Change Makers

We have had the privilege of working with many remarkable colleagues who share life long passions to build a world that welcomes the talents and capacities of every person into participation in community life. We have created collections (libraries) of some of the key articles, videos and resources created individually and collaboratively. Most of these are ‘free downloads”, and many are treasured resources that reflect decades of work and development. These are indeed a good start on a curated research archive as seen through by some of the key creators and actors in cultural struggle to introduce and nurture basic concept like ‘inclusion’ and ‘person-centered’ work.

Featured Change Makers include:

John O’Brien & Connie Lyle O’Brien

Photo of John O'Brien
John O’Brien and his wife and partner Connie Lyle O’Brien have been in the forefront of thinking and creating precedent setting innovations that helped to created full lives for people with disability labels the world over. In addition to developing many of the planning systems used internationally, training thousands of facilitators and human service workers, they have also been writers with enormous insight and sensitivity. Below are some of their books that Inclusion Press has been privileged to publish.

Marsha Forest

Photo of Marsha Forest
Marsha Forest was a relentless life long advocate for Inclusion. Originally from NYC, she was trained as a teacher of the deaf – including sitting on their hands to prevent using sign language. True to form, Marsha rejected that approach and spent her life teaching and supporting families to explore any and all forms of communication. While teaching at York University, she met Judith Snow and Jack Pearpoint (who she married). The result was the Circle of Friends, and then the MAPS process and later PATH – conversational approaches to reveal and nurture the gifts and capacities in every person – no exceptions

Judith Snow

photo of Judith Snow
Judith Snow A remarkable leader, philosopher, teacher, artist, creator. Without Judith’s pioneering leadership, we would not have the Joshua Committee, the Circle of Friends and more. She was the first person to battle for Independent funding for a person living with complex disabilities – altho’ Judith didn’t believe in disability – just Giftedness and Capacity…

Beth Mount

photo of Beth Mount

Beth Mount is a creative genius with a focus on inventing, teaching and delivering full life options for people with developmental disabilities, their families and the partners who support them on diverse paths to social inclusion and self direction.  Beth’s tapestries are a remarkable triumph to art and resilience built with the wisdom and partnership of people once excluded.

Gary Bunch

Gary Bunch

Gary Bunch was captured by the challenge of inclusion. At York University he met Marsha Forest and a relentless partnership of advocacy of inclusion began. Gary taught, crafted materials and books. Always looking for ‘another way’ he created PlayFair Teams – to create education and supports for all students in regular classrooms. His leadership has been international. He has been a resource in many countries,. He was also the founding Chair of the Marsha Forest Centre and is currently Chair Emeritus.

John McKnight

photo of John Mcknight
John McKnight is the co-founder of ABCD – Asset Based Community Development – an institute, books, world leadership. His remarkable thought leadership has a very special connection to the Toronto Summer Institutes. John is one of the founding faculty members – and has been relentlessly consistent in making space in his calendar to lead a module – every year – for over 30 years.!! That is commitment – and friendship.

Jack Pearpoint

Jack Pearpoint is an independent Canadian Publisher and catalyst for Inclusion, Diversity, Teamwork and CHANGE! He directed Frontier College for 16 years, then founded Inclusion Press, and the Marsha Forest Centre. He is a writer, and advocate who has worked learning from and supporting people on the edge, his whole career.

Lynda Kahn

Lynda Kahn is a co-leader with Inclusion Press International, Toronto, working with individuals, families, organizations and governments interested in positive change. Lynda, together with her partner and husband, Jack Pearpoint, works with individuals, families, organizations and governments interested in positive change through facilitating conversations, planning sessions and offering training workshops.

Tom Kohler

Tom Kohler, recently retired from 40 years connecting citizens of Savannah, Georgia to one another. As Co-ordinator and Executive Director of Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy, Tom introduced people who had an established place in community to people with disabilities who have found themselves placed on the margins of community life. Together these people have explored how their relationship can change their lives, and impact the life of their community. Tom’s articulate wisdom is captured in these video clips and in the Waddie Welcome story – which reveals the giftedness of a man who could have been discarded, and became one of Savannah’s leading citizens. Tom’s skills are available – and this wisdom is revealed in these books and videos.
In Five Ways to Go into the World, Tom synthesizes how to choose your people..,,

Neighbours Inc. Patti Scott & David Hasbury

Patti Scott and David Hasbury are partners and co-conspirators to create support networks that build communities with friendships and secure community engagement for everyone. Patti created a ‘leading edge’ organization called Neighbours Inc, and then Neighbours International to bring that vision to reality. In addition, they travel extensively – locally and internationally, sharing their vision, their learnings and skills. And currently their latest venture is creating remarkable videos that feature the learnings and reflections of some folks they work with…

Heather Simmons – Values of Inclusion

Photo of Heather Simmons
Heather Simmons is a life long advocate for people with disabilities – people on the margins. She is also a brilliant author, presenter and thinker. With a lovely Scottish brogue, she is relentless in challenging us to dig deep, think harder.. be better. Hear her and pause – what can I do now to do better – to be better. Her roots in this work are life long, and incorporate a depth of experience internationally – starting in UK, then Australia, and now back home in Scotland.

Peter Leidy – Inclusion Songster

Peter Leidy has been learning from people with disabilities since 1983. Peter is a consultant, facilitator, listener, learner, improviser, and speaker who focuses on personalized supports and community membership for people with disabilities. He also writes and sings songs about human serviceland and those who find themselves connected to it. He writes a blog called “Just Curious”.

MPAMBO: Mulembe Mutinzi Cuusansi- Uganda

Photo of Wangoola Wangoola Ndawula
Wangoola Wangoola Ndawula: An honorific title earned by a remarkable quiet and relentless leader who is on a mission to rebuild the language, culture and spirit of his people in Uganda – by building a post colonial self sustaining nation that is creating the future we all want. We are a privileged small group of friends assisting this remarkable grass roots network of Ugandan citizens to create the future they want – and are making. We invite you to join us. Listen to the wisdom of people who have been on their land for 6000 years.

Carol Blessing Collection

Carol Blessing has over 30 years of experience in the disability services field as an expert in person-centered practices and planning has earned her international recognition. She is the author and director of the landmark Citizen-Centered Leadership intensive course of study and international community of practice (www.cclds.org). Currently, Ms. Blessing serves on the faculty of the Cornell University Yang-Tan Institute in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations where she has spent the past 20 years directing state-wide cross-system level impact and change initiatives focused on person-directed integrated community-based outcomes for people with disabilities.

Jessica Bolduc – 4R’s Youth Movement (click here for more)

Aanii boozhoo! My name is Jessica, and I am Anishinaabe-French from the Batchewana First Nation. I am privileged to be the Executive Director of the 4Rs Youth Movement, working alongside leaders who are creating capacities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people to come together to cultivate understanding and action in support of a type of reconciliation that is relevant to young people.

Erwin Wieringa – the Netherlands

Erwin Wieringa –   the catalyst for inclusion in the Netherlands – and throughout Europe since 1991. A talented colleague, friend, author, playwright & cyclist.

Dave Wetherow – Star Raft creator

Dave Wetherow – a Life long advocate for full inclusion who currently is sharing ‘Star Rafts’ with the world – one his many accomplishments. Dave also created the first Microboards in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Scottish Human Services: Heather Anderson & Pete Richie

Heather Anderson is leader & and innovator. Together with Pete Richie (husband), she lethe movement for Inclusion in Scotland co-founding Scottish Human Services – which offered brilliant training and resources for over a decade. Heather is now one of the ‘retired’ EU Members of European Parliament from Scotland. https://www.facebook.com/heatherander… And the tv interviews are all here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/heatheran…

Pete Richie is an innovator. He saw Inclusion as an issue years ago, and co-founded Scottish Human Services – which offered brilliant training and resources for over a decade. With the same drive, he is now the Executive Director of Nourish Scotland – working for change from the bottom-up with grassroots groups. As well as working at Nourish, Pete runs Whitmuir Organics with his partner Heather Anderson. pete@nourishscotland.org.uk

UNESCO Co-Chairs Community Based Research: Dr. Budd Hall & Dr. Rajesh Tandon

Dr. Rajesh Tandon and Dr. Budd Hall have been change makers all their lives. Rajesh has been organizing in Indian villages (and around the world) for decades. He founded PRIA – and now with Budd, has created a global self financing training network for participatory research.

Budd’s international life featured two decades as the Secretary General of the International Council for Adult Education – which took him to most every country and network on the planet. He has used his university appointments to leverage funds, networks and training for people around the planet – and at home with Indigenous peoples. They are Change Makers extraordinaire.

Beth Gallagher & Kirk Hinkleman

Beth Gallagher is the founder, owner and CEO of Life Works. Life Works was founded in 2004. Specializeing in designing and delivering personalized supports, Beth co-authored the book Intentional Teaming. with Kirk, and more recently co-created the Liberty Plan.

Kirk Hinkleman is the Director of Life Works. Having worked in the human services field since 1998, Kirk has a wide range of experience working with people with unique and challenging support needs.  with Beth he co-authored Intentional Teaming. with Kirk, and more recently co-created the Liberty Plan.

Angela Novak Amado

Angela has been a foundation of research at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration. A leader in this work for decades, her hour long story recalls and reviews key ideas and strategies for change. Angela has researched, taught and consulted with organizations and families on supporting friendship. Friends: Connecting people with disabilities and community members summarizes some of what she has learned in this practical manual.

Gerv Leyden

Gerv Leyden was a brilliant educational psychologist (and soccer player) who against all odds became a university professor. His commitment to inclusion and to ‘trouble youth’ was as powerful as his relentless lobbying to change education policies in England to support inclusion.

Shafik Asante

Shafik Asante was a remarkable African American civil rights organizer. He was part of our Inclusion Team at Summer Institutes in both McGill and Toronto.

Herb Lovett

Herbert Lovett, Ph.D. of Boston, a revered leader, scholar, teacher, and advocate for people with disabilities and their families. Herb believed in and was a brilliant practitioner of Positive Approaches for People with Difficult Behaviour – and thus saved untold lives from endless anguish. Herbert Lovett, Ph.D. of Boston, a revered leader, scholar, teacher, and advocate for people with disabilities and their families. Herb believed in and was a brilliant practitioner of Positive Approaches for People with Difficult Behaviour – and thus saved untold lives from endless anguish.

John Daniel O’Leary

John Daniel O’Leary was a life-long advocate for literacy throughout his 25 year career as an educator and as President of Frontier College. He joined Frontier College as a teacher in a prison literacy program in 1976. Over the decades, John successfully established literacy coalitions outside the educational field, with labour, business, non-profit and non-government organizations. In 1991, he was appointed President of Frontier College. Mr. O’Leary was also the co-founder of several national advocacy groups for literacy including the Gzowski Invitational Golf Tournaments, ABC Canada, and the Business Task Force on Literacy, most recently an advocate for the Anishnawbe Health Foundation. Donations may be sent to Anishnawbe Health Foundation John D. O’Leary Memorial Fund which has been set up to honour John’s legacy, https:// supportanishnawbe.ca/ johnoleary/