Covered with Papers [PDF]

John O’Brien & Connie Lyle O’Brien

My House is Covered with Papers:
Reflections on a Generation of Active Citizenship

John O’Brien & Connie Lyle O’Brien – 1999

This article honours the life of five family activists in Wisconsin, and thus peals back the complexity and the wonder of the supports provided by families – seldom acknowledged and supported.

Even more intensively than other children, children with severe disabilities depend on their families to offer not only a safe home with a climate of love, positive expectations, and emotional caring but also to sustain the work of caring year after year. The work of caring includes providing physical assistance, implementing activities that promote health and development, discovering and coordinating and maintaining necessary resources, and protecting. Usually, mothers are responsible for the largest part of the work of caring. How that work is done, shared, and supported defines important conditions for a family’s quality of life.