Circles: More than a Tool – Living into the Future

Ideas that Matter 2023 session on Circles of Support featuring the Fialka-Feldman Family.

VIDEO of the Ideas That Matter Session, 10/17/23

Circle Resources from Janice, Rich, Micah and Emma

These are resources gathered by the Fialka-Feldman family to support the work of and their experience building Micah’s Circle.

Powerpoint Slides from Circles Session

Janice Fialka, Rich Feldman, Emma Fialka-Feldman
as presented on October 17, 2023 – compressing four decades of wisdom and learning with Micah Fialka-Feldman

Inclusion Includes Belonging: How to Create and Sustain a Circle of Support

Short article of building circles of support by Emma Fialka-Feldman, Micah Fialka-Feldman and Janice Fialka

Q and A Handout

PDF of Q and A from April 2020 Think College Webinar offered by Janica Fialka and Emma Fialka-Feldman

Sample Letter of Invitation to a Circle Meeting

This is an example letter describing a circle meeting and the ‘ask’ of the person being invited.

Sample letter from a Parent and Teacher about Circle of Friends

This is an example letter sent by a parent and teacher about Circles.

Things to Consider When Building a Circle of Friends

Some things to consider when building a Circle of Support

Additional Resources from the Fialka-Feldman Family experience:

What Matters cover - Micah and Emma on cover

What Matters
Reflections on Disability, Community and Love

Janice Fialka is a brilliant story teller, thoughtful listener and writer. What Matters includes the voice of Micah Fialka-Feldman – her son. Micah is a teaching assistant at Syracuse University and one of the most charming people you will ever encounter. This remarkable story, draws on the reflections from family and friends – and walks us through the family’s journey to this remarkable current reality for Micah and his friends and family. But the story begins as a stunning ‘disability’ story except that this family said no. They decided that Micah wold be fully included and have a full life. And does he ever.

Through the Same DoorThrough the Same Door – Micah Fialka

A 25 minute film about a young adult with cognitive disabilities going to college. Micah Fialka Feldman wanted fully inclusive education. This is the story of how Micah, his family and friends succeeded in living that dream – in high school and in college. They all wanted it – they worked – and they got it! Micah is also featured in another more recent video: Intelligent Lives (available commercially).

The Dance of Partnership

Link to Janice’s web site “The Dance of Partnership:. Janice Fialka, LMSW, ACSW is a nationally-recognized lecturer, author, and advocate on issues related to disability, parent-professional partnerships, inclusion, raising a child with disabilities, sibling issues, and post-secondary education. She is also a parent, poet, a compelling storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for families and persons with disabilities.

Building Circles of Support and Friendship: A Guidebook for Parents – ebook

Helping families understand the philosophy of Circles and practical processes that can be used in building and maintaining them.  Built on the core values of Hope,  Belonging and Purpose

Download free eBook

The Communitas Series of Monographs on Circles

What We Are Learning About Circles of Support

A great resource of reflections by Beth Mount, Pat Beemna and George Ducharme

Person-Centered Development – a Journey in Learning to Listen to People with Disabilities
a 1991 monograph by Communitas that reflects the learning journey of circles of support.

Additional Circle Resources:

MAPS with Micah Fialka Feldman –
the movie TRAILER

Video excerpt from Micah’s MAP conversation in Syracuse, New York @2018.

Leslie White gathers a Circle

Video clip of highlights from Lesley’s circle gathering to create a PATH in Toronto

Building a Circle

Jason’s Circle – a video created by Neighbours, Inc.

Gathering A Circle – Melvin’s Story Unfolding

A Neighbours Inc. video about Melvin’s Circle in New Jersey

Life’s a Journey – Sean’s Voice emerges

Neighbours’ video of Sean’s experience from Windsor, Ontario

Kids Belong Together – Father Pat Mackan

The story of a young teen in Lethbridge Alberta Canada – and his circle facilitated by Father Patrick Mackan

With a Little Help from My Friends

A three part video demonstrating the impact of Circles and MAPS in a school in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada – with faciliation by Dr. Marsha Forest and commentary by Judith Snow.