Creating a Good Life

Leap is a family-led, non-profit organisation that works on behalf of children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Building a vision of a Good Life

Ask yourselves – what does a good life look like?

What is your vision of a good life? is it a compelling vision that others will buy into? Can you convey it meaningfully to others? Will it help you to find allies as you journey towards a good life?

What tools do you have to create your vision with?

Why is it important to build a compelling vision?

When families develop a positive vision for their son or daughter, brother or sister with a disability; they are in a better position to promote to others the gifts, potential and contributions of their family member.

Intentional behaviour – what you envision is more likely to manifest

“In some other life

we are standing side by side

and laughing that

in some other life

we are apart.”


If we unpack the term inclusion, we can see that it is about peoples valued social participation and personal social integration. We know a person is included when they are engaged and positively valued in an environment typical of their age, peers and culture. It is somewhat counter-cultural to describe inclusion in such detail, we are far better as a society at ‘mapping’ human misery or exclusion.

But how is inclusion achieved and why do some people enjoy a rich, meaningful life and many others do not? The Australian author and disability advocate Jeremy Ward has this to say “The reality is that the full and positive lives of people with disabilities that we hear and read about do not happen by accident. These inspirational stories can be told because someone had a vision and belief in what is possible, sometimes against considerable opposition, and planned to make it happen.”

Michael Kendrick observes that while services and professionals may usefully be part of supporting this vision, they must be extremely careful to not undo the authority and power of the person and their families by substituting it for their own. Hence, the “person-centred” approach will be fatally undermined if it is not always accompanied by self-direction.

Self-direction simply describes a situation where decisions and choices that determine the direction of the person’s life rest with the person and their chosen supporters.  Whatever services and professionals do, they must not seek to separate or alienate people from their family and friends as it is they who constitute the enduring sources of love and support, however flawed at times, in people’s lives.

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