Skip to main content

Report From 3rd Anual Camphill Research Symposium

Maryellen Reidy, Triform's Day Hab Coordinator recently attended the 3rd annual Camphill Foundation's Research Symposium. She was gracious enough to share the following report on the Symposium's proceedings.
I was fortunate to attend the Camphill Foundation Research Symposium July 26-28, 2017 at Solaris in Hudson, NY.  Of particular interest to me were the regulations regarding funding (i.e. Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) operated by the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) under the oversite of the NYS Department of Health (DOH), the State’s Medicaid Agency).

I will attempt to offer a brief overview of what lies ahead and what we can begin to do now.  Under this “new” system, an individual funded through the HCBS Waiver must be offered a choice of what they do for work and where they work; the individual should be able to decide for themselves; they should be integrated into the greater community (working alongside those without disabilities) and must be paid at least minimum wage for such work.

In an effort to summarize and help determine the path the regional Camphill Communities may take in addressing the upcoming changes, the last day we broke into two groups where we explored the issue of work in the context of Camphill communities. 

The group I was in started with asking:  What will be our message? We came up with the following:
People deserve the right to choose where and how they live with funded supports.

We then asked the following:  How can the local and regional Camphill Communities come together to present a common message when conversing with our representatives in government (those designing the regulations), parents, friends, advocates, community members,  How can Camphill remain dynamic, and yet not inhibit the development of the individual?

The group decided to break it down into what we have and what we need.

What we have:
·         Engaged family members and stakeholders
·         Regional Coordinator
·         Trade organization memberships
·         Camphill Foundation
·         Camphill Association
·         Local development offices and publications
·         Community database
·         Self-Advocacy Groups
·         Research Symposium

What we need:
·         Advocacy Training (Self and family)
·         Telling of personal story
·         Local/state/federal contact information
·         Process for CANA political engagement/public statement
·         Financial/health outcome data
·         “Fishbowl” conversations
·         State legislative analysis
·         List of Camphill services and models
·         Contact information and mechanism to send out “action alerts”
·         An “easily digestible” white paper
·         Regional public relations approach/coordination aimed at the greater community
·         Individual (family, co-worker, employee) participation in local community organizations
·         Engage co-worker alumni

As regional and local efforts move forward, we all need to be engaged in presenting a common goal and to have Camphill be a choice for individuals who may want to be a farmer, gardener, potter, weaver, or baker.  We all need to be part of the conversation.  I encourage everyone to educate themselves.  Here’s a good place to start:


Popular posts from this blog

The Healing Aspects of Crafts in Our Times by Lisa Damian

The Healing Aspects of Crafts in Our Times was the theme of this year’s Camphill Craft Conference, held at Triform. The conference opened with a tour of Triform’s craft work areas, a hearty dinner, a performance by the Triform Bell Choir and a keynote address by Stephen Steen. Participants braved blustery weather to tour the work areas at Camphill Copake on Friday. There we were hosted for dinner by various houses and enjoyed a lovely and moving performance of Complementary Eloquence by Gili Lev, John McManus and Inbal Segev. On Saturday we toured work areas in Hudson, visiting Solaris, Drop Forge and Tool and Inky Editions.   
We also got our hands dirty. Panel leaders provided rich experiences in paper marbling, lino printing, indigo dyeing, ceramics, felt and dried flower wreath making.  
Four main themes emerged and were aptly woven into a fabric of deeper understanding. Stephen Steen laid down the warp as he articulated the esoteric aspects that underlie the human being’s relations…

Celebrating Candlemas as an Agricultural Festival

An article by Ben Davis for Stella Natura

Calendar of the Soul verse for the 44th week: Reaching for new stirrings of the senses, Mindful of Spirit Birth achieved, Clarity of soul imbues Bewildering, sprouting growth of worlds With my thinking’s creator will.

A Visit to Triform's Dairy

It’s just before 6 AM and the day at Triform has already begun. This morning I’m with householder Max vom Stein, his daughter, Lily, and co-worker, Lena, as they start the daily routine of caring for and milking Triform’s cows. These beautiful animals are a big part of the farm and Max was kind enough to give me a tour of the dairy operation to let me get sense of just how these cows fit into the bigger picture of the community.
While we talk, Max is busy herding heifer calves born this spring to nurse with their mothers.He explains that Triform’s herd is a mixed one, combing a variety of breeds, including Jersey, Devon, and Swiss Brown cows. Once the calves are seen to, we move on to milking. I learn right away that Triform’s cows are more than just livestock; each has their own name and distinct personality. Lily introduces me to Stormy, a very sweet Holstein that I’m told is one of the cows most beloved by the community.As we settle in to milk, slowly filling our pales, Max elaborat…