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Common themes emerge in the stories. Sentiments from storytellers and their supporters and allies help express these themes. This list is just a start. The stories hold many lessons about what it means to live (and assist people to live) a full, meaningful and inclusive life.

Together with those around me, I value and hold a vision for a good life
  • Letting my dreams shine – living the dream

  • Those around me help me to identifying and uphold a vision for a full, meaningful and inclusive life that is similar to other people my age

  • Never give up

  • You only live once

I’m seen for my unique identity rather than focusing on my diagnosis or difference

  • I have interests, passions, aspirations, abilities, strengths and potential and those around me recognise and harness these

  • I do things that are meaningful and relevant to me

  • Doing what you love and loving what you do

  • I have purpose

  • You’re never too young or too old!

  • Doing your favourite things

  • My diagnosis is not who I am

  • I’m seen for what I can do not what I can’t do

  • Looking cool!

  • My identity is familiar and recognisable to others e.g. I’m an employee, a student, a club member


I’m present in ordinary and typical places in the community rather than in segregated or special places

  • I go to everyday, typical places in the community on a regular and frequent basis

  • I have physical access to the same places as others

  • Inclusion is more than physical presence

  • Inclusion is not about a sheltered, segregated, institutional environment or special group for people with a disability

  • The rhythms and routines of my day are typical

  • I use community resources when ever possible

  • I have connection to the land

  • I don’t have to fit into what the system or services have to offer

  • I’m immersed in the community


I have a range of reciprocal relationships in the community

  • I share my interests and passions with others who have similar interest and passions

  • I have a range of relationships e.g. family, friends, mates and girlfriends, classmates, colleagues, business customers, neighbours, club members, fellow parishioners, home owner, tenant, housemate, going away with friends. Not just paid people!

  • I hang out with friends who like to do the same things as me

  • I meet new people

  • I know lots of people and they know me

  • I’m missed when I’m not there

  • I have friends who care about me

  • I’m loved

  • I have people in my life who are not paid to be there

  • I have people in my life who look out for me

  • I have people to call on and I’m there for others

  • I invite people to come over and I have visitors

  • I have family

  • I have lots of friends

  • I’m part of my heritage and tribe

  • I’m connected to my culture

  • I’m part of my school, work place or club

  • I’m not lonely or isolated

  • I have lasting relationships – people who stay there

  • I do things with my work mates after work e.g. coffee, lunch

I have all the same opportunities as all citizens to contribute to the community  

  • I have a number of valued roles in the community such as student, employee, business owner, intern club member, church member, neighbour, traveller, friend, volunteer, artist, gym member, film maker; sports club team member, actor, customer, radio announcer etc

  • I have typical opportunities – the same as other citizens

  • I try different things to see what I like

  • I have the opportunity to learn new skills and roles

  • I earn a wage and making a living

  • I give to others

  • I’m part of something exciting

  • I’m a positive role model for others

  • I’m appreciated and recognised for my contribution

  • I’m not seen as a passive receiver of funding and welfare

  • I’m challenged in new and exciting ways

I have the support required to participate and contribute to the community

  • I have people who believe in me

  • Those around me help me to hold a vision for a full, meaningful and inclusive life

  • There are people around me who show leadership in regard to social inclusion

  • Those who support me are creative

  • I have natural, freely given support in my life - not just paid support

  • My supporters are the right match for what I want to do, not just “disability” support workers

  • People give me time and support to learn and develop valued roles in the community

  • I have support to increase my comfort, confidence , self-esteem and learn new things

  • Those around me hold positive expectations

  • My needs are meet in a respectful manner

  • Businesses and community group are welcoming and supportive

  • Circles of Support can help

  • I have modifications so I can do the same things as others

  • People listen to me

  • People around me help me to do the things I want to do and help me to direct my own life

  • I have support to overcome challenges

  • I have heaps of friends I can go to for support

  • I’m connected to people I trust

  • I have mentors and I mentor others

  • I have positive role models

  • Support people are not my “carers”

  • People around me ask “how could that happen?”

  • Staff don’t over step the boundaries

  • I’m supported to be as independent as possible

I feel like I belong!

  • I feel a sense of belonging

  • I feel valued and like I matter

  • I feel accepted

  • I feel connected to others

  • I feel welcomed

  • I feel part of things

  • I feel confident

  • I feel content

  • I feel respected

  • I feel safe and secure

  • I feel recognised and appreciated for my abilities and contribution

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