Common Good Espresso Cohort

Al’s most recent book, The Power of Disability: 10 Lessons for Surviving, Thriving and Changing the World, reveals people with disabilities as authoritative sources on creativity, resilience, justice, democracy, love, sexuality, the arts, dealing with adversity and living a good life. The book focuses on five powerful disability advantages: the power of majority, inclusivity, ingenuity, authenticity and unity. The book suggests that by working together those advantages might be used to create a world that works for everyone.

While Al wrote his book to challenge prevailing beliefs, myths and stereotypes about the value of people with disabilities these faulty assumptions apply equally to other groups who have been marginalized, excluded and labelled. This session will explore why enabling their participation and prioritizing their concerns will enhance and enlighten all grass roots and social change efforts. And why new laws and funding, human rights guarantees and institutional reform will never live up to their potential without addressing the cultural determinants of change.

About Our Guides

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.

Rebecca is the Executive Director of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) and a faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute based at DePaul University in Chicago, Illonois. Rebecca Pauls is an enthusiastic leader and creative facilitator with a broad range of experiences in community development and collaboration with people who have disabilities.  She is passionate about seeing the unique gifts each of person, and is convinced that our communities will be stronger, safer and more resilient when each of us is actively involved and recognized for our contributions.

Charles Holmes is a master convener, gifted facilitator, skilled educator and empathetic coach. Described by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, as a “true social alchemist”, Charles authentically engages and connects people with ideas and possibilities to help them innovate, collaborate and deliver results they previously thought were impossible. His exceptional ability to respectfully surface and integrate disparate perspectives and approaches generates an environment of trust that effectively brings people together to create a better future.

Prerequisite: Read “The Power of Disability”

Schedule: Wednesday, May 20th, & 27th, & June 3 starting at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET for 75 minutes.