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:


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