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Impact: Feature Issue on Stories of Advocacy, Stories of Change From People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Allies

Authors: Vicki Gaylord, Managing Editor


The year 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of Impact, a newsletter from the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD). To celebrate this milestone, 11 stories were selected from the newsletter's first 25 years that demonstrated how systems change has been initiated through the advocacy and innovation of people with disabilities, their families, and allies. Printed in this issue are the 11 original stories written between 1988-2010, paired with follow-up stories to bring readers up-to-date on their lives in 2013. This special issue also includes an interview with Bob Bruininks, the Institute's founding director, and a centerfold with cover images and quotes from the the newsletter's first 25 years.

The featured stories include:
- "A Home of Their Own: The Vision and the Reality" (1990), followed by "A House Filled with Love" (2013) - These two articles tell the story of parents who helped their daughters with intellectual disabilities purchase their home in the mid-1980's and became pioneers in managing consumer-controlled housing.

- "Realizing the Vision" (1991), followed by "Taking the Vision Into Adulthood (2013) - These two articles tell the story of how inclusion that began in elementary school for a young girl with significant disabilities has carried itself into an adult life centered on inclusion.

- "The Power of One" (1991), followed by "Reflections on “The Power of One” (2013). These two articles tell the story of how inclusion in school for a young girl with significant disabilities forever changed the perspectives of her classmates, parents, and a researcher from the Institute on Community Integration.

- "Operation Close the Doors: Working for Freedom" (1995), followed by "The Difference Operation Close the Doors Has Made to Help People" (2013). These two articles tell how a national social movement led by people with intellectual disabilities has helped lead to the closing of many public institutions.

- "The Doors Are Opening: Mary Jo's Story" (1996), followed by "Mary Jo’s Story... Continued" (2013). These two articles show how involvement in socially integrated leisure activities can enhance one's quality of life. It does this by telling one woman's story.

- "Advancing My Career" (2000), followed by "15 Years and Counting" (2013). These two articles show how solid planning for the transition from adolescence to adult life, and the use of supported employment strategies can lead to satisfying careers for adults with disabilities.

- "The Ups and Downs of Finding a Support Person: Andreas' Story (2006), followed by "Home Free! (2013). These two articles demonstrate how having a champion, or a very close friend can make all the difference in the world for a person with significant developmental disabilities.

- "They Work for Me" (2007), followed by "They Are Still Working for Me" (2013). These two articles tell the story of what it is like for a person with disabilities to manage a group of DSPs.

- "Welcome to the World" (2009), followed by "In the Gap is Where Hope Lives" (2013). These two articles explain how inclusive early childhood services can make a huge difference for both young children with disabilities and their families.The follow-up article demonstrates the challenges in maintaining inclusion as children grow into adolescents.

- "Becoming a Mom: My Experience So Far with Pregnancy and Parenting" (2010), followed by "Being a Mom: Learning to Live More Boldly" (2013). These two articles tell the story of a woman with disabilities who became a mother.

- "An Elder Among Self-Advocates: Cliff Poetz" (2010), followed by "I’ve Seen a Lot of Change” (2013). These two articles are interviews with a man who was a pioneer in the self-advocacy movement among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has many interesting observations about how service systems have changed over time.

-Information taken directly from the Impact issue viewed online on 11/21/14 http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/271/271.pdf

Contact Info:
Organization:Institute on Community Integration
Address:Room 109 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
Cost:Free online (PDF and text-only). Print copies also available; 1st copy free, each additional $4

Web Links

Download the newsletter (PDF)

View Issue on ICI Website (HTML)

See a listing of others in the Impact newsletter series

Home page of the publisher, Institute on Community Integration

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