This project is part of the Community Participation Initiative (CPI), which is a movement begun by The Arcadia Institute of Kalamazoo, Mi., to open doors throughout the community for people with disabilities to participate in inclusive activities that they choose. In consultation with The Institute, the two Arc chapters are creating partnerships with community agencies, the school systems, and the local community mental health systems. CPI does not create parallel or separate programs in which people with disabilities are isolated from others who take part in the agency’s programs. Rather, the project builds upon each agency’s strengths, assumes a welcoming environment, and enlists buy-in and endorsement of the program from directors and staff. The project provides technical assistance to help staff make any necessary accommodations to their programs; provides on-site coaching to agency staff, one-on-one or in a group setting; and remains available when problems arise, providing concrete solutions.
Submitted by The Arc of Kent County and The Arc of Western Wayne County.