Restoring Our Vision


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The third and final keynote given at the new Zealand Disability Support Network Conference in 2013. The talk describes some of the strategies necessary to strengthen our vision for positive change going forward. Serious threats continue to confront disabled people. We need to be thinking about wider social change and connecting with the interests of other disadvantaged groups.

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Restoring Our Vision

  1. 1. Keeping the flame alive Reflections on our history, our present and our future Dr Simon Duffy ■ The Centre for Welfare Reform ■ 14th-15th August 2013 ■ Wellington ■ New Zealand Disability Support Network
  2. 2. Restoring our vision
  3. 3. A new vision must be our vision. Not a vision for other people - people with intellectual disabilities - but a vision for everyone and, especially, a vision for ourselves. A vision for us - all of us
  4. 4. a society that aims at citizenship
  5. 5. a society that treats us as citizens
  6. 6. The flame is kept alive by action, by striving, by companionship and by facing challenges together. A vision that we just wait for, or even just ask for, will just die. A vision - for real
  7. 7. We know our journey is fraught with problems - including delays and backward steps.
  8. 8. Q: How do we achieve citizenship? A: Be citizens. Act like citizens. The answer is in our own hands.
  9. 9. 1. Get organised - be strong 2. Build alliances - find new allies 3. Get practical - innovate 4. Be political - make your case 5. Get real - connect to people
  10. 10. Getting organised means not waiting to be consulted with
  11. 11. 1 Rights - robust rights that give people effective entitlements 2 Control - person, or someone close to them, controls budget 3 Clarity - systems, rules and budgets are clear 4 Flexibility - budgets can be used in many different ways 5 Ease of Use - it is easy to plan, manage and control assistance 6 Community - person’s contribution to society grows 7 Sustainable - system is affordable, innovative and supported These would seem to be some of the qualities of an effective system of self-directed support.
  12. 12. It’s people’s money...
  13. 13. Building alliances means finding common ground with people who are different
  14. 14. Being practical means creating new forms of practice anyway
  15. 15. Being political means knowing how to chivvy, challenge and support government
  16. 16. 1. Human rights at the core 2. Clear entitlements 3. Early support 4. Full access to community 5. Choice and control 6. Fair incomes for all 7. Fair taxation 8. Sustainable and affordable Our issues, are everybody’s issues
  17. 17. Getting real means abandoning the special codes and looking at things from other people’s point of view
  18. 18. Getting a job = ‘supported employment’ Having a home = ‘supported living’ Making friends = ‘community building’Getting a life = ‘person-centred planning’ Proper entitlements = ‘self directed support’ Working together = ‘coproduction’ Whose interest is served? The dangers of pyramid selling
  19. 19. We cannot build citizenship for all by just talking to ourselves in our own language, focusing only on our own issues.
  20. 20. This is our real wealth...
  21. 21. Don’t give away your own power in the search to reclaim power from others.
  22. 22. Rabbi Bunam used to tell young men who came to him for the first time the story of Rabbi Eisik, son of Rabbi Yekel in Cracow. After many years of great poverty which had never shaken his faith in God, he dreamed someone bade him look for a treasure in Prague, under the bridge which leads to the king's palace. When the dream recurred for a third time, Rabbi Eisik prepared for the journey and set out for Prague. But the bridge was guarded day and night and he did not dare to start digging. Nevertheless he went to the bridge every morning and kept walking around it until evening. Finally the captain of the guards, who had been watching him, asked in a kindly way whether he was looking for someone or waiting for somebody. Rabbi Eisik told him of the dream which had brought him here from a far away country. The captain laughed: "And so to please the dream, you poor fellow wore your shoes out to come here! As for having faith in dreams, if I had had it, I should have to get going, for a dream once told me to go to Cracow and dig for treasure under the stove in the room of a jew - Eisek, son of Yekel, that was the name! Eisik, son of a Yekel! I can just imagine what it would be like, how I should have to try every house there, where one half of the Jews are named Eisik, and the other Yekel!" And he laughed again. Rabbi Eisek bowed, traveled home, dug up the treasure, and built the House of Prayer which is called "Reb Eisik's Shul." "Take this story to heart," Rabbi Bunam used to add, "and make what it says your own: There is something you cannot find anywhere in the world, not even at the zaddik's, and there is, nevertheless, a place where you can find it."
  23. 23. If you found these slides interesting you might like to read...
  24. 24. Lots of free resources on all these topics and more: @simonjduffy and @cforwr - follow - subscribe like The Centre for Welfare Reform on Facebook