Reflection on Social Role Valorization

Social roles are the different roles that your friends and family have in your life, whether that means you’re a disabled family member or not. These social roles are like acting in a play because each part in a play is like each family member.

I recently attended a three-session seminar on Social Role Valorization or SRV.According to the International Social Role Valorization Association, SRV is “a dynamic set of ideas useful for making positive change in the lives of people disadvantaged because of their status in society.” First of all, what SRV is, is trying to get other people to start interacting with disabled people in their own community. Amy Price of Price Support Network arranged for this seminar.She asked Starfire, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, if they would be willing to share their knowledge with the Price Support Network community.

I thought the way they laid out the training was very easy to understand. Different people can play different roles in brain-injured people’s lives. That includes people with Down syndrome, people with mental challenges, and people with physical limitations – those are also social roles. Many people in a situation like mine feel excluded because of the life situation they were dealt. A lot of this journey was learning how to interact with someone like me or someone else around this great country of ours.

There are many ways for communities to interact with people with disabilities, whether that’s on Zoom or on Facetime or you can do it over socially distant community events even during Covid or after Covid. You can get to know your neighbors, and they can get to know you. You don’t have to be scared. I think others can learn from this seminar. I definitely learned some things that I kind of already knew about myself but the training reconfirmed it. It reconfirmed that what my parents have done for me was the right choice by not allowing society’s expectations to put limits on me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this article about this training.

A lot of people in a situation like mine can’t verbalize what they’re thinking and feeling about their situation. This training is supposed to teach kids, adults, children, and their moms and dads how to break out of social norms. Something like that can help people not just in Cincinnati, but in LA, Wisconsin, and Atlanta, just to name a few. This fits into what Compassionate Atlanta is all about. I also believe that Compassionate Atlanta has been breaking out of the mold by bringing me in to write all kinds of articles for them. This training can help all of us become better people in the long run. This could go global so other disabled people in other countries can have the knowledge and expertise that Starfire has on these issues. We can interact with people from other countries over Zoom or we can have this same kind of training in their own language. Another option is to have Compassionate Atlanta supporters take the same training that I did so we can all interact with people in their own communities and from all over the world.

The reason why this could go global is because people like Starfire can come in and teach us all how to become a better world during this global pandemic or after this pandemic. I’m not saying that we have to depend only on Starfire, but at least we can start in our own community, in our own neighborhoods. And Starfire encourages us to go out into our own community. We can invite our friends and family to do the same in their own communities. This is how we can show compassion to the rest of the world.

The training made me want to learn more, so I went to the Starfire website and listened to several different podcasts. The one I Iiked the best features Bridget who explained that the training is all about how disabled people get treated in their own communities and how you can do something as simple as share a meal in your community. Because it’s all about community engagement and how to love people despite our limitations on what they can do. It’s all about inclusion and no matter who you are, or what you can do, or what your passions are, everyone can learn from this training.

Amy Price enjoyed this training along with all of us because she had been through it several years ago and she learned some new things about it online with all of us. I really appreciate Amy Price of Price Support Network for all the hard work that she’s done for me and all of her clients, including helping me get this writing job with Compassionate Atlanta. I also know for a fact that Amy likes to do things out of the box. This training teaches us how to get out of the box. She’s a very special human being for all her clients, including me. Also, this training teaches about deep social roles and devaluation. Amy doesn’t make us feel devalued; she makes us feel like we’re on top of our world.

Jimmy Freels

Community Outreach Associate

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