Overcoming Barriers to Training and Education among Canadians with Disabilities http://www.abilities.ca/learning/2009/08/14/cancouncilonlearning_barriers/
Sachs, J. (2005). Investing in Development: A Practical Guide to Achieve the Millennium Goals United Nations Development Programme, 98.
From Special Education Blog – hann3835.blogspot.com
Local to National Community Development
A Social Innovation Approach to Transforming Communities – Local to NationalInstitute for Research and Development on Inclusionand Society’s (IRIS) and the Canadian Association forCommunity LivingPresenter Doris Rajan,Director of Social Development - IRIS
Presentation Format1. The Problem: social change is slow3. Example – education attainment of people with disabilities in Canada5. A Strategy - The local to national community development strategy – can it work for education?7. How about in your country?
The ProblemResearch - people with disabilities andeducational attainment nature and prevalenceof exclusion and promising practices.Impressive models of inclusive education inCanada But the statistics are not changing...
People with disabilities experience ashortfall in education because theyhave not, and continue not to be,adequately included andaccommodated in the educationalsystem.
The example of children/adults withintellectual disabilities 52% of young adults with an intellectualdisability (aged 20 – 29 years) are neitherworking nor attending school, compared with12% of those without a disability. Young adults with intellectual disabilities arefive times more likely than those withoutdisabilities to have no formal educationcertificate.
No education No job No money! Canadians with disabilities have lower levels of educational attainment than non-disabled Canadians. 25% of non-disabled Canadians are without a high school diploma compared to 37% of those with a disability
Children in exclusive schools ...Research demonstrates that if proper supportsare in place to have children with disabilitiesincluded in regular classrooms, all studentsbenefit.Yet schools and classrooms are inadequatelysupported and the system generally resistsa truly inclusive school environment.
More inclusion means more students get toknow children with disabilities = less bullying…Recent study - 41% children withdisabilities felt threatened at school or onthe school bus within the past year andmore than a third (36%) were assaulted at school or on the school bus.
Reason for lack of progress complex How funding is given out Competing priorities of advocacy groups Weak partnerships Absence of a sense of solidarity and common vision Tight fiscal realities.
Successful Community Development Involves all key sectors, i.e. schools, relevant government bodies, disability organizationsLeadership comes from families and self- advocacy groupsEqual attention is paid to process and outcome.
UN Millennium Project Report - 2005 The need to scale up arises from the limited impact of pilot projects, or “islands of excellence” amidst a sea of inertia – small projects aimed at local or district levels without a measurable impact on national indicators…
Scaling up ... National scale-up is the process of bringing essential services to most or all the population quickly, equitably, and lastingly… Equality and non-discrimination, ensuring the services reach all of the population, especially the most disadvantaged, are central.
The Approach ...Needs a national frameworkRooted in local communitiesIntentional attempts to build the capacity of local communitiesPeople with disabilities leadWork with key local sectors
Multi-level At the same time leveraging multi-level support and influencing broader level policy change.
A community development strategy –rooted in the local community...
What does this really mean? Bring people together from all levels, diverse sectors to have conversations that they typically would not have.
Does child walk or prefer to run?A child with a disability hasdifficulties going to schooldue to the attitudes ofteachers, school boards andpossibly parents who areunable to adapt to studentswith different needs andlearning capacities.
On the individual levelPeople with disabilities and families from that same community are supported in developing self identified, realistic short and long term plans.The framework for these plans matches individual needs and wants with what is actually available or could be made available in the community.Plans are built around individual’s needs and wants
On the community levelDisability sensitivity training for educators and school boards.Teachers, local school boards are given tools to help them support individuals.Inclusive youth programs in schools
On the broader provincial /territorial/national levels National advisory groups made up of provincial/territorial organizations who bring local learnings to a national forumCustomize learnings to each P/TProvincial/territorial/national investments are made
Why will this strategy work? It is specific to a local community – the process develops community-specific inventories of resources, programs, policies, and community information that would support people’s dreamsChildren/adults with disabilities and their families are supported to be the leaders of this processOutreach process that identifies isolated people
More on outreachThe outreach process really understands where people are located and how to communicate/reach them, i.e. immigrant familiesThe outreach process is delivered by organizations and partners that have relationships in local communities and are thus trustedThe outreach process understood diversity and how to make the process sensitive and accessible to all segments of the target population.
Why will this strategy work? Supports/services in both the education sector and disability sectors are brought together.Information on supports will be presented in an accessible, straight forward, uncomplicated manner and context specific manner.
Successful because it works on manylevels Identifies individual solutions; Identifies collective group solutions; Identifies and engages the broader local community to examine themselves and respond to those specific individual and group needs; Identifies broader policy & program solutions for advocates/relevant advocacy groups to pursue.
Based on a similar CACL project -positive evaluation results Gains in knowledge about their rights and entitlements Exposed to the range of options and brought all service/support info together Stress the need for individual plans/building of support circles around individuals Acquired a better sense of what people need, rather than having to fit into what the system offers; Importance of a collective identity for social change.
Questions to guide the work...What is the role of a national coordinating body in a localto national strategy?What is needed to establish a national infrastructure withthe capacity to support local communities to organizearound the issue?What partnerships need to be in place and what types ofsocial and economic investments need to be committed atthe national level?
More questions ...What is needed to establish a local infrastructurethat supports a community to organize around theissue?What partnerships need to be in place and whattypes of social and economic investments need tobe committed at the local level?
Questions ...What is the best way to convene local level communitydialogue around the issue? Who needs to be involved andwhy? What are the socio-environmental and historical determinants of marginalization experienced by the affected population?What are the key components of an inclusive consultationprocess that recognizes the barriers to communication andthe articulation of needs for the affected population?
And more... What are the key characteristics of a social problem that are critical to understand in order to address it?What is the past and present policy and programframework related to the social issue?What characteristics of the local geographic communitycan be seen as assets or liabilities in addressing the socialproblem?
Still coming at you with questions!What are the kinds of tools and resources thatwould best support that strategy?What ways can local level results have an impactand influence national policy and broad scalesocial change?What needs to be in place to support the sustainability of local work inorder to ensure curative short term outcomes and positive long termquality of life results?
The most important question... How can the people with disabilities/families be empowered and supported to be leaders of the local level process?
The Concept of Inclusion The strategy empowers the group who has been marginalized to self facilitate towards better articulation of their needs and the development of strategies that will mobilize and also empower the various sectors towards an effective community and broader societal response.
How about where you live? Would thiswork?Could you establish a local infrastructure thatworks within a national framework to ensure thatpositive outcomes at the local level are sharedtowards promising practises reflected in policies?