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.

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.

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.

Shafik Asante

Photo of 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.

Gerv Leyden

Gerv Leyden
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.

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.

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 ( 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.