversation,” in which we’ll look at how the community living movement and people with developmental disabilities have seized opportunities to be part of an online movement, represented in ways that matter.

Later on in the summer, we’ll let you know about a couple of other offerings.   We’ve been working with an international team on a multi-part webinar “Dancing With Community: Why Support Networks Matter,” which is looking terrific and will be offered as a fundraiser for TASH across North America.   In Vancouver we’ll be offering a four day long training in PATH facilitation.   If you’ve always wanted to learn how to facilitate PATH, or just want to learn more about person centred planning and how to embed it in your practices, let us know.   If you’d like to host this training in your region, we are also happy to consider that for groups of six or more.  By the end of the training each participant will be an experienced facilitator/graphic recorder, will have done a PATH of their own, and will have had opportunities to give and get feedback on their work in both facilitative and graphic recorder roles.   They’ll also receive a great starter kit of materials, including books from Inclusion Press, and will be ready to roll!   There are some entries about PATH-making on my personal blog that might be of interest.

Also in June we’ll be part of an interagency team hosting Lee Anne Ragan of Rock Paper Scissors (“where great minds come to play”) working with us on the uses of social media, and then a train the trainer program.   It’s four days in Vancouver and there are still spaces for agency sponsorships.   If you’ve been wondering about social media, or training, or both, this is a great opportunity to spend time with an acknowledged expert, as well as learn more about how agencies can work better together.

We believe we are surrounded by evidence of kindness, sharing and abundance.   If you’d like to share any of the articles or illustrations (not photographs of people or works which are obviously by individuals, who have only given us permission for here) from the 101 Friends blog  you are welcome to do so for the uses of non-profits or social justice organizations, giving credit to – a note letting us know either in the comments or by email or twitter would be great!   Copies of our books, posters and media works for use by groups are available at  Donations to further our work can be made here – specify Research Training and Development if it matters to you, otherwise it’ll be used where it’s most needed.  You can subscribe to our blog as a blog on wordpress, or as a monthly newsletter at the link above.

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