LOV-Dane by wuyunqing


									                       LOV-Dane      and Community Organizing in Dane County

                    Looking Back at 2008
                                  What is LOV-Dane?
                                                Living Our Visions

 H       ow can we
         find the
“good life” for our
                                                                                                            L          OV-Dane
                                                                                                              monthly to share
loved ones with                                                                                               fellowship, hope,
disabilities?                                                                                                 and wisdom. A
Everyone wants to                                                                                             smaller group,
be valued                                                                                                     LOV-Oregon, also
members of a                                                                                                  meets to address
community with                                                                                                needs of local
employment,                                                                                                   members. In
recreation and                                                                                                addition, smaller
meaningful                                                                                                   action teams form
relationships. As                                                                                            with specific goals
family members,                                                                                              such as developing
we have been                                                                                                 long term supports,
isolated in pursuit                                                                                          transportation in
of this vision- so                                                                                           rural areas or to
began LOV-Dane. LOV-YAA (young adults and adults group) hosted a holiday party in                            host a learning
                      December. Over 80 people came for dinner, games and most importantly to share
Two years ago a       time with each other. Families brought food items to benefit the Goodman Atwood event. Finally, our
group of families     Food Pantry. The YAA group feels it is very important for families and individuals    leadership team is
from across Dane with disabilities to gather together, so hosts gatherings several times a year.            the guardian of
County began                                                                                                LOV’s values and
meeting to share our           together to solve our
common issues and think common problems. It
about what we could do         sounds so simple,
                                                                   L       OV- Dane is
                                                                           committed to
                                                                 supporting adults with
                                                                                                      the ABCD principles. We
                                                                                                      all encourage relationship
                                                                                                      building, determine
collectively. Mike Green,      building relationships, yet       disabilities to have                 priorities for action and
an expert in Asset Based       learning to intentionally         fulfilling, community                increase LOV’s capacity
Community                      have conver-sations that          based lives full of family,          by supporting members
Development, has               share deeper meaning              friends and choices. To              to engage actively in the
supported us to develop a      has opened new doors              reach our goal, we are               work of LOV.
strong sense of                for us. Deliberate                developing a county wide
community through              relationship building has         family network as well as
focused relationship           been a powerful tool to           a network of community
building. Now, with a          determine what we want,           partners to work on                 Amanda Bell (890-0776)
strong family network in       are motivated to work on          common priorities to                bell@waisman.wisc.edu
place, LOV is acting           and willing to share with         reach our goals.                    Stefanie Primm (263-5557)
                               others.                                                               primm@waisman.wisc.edu
LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

What is LOV-YAA??
As their families began working together, young adults and adults with disabilities came together as a group to
address issues they shared. These issues included a need for support, deep friendships and an opportunity to
give to others in their community. We have found that organizing individuals and their families simultaneously
but separately created deeper engagement and helped us to see that we all really wanted the same things.

Support and Relationships

Evan’s birthday with buddies. Evan had the same               Max and A.J. Max had been living with AJ for over a
birth-day party/bowling tournament every year for nine        year when AJ suddenly died while in his sleep. AJ’s
years in a row. Until last year, only his family attended     friends came together to support one another at a YAA
the party. Last year, he made many friends at the YAA         support circle the week after AJ passed away. Both AJ
activities and had a birthday party with five of his best     and Max had been attending the support circle
buddies.                                                      regularly and the gathering was bittersweet for
                                                              everyone who knew AJ.
Giving Back

Megan. Megan hated high school and especially gym             Sarah. One tool that has been incredibly helpful in
class. The YAA group was asked to speak at a                  connecting the YAA’s to opportunities to give back is
conference of Gay-Straight Alliances, high school             the Dane County Timebank. Sarah and others helped
groups that promote tolerance and acceptance of               the Timebank host an Open House to showcase what
differences. Megan and others from the YAA group              the Timebank offers. Sarah played games with
spoke as part of GSA’s “Finding New Allies” initiative.       others, laughing and smiling the whole time.
Megan hopes that her words can change the way high
school feels to students with disabilities in Wisconsin.
                                                            Page 2
                                                                              LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Moving Out!!
          Did you know...
   7 LOV members moved out in
      2008 without additional
         County funding
                                                                                 Sadler and Steve. After
Emily. Emily                                                                     Sadler, Steve and their families
moved into the                                                                   got to know each other through
Edgewood College                                                                 LOV-Dane, the men moved into
dorms in January                                                                 a house together last spring.
as a participant in                                                              Through development of
the Cutting Edge                                                                 community relationship and
program. She is                                                                  family support, they do not use
excited to have a                                                                any county residential supports.
stepping stone to                                                                They build relationships in their
her own                                                                          community through participation
apartment.                                                                       in the neighborhood association
                                                                                 and community activities such
                                                                                 as “Clown Attack”.

Dream, Create, Cooperate
In July of 2008, LOV hosted a series of learning opportunities across the state. By partnering with Pathways to
Independence, UW-Extension and USDA Cooperative Development, LOV demonstrated our commitment to
working collaboratively. The conference included organizations and individuals from the United Sates and
Canada who have utilized cooperative and networking strategies to build innovative support structures for
individuals with disabilities and their families. Consistent with our commitment to grassroots organizing,
participants collectively determined topics for further exploration and created breakout sessions to meet those

Young Adult Collage. Individuals with disabilities         Learning Conversation at Conference. Oppor-
also attended the conference and created a collective      tunities for relationship building among conference
collage of their dreams and goals for a full life.         participants were an essential part of the experience.

                                                        Page 3
LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Relationships Encourage Shared Support
Through intentional relationship building, we have begun to trade supports of our loved ones with disabilities.
Also, individuals with disabilities have begun to provide supports to each other.

Evan and Friends. Relationships have also led to           Jeremy and Charles. LOV members support each
the sharing of residential supports between families       other and their loved ones. Jeremy’s sister no longer
with and without individual funding. When Evan             has to interrupt her work day to remind him to take his
attends UW-basketball games, he takes a friend. He         medication. Two LOV parents with more flexible
meets up with Daniel to take walks. This makes the         schedules take turns calling Jeremy each morning.
experiences more fun for Evan and also allows
someone who does not have paid supports to
participate in the community.

Azalea. Emily supported Azalea to play bingo once a        Mike and Steve live near each other on the east side
week in her senior apartment. Emily learned how to         of Madison, and are part of a bowling league on the
help Azalea if she had a seizure and help her connect      west side. Their families helped out with rides for a
to the other bingo players.                                while, but since neither live with their family it made
                                                           more sense to use the bus.

                                                           Steve and Mike supported each other to learn to use
                                                           the bus and ride together to bowling each week.

                                                        Page 4
                                                                                         LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Choices Newsletter
While not directly under the LOV-Dane umbrella, Choices newsletter uses the same organizing principles.
Choices is a newsletter for consumers and agencies in Dane County’s developmental disabilities system. Until
last year, a majority of the content was written by service providers. By using community organizing principles
fifteen individuals with disabilities have been recruited and now write 95% of the newsletter content and enrich
their own lives in the process. Choices has been an important tool for sharing the LOV story and helping YAA’s
to connect to others.

Emily had taken a lot of
writing classes and              What are people                        Catherine
dreamed of being a                saying about                          has been
journalist. She enjoys             Choices?                             conducting
being a part of a team of                                               interviews and
reporters and making               “Congrats on the                     writing about
contributions to the               best issue ever!”                    them as a
newsletter. She is              - Susan Kidd Webster, parent            Choices
currently exploring joining                                             reporter for
a group of women writers             “WOW!!! This                       nearly a year.
who meet regularly to             really looks great.                   Writing for the
encourage one another.            It is so fun to read                  newsletter
                                 Choices and see all                    gave her the
                                the articles written by                 confidence she
                                the various reporters.                  needed to write
                                       Excellent.”                      to her distant
                                    - Sue Prodell, TIES
                                                                        family and express her feelings of sadness at
                                                                        being so far away. Her family responded by
                                   “It looks great!”
                                 - Courtney Wilson, broker
                                                                        working harder to make her feel a part of their
                                                                        lives, including bringing her for visits and buying
                                  “Great job to you                     her a cell phone for Christmas.
                                  and the writers on
                                  this latest issue of
                                   Choices. Lots of
                                   interesting stuff
                                  packed in there!”
                                  - Jessica Haven, broker
“The important thing is
not to stop questioning.
 Curiosity has its own        Dora and Remington.
 reason for existing.”        Dora created “Dora’s Pet
    Albert Einstein           Corner” for Choices
                              several years ago with
                              the help of a previous
                              editor, though Dora
                              needed support to fully
                              participate in the writing
                              process. Now, a volun-
                              teer from the Dane
                              County Timebank sup-
                              ports Dora to develop
                              better writing and inter-
                              viewing skills and parti-
                              cipate in the whole pro-
                              cess of writing an article.
                                                               Page 5
LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Long Term Support Action Team
    As a follow up of the conference, a LOV action team, made up of family members and creative system
supporters, formed to create concrete opportunities in Dane County. Through systematic learning and
collective analysis, the group is designing an individual and family centered support model which can be used to
prototype alternatives to traditional agencies. This model will emphasize sustainability, community participation
and unpaid supports for individuals with disabilities as well
as a collaborative structure which ensures ownership and
participation by individuals, families, direct care providers
and community partners. Over the next several months,
we expect the work of this action team to crystallize into a
concrete work plan.
    Sustainable support models require collaboration from
multiple sectors. However, by increasing the capacity of
individuals with disabilities, their families and the larger
Dane County community, the system plays a different and
smaller role in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Circles of Support Action Team
    As part of our commitment of continuous learning, two LOV members embarked upon a learning journey to
Toronto, Ontario. This group spent time with two groups of families who created family-centered long term
support networks. The most important realization from that trip was the need for circles of support around
individuals with disabilities so that “The Good Life” could be created and maintained over the lifetime of a
person as the capacity of the family changes. A circle of support is a group of people that come together
regularly to support a person to achieve their goals and is made of family, friends, community members and in
some cases paid supporters. This action team is learning to facilitate circles of support and is currently
starting several circles. Rather than have circles which operate separately, LOV is committed to nurturing
relationships between circles which furthers our commitment to relationships and collective action.

Steven’s Circle. Steven lives at home and wants to
have more opportunities to be a part of community
whether it’s cheering on the Badgers or helping out           Lynette’s Circle. As her parents age, Lynette needs
with community clean-ups. Because Steven is                   others around her to ensure she is well supported and
always on the go and needs significant support,               spends time with people she cares about. Her circle
Steven’s circle will be not only around him, but also         will include family, church members and former
around his family. They will support Steven to be more        support workers who have maintained a relationship
active and increase the quality of life for the rest of his   with Lynette.
family as well.
                                                          Page 6
                                                                              LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Community Connections
         Strong communities thrive on the gifts and contributions of all members. However, individuals with
disabilities need support to locate ways to share their gifts and build relationships. In order to strengthen our
community and increase the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, LOV-Dane is
building a citizen group to assist individuals to join local organizations and
associations. For example, Jim loves to do gardening of any kind. The citizen
group would brainstorm the many community groups he could connect to: Friends                “There is no one
of Olbrich Gardens, Friends of UW arboretum, Community Gardens, Madison Area                 we don’t need.”
Water Garden Society. After working with Jim to identify a good connection, a                    - Mike Green
member of the citizen group would approach the organization and assist Jim to make
the initial connection.
    LOV-Dane has already been making community connections, but we have found
that it is difficult and time consuming to make cold calls to organizations. Using the networks of
a citizen group will allow us to make many more sustainable connections. A similar “citizen connector” project
in Nova Scotia has connected and maintained over one hundred connections in the last 13 years. If they can
do it in Nova Scotia, we can do it in Madison!

Steven and the Knights of Columbus:
Steven is Catholic and starting to get
involved with a new church. He is also
joining the Knights of Columbus service
club because there are service projects
that he is interested in helping out with,
such as the Pancake Breakfast and

                                             Sadler. Sadler’s goal was to teach children to cook. With a little
                                             help from LOV-Dane, Sadler has connected with the Children’s
                                             Museum and found a way to use his talents regularly at his church.
                                             In his words, “Now I have achieved my dream!”

                                             Kate and First Methodist Church.
                                             While Kate has attended First United
                                             Methodist Church, she had never felt
                                             connected there. Now she has church
                                             members looking for her every Sunday,
                                             has joined a women’s circle and the
                                             church stamping club.
                                                       Page 7
LOV-Dane: Looking Back at 2008

Sharing the LOV
     Through out the past year, LOV has shared our story internationally. At the Toronto Inclusion Institute, LOV
organizers presented to approximately 200 people from across the world. A brief version of that presentation is
available on YOUTUBE. In addition, LOV organizers have presented in Illinois and Alabama. LOV also hosted a
group from Georgia who wanted to learn
about our methods and successes and
will travel to Georgia in June to continue
this work.
     Check us out on YOU TUBE:
 (search for LOV-Dane)

               Living Our Visions
               “Doing Together
               What We Can’t Do Alone”

Amanda Bell (890-0776)                       Mentor Mike Green, Amanda, Stefanie and Mike’s daughter
bell@waisman.wisc.edu                        Annie in Toronto. Mike’s training and mentorship in Asset Based
Stefanie Primm (263-5557)                    Community Development has been essential to the development
primm@waisman.wisc.edu                       of LOV-Dane.


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