Al Etmanski, Peter Block, John McKnight and other social innovators in this Abundant Community Conversation.
Al’s most recent book, The Power of Disability: 10 Lessons for Surviving, Thriving and Changing the World, challenges false and outdated assumptions, beliefs and perceptions about disability and natural caring. It focuses on five powerful disability advantages: the power of majority, inclusivity, ingenuity, authenticity and unity. And it asserts that disabled people should be acknowledged as authoritative sources on creativity, resilience, justice, democracy, love, sexuality, the arts, dealing with adversity and living a good life.
It is important to address dangerous stereotypes and attitudes about disability or any other labelled or marginalized group because they slow change down or stop it completely. New laws and funding, human rights guarantees and institutional reform will never live up to their potential without addressing the cultural determinants of change.
Al has been a parent activist in the disability world since his daughter Liz was born. He led the closure of institutions and segregated schools in British Columbia, and founded Canada’s first Family Support Institute. He and his wife, Vickie Cammack, co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) and while at PLAN he lobbied into existence the world’s first Disability Savings Plan. His conceptual insight combined with real-world know-how makes him a guiding light in our efforts to change the world.