Shared Lives

Building Relationships and Community with People who Have Intellectual Disabilities

Written by three authors who combine a wealth of expertise as researchers, clinicians and practitioners, this challenging book presents a renewed vision for the support of people with intellectual disabilities. Its primary focus is the positive contributions that people with an intellectual disability can make to the lives of others and to their wider communities if given the opportunity. Many real-life examples are given. Central to this, is the nurturing of mutual relationships between people and their supporters, be they paid workers, community volunteers or family members. Also explored is how people can come together in supportive communities that enrich and extend their experiences of life. The building of alliances and the creation of partnership working across different organisations are essential to this. The emphasis is on the role of the paid supporter, which is still critical in the lives of many people but smaller, community-based networks of support with a shared vision of inclusive societies, are seen to be the hallmark of modern service systems. This book is refreshingly different and has a remarkable feel-good quality. It is essential reading for those striving to build person-centred services.

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"Shared Lives is a challenging guidebook for how we think about and organize ‘support services’ for people with intellectual disabilities. Consider it essential reading for not only those of us committed to the respect, acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, but for anyone who works to promote the potential and self-determination of all of us!"
Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO Special Olympics Inc.
Educational Researchers and their students