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Making Freedom Real - Two Talk on Citizenship for Gloucestershire


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The two talks were given to citizens and professionals in Gloucstershire in December 2013. They explore how freedom and citizenship are for all - including people with severe disabilities and they set out the practical challenges of making citizenship real.

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Making Freedom Real - Two Talk on Citizenship for Gloucestershire

  1. 1. Making Freedom Real Two talks for Gloucestershire
  2. 2. Freedom is important • Freedom is a fundamental human right • Freedom feels good - we enjoy free • Freedom is the key to other important rights tenancy, employer, property, sexual • People take us serious when we are free - with respect • Freedom lets us change things - freedom keeps us safe
  3. 3. Nadia’s freedom demands • People who listen carefully and with love • Communication systems • The chance to live and learn • Respect for her rights • Foundation in human rights
  4. 4. Everybody can be free - but sometimes you’ve really got to work hard to make it real. ! Wendy Perez
  5. 5. Freedom is for everyone: 1. Capacity - assume I can decide 2. Specificity - don’t generalise any incapacity 3. Selection - let me pick any representative 4. Suitability - find a suitable person 5. Best interest - pay attention to what matters 6. Involvement - I can still be involved 7. Review - things change
  6. 6. Freedom is social & complex • Patrick’s story • Michael’s story • Rachel’s story
  7. 7. How would our assistance change if we took freedom seriously?
  8. 8. “We are obliged to surrender to the will of the strong. Big companies, cities and municipalities decide what is best for us. This is about power. Why do I feel a lack of power in my own life?” Sami Helle at European Parliament, November 2013
  9. 9. How would society change if we took freedom seriously?
  10. 10. Any other questions?
  11. 11. Freedom Aspiration vs Reality
  12. 12. We need humility and the capacity to work together to find a better way of respecting each other and living together We only have only just begun to learn how to undo the damage done by decades of institutional care
  13. 13. At the end of the nineteenth and for most of the twentieth century it was common for people to think that people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness were very different, hardly human, and certainly not equal citizens.
  14. 14. The powerful eugenic movement that spread across Europe, America and the British Empire led eventually to the murder of over 250,000 people with disabilities or mental illness in Nazi Germany.
  15. 15. The process of de-humanisation that preceded the Holocaust had seven steps:
  16. 16. But the journey away from the institutions has been neither straight nor fast.
  17. 17. This shows spending in one part of England after the institutions were closed:
  18. 18. Often de-instutitionalisation was an institution, without the park
  19. 19. Yet people keep breaking through the barriers placed in front of them. Social innovation by people with disabilities, families and their allies has changed the lives of many.
  20. 20. There is not just one kind of institution ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! we bring the institution with us
  21. 21. The creation of the welfare state and social rights has helped lift people from poverty and increased the capacity for wider citizenship. ! But today the welfare state and social rights are also under attack.
  22. 22. In the UK we have seen a very rapid unravelling of the language of rights and inclusion - back towards the language of shame and stigma.
  23. 23. Questions
  24. 24. It’s time to go back to basics.
  25. 25. What are we really trying to achieve? ! What works and must be protected? ! What needs to be challenged?
  26. 26. Q: What’s wrong with Hayley? A: Absolutely nothing.
  27. 27. We must wake up to the importance of community and citizenship for all our sakes
  28. 28. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be a beast or a god. He is no part of a state. (Politics 1.2) ! Aristotle
  29. 29. We must welcome human diversity, and yet treat each other as equals.
  30. 30. Aristotle explains that a community is not made out of equals, but on the contrary of people who are different and unequal. The community comes into being through equalising, 'isathenai.' [Nich. Ethics 1133 a 14] ! Hannah Arendt
  31. 31. Citizenship is the right goal
  32. 32. Being a citizen is better than being ‘normal’ it brings us together as equals but also as unique free individuals ! Equal and different
  33. 33. 1.What is lives - the with institutions? Devalued wrong institution defines your place, your role, your purpose. 2. No freedom or control - the institution strips you of freedom and personal authority 3. Impoverishment - economic power is nullified 4. Sheltered, but homeless - a home is more than a roof it’s vital to control privacy and security 5. ‘Care’ not help - ‘care’ already assumes the passivity and lower value of the person ‘in care’. 6. Disconnected - the institution cuts you off and leaves you within a hierarchical system where abuse can become natural 7. Loveless - relationships have no place in the institution
  34. 34. Why citizenship is safer 1. Direction - It’s risky if my life lacks meaning and value 2. Freedom - It’s risky if I cannot direct my life, communicate or be listened to. 3. Money - It’s risky if I lack money or if I cannot control my own money. 4. Home - It’s risky if I cannot control who I live with, my home and my privacy. 5. Help - It’s risky if I’ve no one to help me and if I cannot control who helps me. 6. Life - It’s risky if I am not a valued member of my community. 7. Love - It’s risky to have no friends or family.
  35. 35. Citizenship is also very practical. We can use the idea of citizenship to think about how to help someone.
  36. 36. Citizenship is possible for everyone it just might take some extra thought
  37. 37. 1. Purpose
  38. 38. Demanding of man that he assumes his condition and not till his neighbour's field, he [Rebbe Yaakov-Yitzhak, The Seer of Lublin] said: "There are many paths leading to perfection; it is given to each of us to choose our own, and by following it with great dedication, we can make it become our truth, our only truth." Elie Wiesel
  39. 39. How is person-centred planning?
  40. 40. 2. Freedom
  41. 41. I used to think that freedom was freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience. But freedom needs to include all of the lives of all of the people. Freedom is the right to sow what you want. It's the right to make boots of shoes, it's the right to bake bread from the grain you've sown and to sell it or not to sell it as you choose. The same goes for a locksmith or steelworker or an artist - freedom is the right to live and work as you wish and not as you're ordered to. But these days there's no freedom for anyone - whether you write books, whether you sow grain or whether you make boots. Vassily Grossman
  42. 42. How is supported decisionmaking?
  43. 43. 3. Money
  44. 44. You could no more make a city out of paupers than out of slaves. Aristotle ! Self-interest is the most powerful engine for individual and social development, in other words, social progress, in other words social justice. It is when the most disadvantaged in society have the opportunity to improve their lives in their own self-interest that change will take place. Noel Pearson
  45. 45. How is self-directed support?
  46. 46. 4. Home
  47. 47. Then the old Vainamoinen put this into words: 'Strange food goes down the wrong way even in good lodging; in his land a man's better at home loftier. If only sweet God would grant the kind creator allow me to come to my own lands the lands where I used to live! Better in your own country even water off your sole than in a foreign country honey from a golden bowl.' ! The Kalevala
  48. 48. How is home ownership?
  49. 49. 5. Help
  50. 50. There are eight degrees of charity, one higher than the other. The highest degree, exceeded by none, is that of the person who assists a poor Jew by providing him with a gift or loan or by accepting him into a business partnership or by helping him find employment - in a word, by putting him where he can dispense with other people's aid. With reference to such aid, it is said, “You shall strengthen him, be he a stranger or a settler, he shall live with you” (Lev. 25:35), which means strengthen him in such manner that his falling into want is prevented. Maimonides
  51. 51. 4. Assist 5. Safeguard Help 1. Discover gifts & interests 3. Make connections © Simon Duffy & Wendy Perez 2012. All Rights Reserved. 2. Create opportunity
  52. 52. How is personalised support?
  53. 53. 6. Life
  54. 54. True love leads a man to fulfilment, not by drawing things to himself but by forcing him to transcend himself and to be something greater than himself. True spiritual love takes the isolated individual, exacts from him labour, sacrifice, and the gift of himself. Thomas Merton
  55. 55. INFO Give useful information Connect to another individual or family £ Refer to community organisations Recommend appropriate providers
  56. 56. How is supported employment?
  57. 57. 7. Love
  58. 58. Resources multiply in networks created by intentionally building relationships that cross boundaries & serve people's deepest purposes. Seymour Sarason
  59. 59. How is love & marriage?
  60. 60. Citizenship is the full realisation of our interdependence - the value we bring to each other in all our differences. ! The lame rides a horse the maimed drives the herd the deaf is brave in battle. A man is better blind than buried. A dead man is deft at nothing. ! From Viking - Havamal