Supporting the citizenship of people with disabilities

Skills Values in Action

Seeking Creative Collaborations

We believe that social change comes from the strength of groups recognizing their commonalities, sharing resources, and working together. The disability community has often been overlooked in social change initiatives. We are committed to ensuring that we take our place among the talented and inventive groups and individuals working for more inclusive communities.

Tariq and Aqnaf love to explore new places. One of the places on their travel bucket list has been the Philippines. As it happens, two of their supports, Marilou and Cora, are from the Philippines and have family that live there. Tariq, Aqnaf, and their parents became excited by the possibility of travelling to the Philippines with Marilou and Cora to get an insider look at the beautiful country. This possibility became a reality, when this year, they travelled to the Philippines and were generously hosted by Marilou and Cora’s families for part of their trip. Tariq and Aqnaf enjoyed being toured around by locals and having the opportunity to learn more about the culture and customs there.

In this creative collaboration, Tariq and Aqnaf’s relationship with their supports opened up new possibilities for them and their family – creating the opportunity for a once in a lifetime trip to the Philippines!

Tariq, Aqnaf, their parents, and their supports in front of the Mount Mayon Volcano – a highlight of their once in a lifetime trip together!

Supporting Engaged Citizenship

Citizenship is about belonging and contributing and having access to important opportunities and choices. As Mark Kingwell describes it, “Citizenship is, in short, one of the profound categories that make us who we are, one of the crucial ways humans go about creating a life for themselves”. At Skills Society, our work focuses squarely on taking action that enhances and celebrates positive citizenship outcomes for individuals.

Jason is an engaged citizen, generously offering up his time, energy, and enthusiasm as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, a local non-profit that provides nutritious meals to people in their homes. Having been a volunteer for 8 months now, Jason has developed a strong sense of pride in his work and notes the important contribution he makes in the lives of his fellow community members: “I take food to people that can’t leave the house. They need me to deliver food so they will be okay… they like me there, they want me to keep working there”

Jason, a committed Meals on Wheels volunteer, ready to deliver a nutritious meal to a fellow community member.

Building and Sharing Knowledge

We work hard to learn through our own actions, and through studying the work of others. We are committed to trying new ideas and becoming better problem solvers. We seek opportunities to promote our work publicly in order to spark commentary and critique, and to forge new partnerships.

In May of this year, Chris, Jan, and Erin, long-time MyCompass stewards, presented on our MyCompass Lab process at the ACDS conference. We love sharing our work publicly at conferences as it sparks commentary and critique and creates opportunities for new partnerships to emerge.

Jan, MyCompass Steward, presenting at the ACDS conference on our MyCompass Planning Lab process.

Safeguarding Healthy Relationships

Social and material vulnerability are features of daily life for people with disabilities. Skills Society works to build positive and powerful relationships both inside and outside the organization to strengthen personal and political safety nets for the individuals we support and for the broader disability community.

One way we connect with others and build deeper relationships is by inviting them to share important moments with us. This year, Chris wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday in a big way, doing something he had never done before – hosting a birthday bash at West Edmonton Mall and spending a night at a hotel! With the help of his supports, Chris planned his dream party. He was so excited to celebrate and share this milestone with all his favorite people!

Chris smiling proudly with his 30th birthday cake at his big birthday bash he planned.

Supporting Engaged Citizenship

Citizenship is about belonging and contributing and having access to important opportunities and choices. As Mark Kingwell describes it, “Citizenship is, in short, one of the profound categories that make us who we are, one of the crucial ways humans go about creating a life for themselves”. At Skills Society, our work focuses squarely on taking action that enhances and celebrates positive citizenship outcomes for individuals.

David is a talented athlete, team player, and avid sports fan. As an athlete part of a competitive sports league, David regularly has the opportunity to connect with others with similar interests and take on new challenges. In February of this year, he travelled to Chicago with his EASA Storm sled hockey team to compete in the 2019 USA Hockey Sled Classic presented by the NHL. Highlights for David included playing in the rink where the Chicago Blackhawks practice and getting to know sled hockey players from all over North America.

David in all his goalie gear, ready for a sled hockey game.

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