This is the environment for people with disabilities “climate”
-People with I/DD experience lack of choice and lack of access to community stemming from social barriers, historical barriers and a system of existing services where individuals needs conform to the parameters of the system rather than the system meeting the needs of individuals. Limited options cause individuals with I/DD to be marginalized; marginalized individuals miss opportunities to make contributions, to receive recognition and to receive resources.
This is how we create a different ecology:
-We model acceptance, compassion, respect and inclusivity. Our structure intentionally supports and generates true equality among participants as we blur the traditional distinctions between individuals’ backgrounds and abilities and continue to assert that everyone can make both contributions and gains from sharing in our community. People will be first and foremost valued for their presence and contributions.
In this environment we manifest community through visual arts and farming. The practices of art and farming are the tools that we have chosen to generate community around. Both practices rely on shared spaces, material resources and social capital. Both practices offer people the opportunity to make contributions and receive resources.