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Celebrating the Ordinary

The Emergence of Options in Community Living as a Thoughtful Organization

by John O'Brien, Connie Lyle O'Brien and
Gail Jacob

ISBN 1-895418-34-8

This book is also available as part of the

>Community Living Pack


A way to think about supported living that collects stories, pictures, documents, and operational policies from Options' work and reflects on their practical meaning in terms of these ideas: Learning from Options

The idea of emergent order

Limits of command and control

From packages to people

A guiding pattern emerges

People with developmental disabilities lead

Autonomy and support can lead to liberation

Creating space as a guiding image

Conflict clarifies beliefs

Beliefs define the pattern

Respect for autonomy

Enacted beliefs

Fruitful contradictions

A strong culture

High ideals grounded in daily demands

What makes Options work for me

Avoiding the growth trap

Principle and political viability

Dividing rather than growing

Purposely increasing diversity

Building relationships and agreements

A charter for support

The policy on quality of life

Living space

Ordinary connections

Day-to-day assistance

Usual difficulties

Big troubles

Stretching the ordinary

The 'how' of agreements in a web of relationships

Power differences and dependency

Holding stress

Acknowledging difficulty

Signs of trouble

Relationships as a resource


Renewal through ritual

Authority and hierarchy

Designing support

A comfortable living place

Effective personal assistance

Conversational planning

Getting to know the person

Making funding flexible

Embracing variety

Temptations to standardize

Generating flexibility

Generalists and specialists

How Options Learns

New possibilities for a person

Learning as a matter of the heart

Cultivating expertise

Chewing on intractable problems

Progress on community building

The position of Home Support Workers

Co-evolution with the service system

Nine enduring understandings

245 pages, softbound from Inclusion Press

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