disability service organisations ! An
alternative model ! Community
research ! Community
Valued roles or
Looking forward to community living
disabled people generally have more opportunities to access
social activities (shopping, movies, functions etc) that most of us
take fore granted. Various government policies are designed to allow
entrance to buildings, parks and other venues so that disabled people
could participate in and share the same experiences as others in
The goal of the human services is to make a positive difference in a
person's life. There are things we can change (values, attitudes,
behaviours, cultures etc.) and things we can't change (available
resources etc.). By enabling people to fulfill their needs, develop
community networks, participate in activities and share experiences
within their community, they have the opportunity to become valued
members of their community. Conversely, by enabling each community to
fulfill the needs of its members, to foster and develop personal
networks within that community, to facilitate strategies, solutions and
activities so that all members have the opportunity to participate in
those activities, and connect with other members through shared
experiences and valued relationships, the community has the opportunity
to become valued by its members as well as other communities that it is
a part of. By providing each community with the skills and resources
and valued roles that include people with high support needs, these
people have an opportunity to participate in activities, share
experiences with others and become valued members of each community.
"The good life" means different things to different people. Only by
developing the necessary skills, networks and valued relationships
within his/her community (living, recreation, education or employment)
can a person participate in, and become a valued part of their
community. The needs of the person also needs to be balanced with the
needs of the community in providing the most appropriate outcome for
the person (people with high support needs will need a more structured
setting than people with low support needs).
"The good life" could be described as: having the opportunity to
participate in activities and share experiences etc (whatever the
setting, structured or unstructured), in a positive way, where all the
participants have valued roles. Although the settings are more
structured and therefore more restrictive, it is possible for people
with high support needs to have as good a life as possible that is most
appropriate to their needs. (See also Disability services
value of a persons role
is purely subjective when applied to different settings and activities
different communities. We all have different roles
depending on what we are doing, where we are doing it and who we are
with, and therefore the person's role
takes on different meanings within each community that the person is
participating in. Roles
are like the clothes we wear. Each activity requires a different outfit
literally and figuratively). The example of actors in a play also shows
us that roles
are learned behaviours. We all are conditioned to behave a certain way
learn our lines from the moment of birth) according to the activity,
and the expectations of others within the activity and setting i.e.: we
wear our bathers to a formal dinner etc. It could also be argued that
communities have become conditioned in behaving a certain way when
after devalued people (in the historical sense, as well as in society
the barriers to community participation and inclusion).
All members are expected to behave according to their role
within the setting. If a person’s role
is to be submissive, then, when the person takes on a more active role,
the person may be punished.
Social Role Valorisation (SRV):
roles are how we see ourselves and others in society. They are often
about a particular characteristic (age, gender, race, ethnicity,
culture, occupation, disability or even ability) rather than the
person. A Muslim, for example, is often treated different because of
his/her religion and culture. If the Muslim also had a particular
disability or disadvantage, that person would have less chance of
becoming a valued member in society. The same can be said for an
aboriginal, a bikie or drugie, or possibily even a bank manager or used
SRV says (loose interpretation), that by arranging
or adapting) physical and social conditions of society at any level, so
devalued people are included, in such a way that their role
is positively valued by all members of society, devalued people have a
opportunity to receive the good things in life. (Joe
Overview of Social Role Valorization Theory
The implications of the above has meant that:
... institutions are bad
way to think of the above is: "By arranging (changing or
physical and social conditions of all groups, clubs, organisations and
communities within society, where ALL members are positively valued, and
have positively valued roles, in
such a way
that all members of the groups, clubs, organisations
communities within society
receive the good things in life.
... devalued people are institutionalised and our goal is to
... the principles of SRV can be automatically applied to any activity
so that devalued people are positively valued
... people who have a valued role
in society automatically become members of the community in which they
... devalued people are automatically empowered
I feel that the SRV needs
to be reformulated to include:
All members of all communities, clubs and
groups within society.
Where they are all valued, and have a
valued role in participating in each community (club, group or
that is most appropriate to their own
needs, as well as the needs of each community in
where the outcomes are positively valued by
ALL members of the community, as well as other
communities that it is a part of.
change the perspective from Society to Community we have a
better idea of what we are trying to achieve. Community is all about
valued relationships, about careing and shareing, about being with
others we love (Understanding
communities). SRV is all about providing those valued relationships
and support networks to disadvantaged people who have been
disenfranchised by society for various reasons. Valued relationships
transcend roles. Without others to share our feelings with, life
becomes meaningless. It does not matter how much money or possessions
we have, if we have no one to share it with, life becomes meaningless.
SRV is all about
building values and
communities. These communities may be a part of an organisation or
service provider, a family or club, or work, or school. By providing
valued roles for ALL members of each community that the person wishes
to participate in and is most appropriate for the person (Disability services role
models), the person is
more likely to have valued relationships within those communities.
Building values and relationships:
Values and relationships are more than the skills or resources that we
have. They are about caring and sharing. They are about feelings and
experiences with each other. They are about understanding each other
and looking past any differences we may have.
Nigel Brooks (Building
Strong Relationships - Four Stages of Development, Four Phases of
) suggests there are 4 stages in a business relationship:
- getting to know each other
* Divergence - differing opinions, disagreement, and doubt
* Convergence - reconcilement, acceptance, and agreement
* Association - performing collaboratively or cooperatively
the relationship can migrate to
back to the divergence phase at any time.
Building blocks towards building values and relationships
... Respect for the other person
... Understanding the other person's point of view
... Sharing experiences
Building networks and relationships:
There is no magic formula, things do not mysteriously happen. Community
participation and inclusion is about the person and the community and
building networks and relationships, and supporting those networks and
relationships, where the person
participates in and is a part of
Its no good being a part of a community
when you can't access the community.
Communication between members
Its no good being a part of a community
when you can't communicate with others, or they can't communicate with
Build a profile of yourself within the
community so that others know you and have the opportunity to find some
Understand the community. What are the
activities, values etc. of the community. Find some ways where your
involvement contributes to the community.
Above all else
Be yourself. Be genuine, honest. If
your are not accepted in the
community, then that community is not for you.
Be careful. By understanding the community and its members, we have
the opportunity to avoid communities and situations that are not
People who do not have the skills and resources to build and maintain
their networks are disadvantaged in that they no not have the
opportunity to become a part of any community.
SRV is an important strategy in developing
networks and relationships.
Often the person needs some training in some skills (life skills etc.)
so the person can participate.
Community development. By encouraging the community through various
strategies (ownership, providing the skills and resources, providing a
for the members in
A good place to start is with a Local Community Group that has
connections with various local clubs and social groups. Strategies can
be found where a person can be introduced into the particular activity
that most suits his/her needs.
Looking forward to community living:
Each community has a particular
role that fulfils a particular need.
Valued community roles provide a common cause or focus for the
community, as well as other communities that are a part of it.
Valued communities provide valued roles for their members.
Social role valorisation provides valued roles for ALL members of the
... The family in the community
The values of community start in the home where children have valued
roles in supporting others at school, sport or any other community that
they participate in.
... The living community
The right to accommodation that most
suits the persons needs, and
access to community activities and facilities.
... The recreation community
The right to participate in those
activities that are most appropriate
for the person towards developing valued relationships and shared
experiences within that community and the wider community.
... The education community
The right to the development of skills
and knowledge towards a more
active and productive engagement with others within the wider community.
... The employment community
The right to a more meaningful and
... The human services community
The right to services that promote and
support the needs of people becomming valued as a part of each
community that they participate in.
When providing the most appropriate
care for people with high support
1) The community is not where the
person is living, but where the
person participates, shares experiences and has valued relationships
2) People with high support needs (severe disability, aged etc.)
will always need support structures as a part of their lives.
3) The amount of participation in a community (living, education,
employment or recreation) is directly related to the skills and
resources of the person, and, the skills and resources of the
community that the person wishes to participate in.
4) Institutions are going to be around in one form or another
whether we like it or not, It is the way that they are used that is the
5) The institutions of a society towards a particular group
determine the way the group participates in society.
6) The institutions of a particular government department,
profession or service define the way the person is supported within
7) Facilities that support people with high support needs do not
need to be the nursing homes or prisons in the
that they are today, but can become warm inviting community places that
offer a range of services to the community, as well as be a part of the
wider community within that society.
8) People with high support needs are a minority group in our
society, and will have the same problems as other minority groups in
being a part of society.