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Social Change / Community Organizing
  >>Located in Store(s): Self-Advocacy

This department contains products, services, and projects that involve persons with developmental disabilities and their allies working for justice and social change.

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Managed by: Jerry Smith (smith495@umn.edu) of The Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of MN

Product Categories
Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online) (59 Products)
Electronic Media (41 Products)
Organizations, Programs, and Projects (57 Products)
Online Forums (2 Products)
Other (2 Products)
People Who Can Help (5 Products)

Books, Publications & Reports (printed and/or online)
"Community for All" Tool Kit: Resources for Supporting Community Living
This toolkit has information for people who are working to close institutions. It contains research on deinstitutionalization, as well as advocacy strategies on how to close them.
A Guide to Legislative Advocacy for Youth With Disabilities
A guide to help youth with disabilities become stronger advocates. It has information about how to ask for changes in the law.
ABCD in Action: When People Care Enough to Act
This book and DVD suggest a step-by-step way to build partnerships. These partnerships help people with disabilities become more involved in their communities.
Beyond Ramps: Disability at the End of the Social Contract: A Warning from an Uppity Crip
In this book, Russell provides an analysis of the social contract and its failure to cover people with disabilities and their families.
Building a Better Economic Future: A Progress Report for Individuals with Disabilities & Their Families in America
This is a report about how research, programs and policies can help people with disabilities save money and build a strong asset base. The entire 100+ page report can be downloaded for free.
Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets
This guide summarizes lessons learned in successful community-building initiatives across the United States.
Community Living and Participation for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: What the Research Tells Us
This report describes how AUCD and AAIDD think the next 25 years should look like for people with disabilities. It was written as the Americans With Disabilities Act turned 25 years old. The entire report can be downloaded for free.
Community Lost and Found: A Conversation Between Two Dreamers
This book is about organizing programs with people who have been labeled as "difficult to serve."
Conversations about inclusive & sustainable communities: Six practices for creative engagement
This booklet is about helping communities to work together. It is written by people who are experts on Person-Centered planning.
Conversations about Sustainable & Inclusive Communities: An Invitation
This report explains how community conversations can be used to start the process of making a community more inclusive of older people and people with disabilities. It can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Conversations on Citizenship & Person-Centered Work
This book has interviews with the leaders in person-centered planning like Beth Mount, Michael Smull, and Jack Pearpoint. Each is asked how they got started and about the values that guide their work.
Disabilities Studies Quarterly
This is the first journal in the field of Disability Studies.You can view all articles online for free.
Disability Culture Rap
This award-winning film shows who people with disabilities really are.
Educating Policymakers to Support Disability & Culturally Diverse Community Issues
This presentation encouraged people with disabilities and people of color to advocate with one voice. It also had tips for talking with policymakers. It was given at the 2014 TASH conference.
Exploring Self-Advocacy from a Social Power Perspective
This book provides an analysis of self-advocacy and social power.
Finally, Dreams Coming True
This book describes the life, challenges, and accomplishments of Jacqueline Speciner. Jacqueline was a woman with cerebral palsy, and a strong advocate for people with disabilties in Maryland.
From Institutions to Individuals: On becoming person-centred
This book has stories written by, for, and about people who have intellectual disabilities.
Getting Involved in Research and Training Projects: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities
This guide teaches persons with disabilities how to get meaningfully involved in research and training activities.
Human Rights, YES!, Second Edition
Human Rights, YES! is a human rights education tool, developed following the establishment of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This book aids self-advocates and advocates promote human rights for people with disabilities.
A newsletter with articles on research, current trends in services, and success stories. Each issue has a specific focus area important to persons with disabilities.
Impact: Feature Issue on Political Activism and Voter Participation by Persons with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities
This issue of the Impact newsletter is about how individuals with disabilities can become more involved in the American political system. Some of the information in this issue may be dated but you can still download it as a PDF for free.
In Community- Practical lessons in supporting isolated people to be part of community
This book explains how to help people with disabilities who are left out to become active members of their communities. It has stories and ideas from all over the world.
Intellectual Disabilities: Raising Awareness and Combating Stigma - A Global Review
This report is about how people with intellectual disabilities are treated in different parts of the world.
Intellectual Disability: Ethics, Dehumanization and a New Moral Community
This book traces the roots of society's disrespect for people with disabilities.
Jill’s Journey, A Victory Over the “R” Word
The true story of a woman with an intellectual disability who helped change federal law, eliminating the use of the "R" word.
Language is More Than a Trivial Concern!
This guide informs everyone on the importance of using person-centered and respectful language regarding disability.
Lessons Learned from a Lawsuit: Creating Service for People with Mental Illness and Mental Retardation
This book summarizes a longitudinal study to measure the impact of the Thomas S. Lawsuit (NC) on the class members.
Making It Work: Good Practices for Inclusive Development
This document has tools and guidelines for countries around the world that lead to the full inclusion of people with disabilities.
More likely to be poor whatever the measures: Persons with disabilities in the U.S.
This scholarly paper examines how disability is related to poverty.
Mouth: Voice of the Disability Nation
This magazine featured many articles by people who had disabilities and provided radical commentary on disability services. It stopped publishing in 2004, but there are still some articles available online.
My Body Politic
This book is "an irreverent memoir of one woman's personal and political journey from 1960s counterculture to disability activism" (taken from publisher).
New Voices: Self-Advocacy by People with Disabilities
This seminal book explains how the self-advocacy movement was started by persons with developmental disabilities.
Nothing About Us Without Us: Disability Oppression and Empowerment
The first book in the disability literature to provide a theoretical overview of disability oppression. It shows its similarities to, and differences from racism, sexism, and colonialism.
One Candle Power: Building Bridges into Community Life for People with Disabilities
This book explains how to organize circles of support. It shows how they can change the lives of people with disabilities.
Out of the Darkness and into the Light: Nebraska's Experience with Mental Retardation
A book about Nebraska's model for community living for persons with intellectual disabilities.
Pathfinders: People with Developmental Disabilities & Their Allies Building Communities That Work Better for Everybody
This book uses stories to show many ways that people with disabilities can be supported to be self-directing and socially included members of their communities.
People First President & Advisor Training Manual
This manual describes what People First groups are and what they do. It provides advice on starting a new group, and how to operate a strong group.
Planning and Giving a Presentation: A Guide for Self-Advocates
This toolkit (workbook and CD) will help self-advocates speak to groups.
Priorities for People with Intellectual Disabilities in Implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: The Road Ahead
This easy-to-read booklet talks about how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities can help folks with intellectual disabilities and their families to have better lives. You can download it for free as a PDF file.
Ragged Edge Online
This was a radical, bimonthly magazine about disability issues. The magazine is no longer in print, but back issues of the magazine are available for purchase.
Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities
This report explains the quality of life for people with disabilities compared to those without disabilities based on seven dimensions of well-being. It is about people living in Canada.
Researching Researchers: Interviews with researchers about disability
This book was written by a self-advocate. She interviewed researchers about their meaning of disabilities and person-centered support.
Senate Bill 1270: 10 Recommendations
This is a short workbook written for self-advocates. It has recommendations from work groups that came together to think of ways to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in California.
Status of Persons with Disabilities and Their Supported Living Needs
This report has a lot of information about people with disabilities who live in the Anantpur region of India.
Taking Pride In That Which Sets Us Apart
This book encourages people to be proud of their disability. It also reminds all people with disabilties of the need to work together and stick up for each other.
The Arc's Position Statement on Self -Determination
This explains the Arc's position on the right of people with disabilites to live self-determined lives.
The Autism Rights Movement
An online magazine article about the autism rights movement.
The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits
A book about full community inclusion, and the strength of communities to solve problems and help people.
The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation-Updated Edition
This book chronicles the Disability Rights Movement from the 1930's through 2011. It explores how the movement has changed over time, and how different kinds of disabilities have been brought into the movement's mix.
The Limitations of the Law In Human Services (Revised Edition)
This book suggests that the roots of a quality service system is in the minds, hearts, and values of the members of a society.
The Me in the Mirror
This book is the autobiography of Connie Panzarino. She was born with a rare muscular disease, and tells her life story of her personal and political growth.
The Ragged Edge: The Disability Experience from the Pages of the First Fifteen Years of the Disability Rag
This is a collection of articles from the first 15 years of The Disability Rag, a radical newspaper for persons with disabilities. It chronicles earlier days of the disability rights movement.
The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access
This declaration states that people with cognitive disabilities have an equal right to technology and information access. Anyone can endorse it by visiting the website.
The Self-Advocacy Movement: The Unacknowledged Civil Rights Movement
This research-based book takes a look at the self-advocacy social movement.
Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life
This is the autobiography of a strong and radical disability activist.
Understanding and Integrating Disability Rights: A Funders’ Guide
This report introduces the concept of disability rights to funders, particularly human rights grantmakers. It is written to an international audience just after the passage of the CRPD.
Understanding Disability: Inclusion, Access, Diversity, and Civil Rights
This is an introductory textbook about disability. It discusses many aspects of how people with disabilities get along in the world, including their social role.
What Works? Stories of Successful Leadership in the Lives, Groups and Communities of People with Intellectual Disabilities
This is a dissertation that discusses leadership in communities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability
This collection of essays covers many topics, such as discrimination against people with disabilities, the emergence of disability culture, and the need for disability activism.
Electronic Media (Videos, CDs, T.V., Radio, Websites, etc.)
A Credo for Support: People First Version
This powerful video offers suggestions for people who support someone with a disability. It asks viewers to question common views of disability, professionalism, and support.
ABCD in Action: When People Care Enough to Act
This book and DVD suggest a step-by-step way to build partnerships. These partnerships help people with disabilities become more involved in their communities.
Allies in Self-Advocacy
This website has lots of resources for self advocates, and self-advocacy groups.
An Animated Introduction to Asperger Syndrome
In this short film, young people explain what it is like to live with Asperger syndrome. The entire film can be seen on YouTube or purchased as a DVD.
Beyond Disability: The Fe Fe Stories
This 26-minute film was developed by the Empowered Fe Fe's--a group of young women with disabilities in Chicago. The women take to the streets to explore issues surrounding disabilities.
Beyond Forest Haven
Forest Haven was an institution for people with disabilities in Washington DC. This 18-minute documentary looks back at the history of Forest Haven's closing and the journey to build a better life in the community for some of the people who lived there.
Boards For All: Plain Language Boardsmanship Training
This website offers free, online training about how non-profit Boards of Directors work. It includes basic information about the roles of a governing Board, its committees and individual members.
Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy
This is a documentary film about the friendship of two self-advocates. Their advocacy efforts have helped other people with disabilities to lead more independent lives.
Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities: Citizenship for all (NING Social Website)
An online community with discussion about how to make communities more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Can We Talk, Ben Stiller?
A self-advocate uses YouTube to talk about why the movie "Tropic Thunder" was hurtful to people with disabilities. The "R" word was used often in this film, and Ben Stiller was the director and lead actor.
Changing Attitudes, Educating Others
These videos show what bullying is, and how it hurts people. They were written by, and the actors are members of People First of New Hampshire
Citizen-Centered Leadership Development
This online class is about helping people with disabilities become full citizens of the communities where they live.
CQL eCommunity
This is an online community whose purpose is to connect people who share the goal of community inclusion and quality of life for people with disabilities.
Disability Advocacy through Media Training Course
This free online course teaches how to use media to build awareness of disability issues.
Disability Culture Rap
This award-winning film shows who people with disabilities really are.
Freedom Clearinghouse Web Site
A web site offering information on community-based services for persons with disabilities.
How do I feel about that?
In this online video, a self-advocate shares his feelings about community opposition to the development of small group homes.
How's your news? On the campaign trail
This video shows what happened when a team of six reporters with mental and physical disabilities interviewed attendees of both the Democratic and Republican conventions during the 2004 presidential campaign.
Human Serviceland Music CDs
This series of CDs have funny songs about the human service system.
If I Can Help Someone Today - CD
This CD has songs sung by advocate Peter Bourne. Peter has a visual impairment and works to close institutions in Canada.
Inclusion Daily Express
This is a daily online news service that provides information about disability rights, self-determination, and community inclusion. Anyone can subscribe and stay informed through daily emails.
Inclusion Network Website
A website with a lot of information about community inclusion and people with disabilities.
Institutions: Close Them! (Film)
A film in which five people share their stories about living in an institution. It is part of work by People First of New Hampshire to close institutions.
Judy Heumann: 2010 Medtronics Courage Award Recipient
This 10-minute video is about Judy Heumann, a community organizer who influenced disability policy in the US for the past several decades.
Love Land
This is a film about a young woman with cognitive disabilities who was placed in an institution in a small town in Texas. Many actors in the film are people with disabilities.
Not Special Needs
In this short film, self-advocates describe a new perspective on having "special needs."
Offense Taken
This 26-minute film describes one community's organized response to the word "retarded."
Ouch!, It's a disability thing!
This website explains the issues of people with disabilities who live in the United Kingdom. There are articles, videos, and podcasts for visitors to use.
Real Stories, Real People
This website uses photos and a few words to tell stories about people who are waiting for Medicaid Waiver funds, and those who get support funded by a Medicaid Waiver.
Reel Talk
This video is a mock weekly television show bringing the latest news, interviews, commercials, movie reviews and commentary. The script was written by self-advocates who play in all the acting roles
RESPECT: Songs of the Self-Advocacy Movement
This CD features a group of self-advocates singing songs they had written.
The Community Imperative Video
A video record of a national conference held in 2002 affirming the rights of people with developmental disabilities to live in the community. You can watch it online.
The Kennedy Foundation Public Policy Guide
This website has information and articles about the federal policy, and government agencies that affect people with disabilities. It has useful information for advocates at the federal level.
The Kids Are All Right
This documentary was made by disability activist and former Jerry's Kids Mike Ervin. You can watch it online for free.
The Power of Words: How We Talk About People with Autism Spectrum Disorders Matters!
This DVD-ROM shows the power of words when talking about people who have autism.
The Riot!
The Riot! is an electronic newsletter for “self-advocates.” A self-advocate is someone who has a disability and speaks up for themselves.
Tools for Change: A video-based curriculum building skills and knowledge in self-advocacy and disability rights.
A set of training units that teach people with disabilities and their allies about self-advocacy as a social movement. Each unit has a book with lots of information, a video, and ideas for group activities.
United Nations Enable
This website has information on what the United Nations is doing for persons with disabilities.
Voices Beyond the Mirror
These ten short videos share the lives people with disabilities. There is also a Centerpiece video that brings all of the voices together. They are great for building awareness.
Web site resources for advocates
This webpage has links to many others that are helpful to disability advocates.
Why They Gotta Do Me Like That? (The Empowered Fe Fes Take On Bullying)
In this documentary film, young women explore the issue of bullying based on having a disability.
Organizations, Programs, and Projects
This Pennsylvania organization wants to make sure people with disabilities continue to receive the supports they need after turning 21.
This national group organizes people to fight for disability rights. It is made up of local groups and individuals in the U.S.
Advocating Change Together
ACT is a self-advocacy organization run by and for persons with developmental and other disabilities.
Amplifying Voices of Inmates with Disabilities Jail Project
This initiative works to improve the lives of persons with mental illnesses who are imprisoned. It also produces a variety of videos and media about this topic.
Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD Institute)
This University-based Institute provides practical resources and tools for community builders. It shares the ideas of John L. McKnight and John Kretzmann.
Autism Now
This national resource center focuses on Autism.
Bridging the Gap…One Story at a Time
This is a storytelling project for people who have the dual diagnoses of intellectual and mental health disability. Anyone can view the stories online.
Center for the Study and Advancement of Disability Policy
This agency provides information, training, and technical assistance on US Federal public policy issues affecting people with disabilities and their families.
Centers for Independent Living
This product is community centers that exist all around the United States, and World to assist persons with disabilities to leave institutions and live independently in the community. They are run by people with disabilities.
Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy
This agency matches people who have disabilities with volunteer advocates.
Citizen-Centered Leadership Development
This online class is about helping people with disabilities become full citizens of the communities where they live.
Community Now!
This organization helps people with disabilities move out of state institutions. It is in Texas.
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
An organization based in Washington, DC that coordinates efforts among many disability advocacy organizations.
DAWN - DisAbled Women's Network of Canada
This is a progressive, volunteer-driven, feminist organization dedicated to the advancement of equality rights of women with disAbilities.
Disability & Media Alliance Project
This program promotes the accurate representation of people with disabilities in the media. It is run by the Disability Rights Education and Defense fund.
Disability Advocates: Wisconsin Network (DAWN)
This organization brings together everyone who advocates for people with disabilities throughout Wisconsin. Its website has information on what is happening with the state and federal programs that support people with disabilities.
Disability is Natural
This organization is working to create new and positive ways of thinking about people with disabilities. It is led by a parent and has many products to sell.
Disability Rights Fund
This organization helps countries bring the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to life. It does this by granting money for projects that are led by people with disabilities.
Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania
This is the Protection and Advocacy organization for the state of Pennsylvania. They have an extensive list of downloadable publications on their website.
Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI)
This organization keeps an eye on the human rights of people with disabilities in countries around the world.
Down Syndrome Uprising
This is a global collaboration of Down syndrome human rights activists. They have a blog and a Facebook page.
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities
This advocacy organization provides many resources that explain person-centered supports for community living on its website. It is located in the United Kingdom.
Govoter.org: The National Technical Assistance Center for Voting and Cognitive Access
This initiative led by self-advocates supports people with disabilities in exercising their right to vote. They have created many educational resources that are available online.
Healthcare Stories
This initiative is working to make health care better for people with disabilities. The method is to share powerful stories.
I am Norm
This campaign was started by 20 young people, with and without disabilities, to show that everyone is normal. They hope to help everyone be equal and included in everyday life.
International Disability Alliance (IDA)
This organization acts as the united voice of organizations of persons with disabilities around the world.
Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
This disability justice organization works to empower people with disabilities so they can be fully included in their communities of choice.
Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Speaker's Bureau
This organization has people who understand brain injury well and will give speeches at no cost.
Mobility International USA
This organization helps people with disabilities get involved in studying and/or volunteering in countries around the world. It places special emphasis on empowering women who have disabilities.
More Alike Than Different
This is a national campaign to change attitudes about people with Down Syndrome.
National Consortium on Leadership and Disability for Youth
A Center that provides resources, information and training for youth with disabilities. The Center is led by youth with disabilities.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month Website
This website has many ideas to plan events during this very important month.
National Domestic Workers Alliance
This organization advocates for the rights of DSPs and other professionals who do important work to help vulnerable people.
Not Dead Yet
This group of disability activists is opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Ohio Public Images
This organization promotes positive awareness of people with disabilities.
PA Waiting List Campaign
This Pennsylvania program works to end waiting lists for people with Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities who need community supports and services.
Parent to Parent -- A National Network of Parent Support Programs
Parent to Parent programs provide information and support to parents/caregivers of family members with disabilities.
PLAN Institute for Caring Citizenship
This institute develops and shares strategies to assure vulnerable people have access to networks of natural support. It works throughout Canada and around the world.
Prospector Theater
This movie theater provides jobs for people who have disabilities. It was started by a sibling who wanted to make a difference.
Real Communities
This program supports grassroots efforts at inclusion in the state of Georgia.
Reinventing Quality Conference
This national conference shares the best of what is happening in services for people with disabilities. It happens every two years and attracts a wide variety of audiences.
This organization based in Washington, D.C., gathers information about what people with disabilities want and need. They share the information with the policy makers who can make a difference.
Spread the Word to End the Word
This is a campaign to stop people from using the "R" word. It is using social media to get lots of people involved.
TASH’s Diversity and Cultural Competency in Disability Advocacy Initiative
In 2010, TASH began an initiative to become more inclusive of people from minority cultural groups. It led to a resolution shared with five other national organizations to make the disability advocacy community more culturally diverse.
The African Decade of Persons with Disabilities
This initiative is aimed at promoting inclusion and a better quality of life for people with disabilities throughout Africa.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
An organization that advocates for equal opportunities and rights for people with disabilities.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
This agency provides support and services to people with autism. It also advocates for community change and is run by and for people with autism.
The California Memorial Project
A project to honor and restore dignity to the people who lived and died in California's state institutions. It is led by people who have disabilities.
The Center on Human Policy (UCEDD)
This is a policy, research, and advocacy organization involved in the national movement to insure the rights of people with disabilities.
The R-Word Campaign
This initiative is working to stop the use of a hurtful word. It was started by two parents.
This is What Disability Looks Like
This FaceBook page shows many images of people with disabilities living life. It counters the idea that disability is either a tragedy or an inspiration.
Unlock the Waiting Lists
This is a longstanding campaign to help people in the community who are waiting for support services.
Values in Action Association
This Australian organization works to assure that everyone is involved in their community. They follow the tenets of Social Role Valorization theory and have created a community of practice.
Welcome Change Productions
A film company that tells people's stories. They have made two films about people with disabilities. One was shown on HBO, the other on PBS.
What Can YOU Do? The Campaign for Disability Employment
This campaign helps everyone see the value that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. Anyone can join by visiting the website.
Women with Disabilities Victoria
This agency helps women with disabilities achieve their rights. It is located in Australia.
Youth Organizing! Disabled & Proud
A program that connects, organizes and educates youth with disabilities.
Online Forums
Illinois Parents of Adults with Developmental Disabilities Unite
This Yahoo! group helps parents, self-advocates, siblings and others to share information about what is happening in the state of Illinois.
On Being of Service
This is a blog about supporting people with disabilities to become included and respected in their communities.
Jerry Smith
Jerry produces documentary films and training programs in support of people with disabilities and their allies. Please visit our website to view sample movies.
Respectful Language Bookmark
This bookmark reminds everyone how language can be hurtful, or helpful to people with disabilities. It is available for download at no cost.
People Who Can Help
Al Etmanski
Al Etmanski is the President of A Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, committed to meaningful and good lives for people with disabilities. He assists individuals and families in life-long planning including estate planning, guardianship alternatives,...
Mary Kay Kennedy
Mary Kay Kennedy has been responsible for the development of self-advocacy curricula, innovative outreach approaches, and effective community organizing workshops. She has been successful at helping groups build individual and collective leadership on...
Mike Green
Mike works from a citizen-centered perspective with local people at the center. The focus is on two organizing questions: organizing local citizens and their allies to mobilize their local resources to work together to solve problems, and how agencies ...
Ruthie Beckwith
Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Tennessee Microboards Association, Inc. a statewide non-governmental organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities self-manage their services and supports. Prior to developing ...
Steve Holmes
I am the director of the Self-Advocacy Associations of New York State, and have been for the last 12 years. I have worked with and for people with developmental disabilities since 1969 when I was an attendant at a state institution--yes it was a horr...

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This web site is maintained by the Research and Training Center on Community Living with support from the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Human Services Research Institute and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. E-mail weste050@umn.edu.
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