A positive, well-articulated vision for an individual with a disability is a critical first step to help them get the good things in life.
Developing a Vision can take time, and it can sometimes be hard to get started, especially if your current vision has been negatively influenced by the “medical model” of disability and the uninformed opinions of others.
We find that it helps to first think about what the Vision would be if disability wasn’t present.
We also believe in borrowing from others. Reading and borrowing other people’s vision statements can help you make a start in crafting your own.
Once you have written your vision statement it’s important to share your Vision with as many people as possible: family and friends, teachers and health professionals, the broader community and government bodies like the NDIA. When you share your vision statement this gives people a deeper understanding of what you are aiming for and where they might be able to help.
Examples of Vision Statements
Here are some examples of some vision statements. Our thanks to the individuals who have given us permission to share these precious documents.
Mena will be a valued citizen in her local community.
Our vision for Rhiannon is for her to be…
- living an ordinary life filled with fun, friends and family seen as an individual in her own right with many valued roles fully appreciated for her innate gifts
- feeling safe and respected
- given opportunities to pursue her interests, dreams and aspirations
- a contributing member of the community
- emotionally aware of herself and others
- maturing as an individual developing good self-control, self-respect and independence
- able to bounce back from the hard knocks of life
- educated to her full potential
- supported appropriately where she needs it
In basic terms: To be actively involved in the same experiences and opportunities that have been available to others, including her brothers and sister, at her age. It’s the same as any parent wants for their children.
Vision for Carl
Our vision for Carl is that he has the best possible chances of attaining the good things of life: good relationships with family and friends, meaningful work and financial security, a good education and opportunities for self-development, valued participation in his community, good health and a home in the true sense of the word.
Carl’s autism is part of him but it doesn’t define who he is and we believe that autism shouldn’t limit anyone’s vision for what Carl might achieve or where he might belong. So in envisioning Carl’s future, our guiding principle is to reach out for the typical opportunities that are available to young people with similar interests and aspirations, even though Carl may sometimes need an atypical path to realise those opportunities.
Carl would like his relationships to be based on equality and mutual respect, so any differences, such as autism or ethnicity, are secondary to personal qualities and shared values and interests. Carl would like relationships where he is comfortable being himself and where he can relate to others in ways that promote their mutual happiness, wellbeing and feelings of worth.
Carl would like to live at home for at least the medium term. Mum and Dad enjoy Carl’s presence in the household and are happy for that to happen. Carl is continuing to develop his domestic skills so that he can increase his contribution to managing the household workload.
Carl would like to maintain his part-time job and gain work experience in media while he is learning film making and media skills. His long term ambition is to progressively build a satisfying full-time career from those skills and the experience he gains in the workplace.
Carl would like to continue to develop as a media professional through one-on one mentoring with trusted people to build his skills and confidence. However, he also wants to increase his participation in mainstream tertiary education so that he attains recognised qualifications and gets the benefits of learning alongside others.
We are planning for Carl to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award program to expand his valued participation and connections in the community through learning a new skill, volunteering, getting more involved in regular physical recreation and undertaking an adventurous journey.
Cameron’s Vision 2016
Key Qualities for Cameron’s Good Life
- To be seen as an individual in my own right and appreciated for my innate gifts
- To be known and welcomed in my street, local shops and neighbourhood
- To have a diverse range of friendships & reciprocal relationships not dependent upon parents
- To navigate with confidence through the routine activities and locations of daily life To be valued for making a meaningful contribution to my community
- To work as a part of a mainstream small business team with clearly defined and valued roles
- To be encouraged and/or supported when needed in an unobtrusive & strategic manner
- That risks should not be automatically avoided but managed with safeguards
- To have the opportunity to experience activities that are typical, valued & followed by my peers
- To participate in community interest groups with a sense of belonging
- To be missed when absent
- To have my views heard and respected
- To be included in decision making
- To perform daily chores competently and with a sense of independence
- To be recognised as a lifelong learner needing new experiences and skills for personal growth
- To face challenges that promote my self-respect & resilience
- To enjoy the same employment, housing and holiday opportunities as others do
- To exercise daily and spend time outside to strengthen my physical & mental wellbeing
- To explore Canberra and NSW to expand my sense of place
- To have a sense of control over the direction of my life
- To live an ordinary life filled with work, fun, friends and family
Finding a job is very big for me. (I think about being a butcher)
I want to see my friends and my Circle more often (and talk on the phone) I want to meet new people who like the same things as I do
I would like a big home in Curtin with lots of friends
I would like to own a small 4-Wheel Drive
I want to go back to the beach and the mountains every year
I am a rower, cartoonist, bushwalker, photographer, indoor rock climber & swimmer
Vision for Jack
Jack’s Vision for Life
- To contribute and participate through valued social roles
- To have positive relationships
- To follow an ordinary rhythm of life
- To find a sense of belonging
- To be valued and known in his local community
Jack is an important member of his local community where his presence is welcomed and known, where he is missed when he is not around and where he is loved. As Jack moves through his teenage years he wants to continue to be a vibrant part of his local community where he continues to develop relationships, make contributions that are appreciated and broaden his roles that are typical for his age. For example, being a friend, brother, College student, emerging Youtuber, Oztag player, neighbour, University of Canberra employee are roles that are important now.
We want Jack’s school experience to be rich in learning through being a true member of his class and the broader school community. We see school as being a place where Jack’s friendships will flourish and his academic education in line with the National curriculum will be supported. We want school to be a place that nourishes Jack’s confidence, where he experiences success, learns from disappointments and grows alongside his peers of the same age without a disability. We envisage Jack will experience and understand the responsibilities associated with many valued social roles in his final year at school relevant to his interests in leadership, science, music and community service.
Jack has grown into his role as an Office Administrator assistant at University of Canberra during 2019/20 through a school-based apprenticeship. Jack is enjoying his study of a Certificate III in foundation skills and business and hopes to continue studying beyond school. Jack wants to enjoy the responsibility of commuting via bus or bike to work, within the community and to and from school. Jack hopes to further progress his reading skills as he knows being a competent reader will heighten his chances to attain his driver’s license and open up more options for future employment, his career and study at a University.
Jack is keen to explore many work options that are fully embedded in the community and preferably in a role that typically involves working directly with colleagues. We are confident Jack will continue to be an active and curious young man with many interests and broad life experiences that will see him well through his enthusiasm for life.
We envision Jack initially living the single life, flatting with other University students, enjoying the nightlife, actively involved in his community. This may lead to a life of marriage, living in his own home (with a pool) that Jack dreams will be in Canberra. Whatever Jack decides, we will support him to have the kind of home and work that is meaningful, that upholds his hopes and dreams that encapsulates the good things of life. Jack’s future is full of possibilities – the world is his oyster. We are looking forward to watching Jack’s future unfold and discover where he makes his mark in the world.
What We Do Want for Jack
- To live in a home of his own with people he chooses
- To have meaningful work that is well supported
- To have opportunities to travel interstate or overseas
- To have many and varied opportunities to meet new friends and maintain old friendships
- Go out at night and enjoy the life of a young person
- To stay fit, healthy and strong
- Support to make decisions and not have them made for him
What We Don’t Want for Jack
- To live in a congregated environment. eg any type of group home
- To work in an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) or work environment that exceeds the natural ratio of people with disability
- To be invisible
- To be seen as a burden