ANCOR’s International Council will be part of an ongoing global effort to create a world in which people with disabilities receive appropriate support and services and have the opportunity to become valued and contributing members of their society. Many ANCOR members are involved in providing services internationally or supporting those efforts financially. Many are working to create more inclusive communities, including deinstitutionalization and development of community based services, consultation to governments, and support for the implementation of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), as well as workshops and educational opportunities to train leaders, families, advocates, and individuals with disabilities regarding inclusive, community-based services.
The history and expertise of ANCOR member’s provision of community-based human services can benefit people in other countries. Our mission and vision is not limited to serving those within specific geographical boundaries, but should reach individuals on a global level. We have an obligation to share ideas, service models, and our expertise with those in other countries who wish to learn and benefit from all we know and do through each of our organizations.
The activities of ANCOR’s members are making great strides to advance services and supports for people with disability across the globe. The International Council will be a place where ANCOR members can share best practices, find innovative ideas that may be born in the global arena but have significant applicability to our work at home. Ideas that make better use of resources and to find ways to break down the barriers and silos that we find in our domestic service delivery system. I have found that working in other countries and adapting to different systems presents challenges that spawn creativity. The very creativity that was present when many of our agencies began and since then the services have become overly regulated, prescriptive and in many cases building barriers to person center services and supports.
Building inclusive communities is a global issue that affects all of us. I invite you to join us as change agents and support the Council’s work to make the world a safer, more inviting place for all people.
Charles Hooker is the Chairman of ANCOR’s International Council and may be reached at [email protected].