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When working with people with intellectual disabilities, providing information in accessible formats is a cornerstone of all activites. Therefore, John O'Brien translated the Theory U Process in easy-to-read language, to facilitate the understanding of all people involved in the project, regardless of their disability. 

To see the whole accessible explanation of Theory U, please click here.

Here is a short summary of the main points of the document, in an easy to understand format.

Theory U is not just about changing things 
for people with disabilities. 
It is a way to build a better world for everyone.

etrPeople with intellectual disabilities
have found their voices.
More and more people
are not happy with the way things are.
They are beginning to say what they want in life.
They want to be included in community life.
They say, “A good life gives us real choices.”

  • I want to choose my own home. I want to choose where I live, who I live with.
  • I want real job with the support I need to be successful, use my abilities and earn money.
  • I want to learn along with other students my age.
  • I want to get support from people I choose.

In many places, the help that people need 
comes inside boxes. 
People’s choices do not fit in the boxes.
Help in boxes takes away choice
and makes it harder to be included.

There need to be big changes. 
If services just do more of the same 
people will not get the choices they have a right to.
The way people get the help they need has to change.
Theory U shows us new ways to change things.
Services know how to make more boxes.
More group homes. More day programs.
More special schools or special classes.
Services act like a computer.
They download what they already know to make more boxes.
Theory U says:

  • Stop downloading.
  • Go to places and meet people who can help you learn. When you get there, observe, observe, and observe even more. Look around, talk to people, listen deeply [sensing].
  • Find a place to be alone where it is quiet. Be still. Let go of old ways. Let new ways come to you [presencing]. Quickly try a new way of doing what came to you. See what works and try again, better [prototyping]