Pathfinders are people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who want more in their lives. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities clearly expresses what people with disabilities want and need -  the practical recognition of the right to social inclusion and self-direction. This means opportunity and necessary accommodation and assistance to choose to live, work, learn and play in community settings.

In this workshop, participants will explore how pathfinders and their partners are co-creating self-directed journeys to social inclusion. Providing pathfinders with good partners usually calls for deep changes in the way assistance is organized and offered. We want to draw on our collective experience to identify what assists people’s diverse journeys to social inclusion and what it takes to make necessary organizational changes.

The trainers' journey, like the journey of New Paths to Inclusion, is informed by person-centered work and ideas and practices drawn from Theory U. They will use practices they have found helpful in making change to guide everyone’s contributions to the workshop. They will also share stories and lessons from their own work.

Beth Mount has worked for 40 years toward the ideal that every person with a disability can be a valued member of community life. She has practiced the art of person-centered planning with thousands of people with disabilities and their families from every walk of life and from every corner of the world.  She designed and leads a variety of Learning and Leadership Institutes that facilitate innovation and integrate Theory U methodologies into planning with individuals, families, regional networks and government agencies.  Beth is well-known for her commitment to developing direct support professionals as allies and activists in inclusion through the Everyday Heroes and Make a Difference projects.  Beth uses art and creativity to strengthen collective capacity to learn with and include all people in wisdom-making. She is deeply involved in strengthening community with a collective of artists and activists in Harlem, New York City.

John OBrien learns about building more just and inclusive communities from people with disabilities, their families, and their allies. He uses what he learns to advise people with disabilities and their families, advocacy groups, service providers, and governments and to spread the news among people interested in change, through his writing and workshops. He works in partnership with Connie Lyle OBrien, is a Fellow of the Centre for Welfare Reform (UK) and is affiliated with the Center on Human Policy, Law & Disability, Syracuse University  (US),  inControl Partnerships (UK), and the Marsha Forest Centre (Canada).

The Workshop is designed as a two full day event and will take place from the 06th – 7th of November 2015 at the Albert Schweitzer Haus.

The participation fee for the Workshop is 220 €  and includes coffee breaks. There are designated places reserved for people with little or no income for a reduced rate of 60 €.

Presentations will be held in English with consecutive German translation. The venue and programme will be fully accessible. Reservations can already be made via e-mail by contacting Claudia Heindl from Lebenshilfe Österreich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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