So simple but made so complicated

Yesterday 48 members of the Paradigm National Ordinary Life for All Network came together to drive forward the work of the network. John O’Brien facilitated the workshop in his usual insightful, unassuming but incredible way.

The theme...developing policies and procedures to ensure ordinary lives for all. There is so much I would like to say but I am holding back. Notes of the day and some short films will be available soon. At this point I am just going to highlight two contributions from yesterday. Hopefully they will stimulate some thinking. ˜You cocoon us. The cocoon is here (Jackie signed all around herself). Sometimes we need to move out of our cocoons if we want to. If you don’t believe in the person, there’s no point. If you don’t let us take risks, there’s no point. All of you are good at what you are doing, we must try to work together.” (Jackie Downer, Self Advocate)

“We want to think about policies and procedures so that they are part of a positive culture so it’s not words on a paper but postive action. How can we create a positive culture? We are struggling with powerful social forces and we are culturally nervous about people who require assistance. There is something that scares us collectively. You can see it in debates both here and in the USA. There is this kind of vulnerability that we all have to create distance and assume that people who require help are paying for their help with their freedom. We are haunted. People asserting control over people who are vulnerable. It is something we are vulnerable to all the time. Do people have to pay for support with their freedom?” (John O’Brien)

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