I received an email this morning from someone affiliated with A Wider Circle
of Missouri. This is a research and demonstration project The goal of this project is to offer people with developmental disabilities support as they make friends in their community and, as a result, become integrated into their community. They are also surveying 100 people with disabilities concerning their daily routines, friendships and inclusion. There is also a pilot program that supports a person with a disability getting involved with groups in their community. This would offer additional support to them. http://www.wider-circle.org/
They want to meet with me to discuss my ideas on how to reach others who might be interested in taking the survey. They want me to take a survey myself. I didn't hesitate in my answer. I'm happy to take a survey as well as share my ideas for reaching out to others. I meet with them next week.
I'm glad there is funding for this type of research project. It's about everything I believe in. It has been a recurring theme in many of my blog posts. It is all about inclusion and not having disabled people feel segregated and alone. It's about people in communities offering friendship and support to people with disabilities. It’s about us all being connected. It's about helping to enrich people's lives.
But then, part of me thinks, won't it be nice when a research project like this one is not needed. It's not needed because everyone accepts each other, disability or not. I pray for that day. I’m waiting for that day. I have faith that day will come.