Growing Beyond Kalamazoo: Putting the Community Participation Initiative into Practice

This week, George Martin shares experiences with the Community Participation Initiative Pilot Sites.________________________________________________

Recently we were conducting a training session with two of the pilot sites in Michigan for the Community Participation Initiative. One of the Coordinators was very excited because she was getting ready for her first meeting with a participant and staff of a community agency where the participant wanted to enroll in a program.

The Coordinator’s enthusiasm came from her joy that she was preparing the way for a person with a disability to do something she really wanted to do and had not done before. She was also excited that she had finally reached to point where she was putting the Initiative ideas into practice.

For us, is it exciting to see the Initiative growing beyond Kalamazoo. We truly believe that we are part of a movement that can transform the culture and practices of a community to provide a network of support for people with disabilities that is both caring and competent.