Welcome to the Community Living Gathering at the TASH Conference November, 1993 !!!!
Judith A. Snow & Margie Diekmann
Right after an exciting presentation from Jonathan Kozol, a curious group of 150 people gathered in the Williford C room to begin the Community Living Gathering. Many looked puzzled while others looked intrigued as each participant was encouraged to pick up a rock from the beaches of Oregon to symbolize their membership in this community, to decorate their name tag with stars and other stickers, to pick up a trinket such as a dried leaf from New Hampshire or a plastic hot dog from Wisconson, and to take a seat under a balloon or a blown up hammer, saxophone, crayon etc.-
Whatever could be about to happen here???! Soon the Gathering was opened with an energetic welcome from Marsha Forest, a brief history of how we got here by Jay Klein and Judith Snow, co-chairpersons of the Community Living Committee, and – at long last – an explanation of the unfolding process from Jack Pearpoint. (A written explanation of Open Space Technology is included in this book.) Soon the participants were milling about creatively setting their own agendas for two and a half days of intensive shared learning and teaching about inclusive community living. People with every different interest in the subject were soon organized into intensive discussion groups – some located under the balloons, and some taking advantage of other spaces and events in the TASH Conference. In this book you will find the shared record of the discussions and learnings that took place at our Community Living Gathering. For those of us who were there its a reminder of what we learned and of the friendship that we shared. For others who may read this book we hope that you find it both informative and an invitation to join us in 94.
TASH (the Association for the Severely Handicapped) – later to be just TASH (a good thing) was a hot bed of new ideas and exchange. It was a meeting place. So some of us, led by Marsha Forest, Judith Snow and others created the ‘Community Living Gathering’ within TASH as a meeting/exchange forum for families and others to have a ‘home’ at TASH. And it was the year of creating published booklets of these events… Here is the 1993 Community Gathering book.
TASH.Chicago.Nov4-6.1993.Community Living Gathering