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For additional information on the Sesimbra (Lisbon) Meeting, please click here.

Our focus in this meeting was crystallizing: identifying the seeds we want to plant through the multiplication courses, the prototypes of which we will test in 2015.
Some Network members observe that the path to inclusion grows steeper as they bring their learning from the project into their work lives. A deeper understanding of inclusion reveals more conflicts between practices that serve inclusion and common practice and more areas in which person-centered work is poorly supported by the organizations and systems people rely on.

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As we slowed down and gave ourselves time to listen, reflect and think, many of us noticed how much of our attention is directed to keeping up with the demands of a very full to-do list and how little time we make to listen to people with a different perspectives or think in a typical week at work. We also noticed how our thoughts about inclusion are charged with feeling. 

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Creating New Paths to Inclusion is important because the current resting state of our system of organized assistance leaves too many people in settings that limit their freedom and leave them out of diverse opportunities to participate in community life and act as contributing citizens in personal collaboration with others who are not supported by ID services. Shifting this situation requires learning by making deep change in a field that is defined by three related intentions.

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In November 2015 the New Paths to InclUsion network reached a turning point, marked by the completion of a cycle of the Network’s support from the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. Partners gathered in Vienna to exchange stories of change, reflect on their learning and harvest seeds of possibility. Later in the month, a smaller group joined parliamentarians and officials, self-advocates and family advocates in Brussels to report on the policy implications of the past three years’ work.

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