An introduction to the art and craft of community building, this course provides opportunities to explore the challenge of community development and focuses on the practical skills of finding, creating and nurturing spaces in which all people are valued. Strategies for strengthening family involvement and facilitating social networks will be explored.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:.
- The hard work of community building begins by revisioning community as a place where all people are valued and appreciated for their gifts.
- Increasingly, there is an interest in the field of disability support in an alternative way of viewing community and community support. The new vision is capacity focused, concentrating on the assets of community rather than its lists of needs. It is believed that practitioners benefit from a critical understanding of community development which focuses on building from the strength and capacity of individuals, families and neighbourhoods. This knowledge provides students with a deeper understanding of community and gives them new tools to facilitate inclusion and identify opportunities for real contribution.
- The social isolation of people with disabilities is a growing concern amongst advocates and professionals. The professional world of disability support has moved people out of institutions but now faces the next challenge of facilitating ordinary relationhips and friendships within the community. It appears that a next step might be to better understand some of the inherent structural barriers which exist within our systems or care which might compromise the development of these ordinary relationships and lead to isolation.
Methods Of Instruction
- Group work
- Student presentation
- Guest speakers
- Media presentation
Means of Assessment
This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations.
- Community inventory
- Major paper on facilitation strategies
- Circle of support analysis
- Classroom participation self assessment
- Story telling
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe the dynamic attributes of community.
- Articulates the connections between community and quality of life
- Compares and contrasts asset-based and service-based models of community development
- Compares and contrasts the benefits and drawbacks of community experience for people who live within a service system and those who do not
- Articulate the value and importance of friendships and family in the lives of people who live with a disability.
- Identifies circles of support in personal life
- Describes the strengths which families bring to the support of their children who live with disabilities
- Considers the dynamics which underpin friendship
- Plan, develop and evaluate effective strategies for building community presence and contribution.
- Articulates the importance of knowing and understanding the person who is being supported
- Creates personal profiles which reflect thoughtful observation and inquiry
- Demonstrates strategies used to link individuals with community
- Recognizes opportunities for and barriers to friendship and family involvement
- Recognizes potential areas of competing values