A Big Missing Piece of the Puzzle

Perspectives from Ylonda Roden, Support Coordinator Assistant, Kalamazoo Community Health and Substance Abuse Services. Ylonda Roden and Allison Hammond had a conversation about what the Community Participation Initiative has meant for the people with disabilities that Ylonda supports and here are somethings she said in that conversation:

“I’ve been working in this field for 16 years. I can remember when the highlight of some individuals’ days was going to doctor appointments. How sad is that that going to be examined by a doctor was their experience in the community?”

“The Community Participation Initiative challenges us (professionals) to think more broadly about opportunities in the community and The Arcadia Institute helps us make those opportunities reality for the people we support.”

“When the Community Participation Initiative started, it was like a big missing piece from the middle of a puzzle was found for people. They (The Arcadia Institute) help create a complete picture of life for people.”

The Network that The Arcadia Institute is growing is like painting a big colorful mural where all people in our community are coming together.”

It’s our (the professionals’) responsibility to get people integrated into the community. If we do our part it won’t be anything unusual to see a variety of people in everywhere.”

“The Arcadia Institute is making community participation a reality for people. I remember when it was just a nice idea – now Arcadia provides us with the tools and connections to make it happen.”

“Because of the way the Community Participation Initiative has been working - it is an idea that is here to stay – not another pilot program that comes and goes.”

Getting the Wonderful Virus of Community Participation to Spread. Ylonda Roden, March 2010