Impact 14(2)

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Feature Issue on Volunteerism by Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Published by the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) and the Research and Training Center on Community Living, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota • Volume 14 • Number 2 • Fall 2001

From the Editors

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2001 to be the International Year of Volunteers. Through activities sponsored by organizations around the globe, the value of volunteerism is being noted, and the contributions of volunteers are being honored. Among the goals of the year-long celebration are increased awareness of the many ways in which people can and do volunteer, and increased involvement of individuals and organizations in volunteering.

One group of people historically thought of exclusively as recipients of volunteer service, rather than providers of it, are people with developmental disabilities. Too often defined by their “dis”-abilities rather than their abilities, they have been overlooked in many efforts to involve individuals in the improvement of their communities through giving of time, talents, and energy on a voluntary basis. The result is that our communities have missed out on their contributions, and individuals have missed out on the rewards of rendering service.

In this issue of Impact are articles that seek to encourage steps toward the greater inclusion of persons with developmental disabilities in volunteerism. The strategies and visions presented provide a wealth of ideas for supporting that inclusion, in this celebration year and in future years.

What’s Inside

Overview Articles

"I Know I Have a Lot to Give Back": Volunteer of the Year, Vernon Tischler

Volunteer and Service Opportunities for People with Developmental Disabilities

Giving and Receiving: Kira's Story (sidebar)

Why Bother? How Persons with Disabilities Benefit as Volunteers

Where to Look for Volunteer Opportunities (sidebar)

Improving Volunteer Options for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Improving Inclusion in Volunteer Programs (sidebar)

Disability Agencies Supporting Volunteers

Finding a Good Match: Questions for Volunteers and Organizations to Ask

Preparing Youth With Disabilities for Volunteer Service as Adults

Service Learning: Increasing Youth Involvement (sidebar)

Program Profiles

Disability Agencies and Cultural Communities: Working Together to Support Volunteers

Finding Her Niche: Angela's Story (sidebar)

Why Volunteering Matters to Me

Singing for Social Justice: The Syracuse Community Choir

Lives, Not Programs: The Option Quest Philosophy

Caring for Others: John's Story (sidebar)

"I Just Go and Learn and Give": Self-Adovcates Serving on Boards in Vermont

Volunteers in the Office and the Woods: Wilderness Inquiry

Supporting Outdoor Adventures: CH's Story (sidebar)

Full Inclusion in National Service: The Everyone Can Serve! Project

A Lexicon of National Service Initiatives (sidebar)

"Our Experience is the Best Teacher": Self-Advocacy/AmeriCorps of New York

A Team Member: Kim's Story (sidebar)

Addressing Possible Loss of Disability Benefits for Service Participants (sidebar)

The National Service Inclusion Project (sidebar)

Resources and Related ICI Publications

Publication Information

Managing Editor: Vicki Gaylord

Issue Editors:

Bonnie Shoultz Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University Syracuse, New York
Emily E. Miller Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jean Ness Institute on Community Integration University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Impact is a quarterly publication of the Institute on Community Integration (University Affiliated Program), and the Research and Training Center on Community Living, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. This issue was supported, in part, by Grant #90DD0506/01 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, US Department of Health and Human Services; and Grant #H133B980047 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, US Department of Education.

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute, College, University, or their funding sources. For additional information contact:

Institute on Community Integration University of Minnesota 109 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 612/624-4512 612/624-9344

Impact is available in alternative formats upon request.


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Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota ( Citation: Shoultz, B., Miller, E.E., & Ness, J. (Eds.). (2001). Impact: Feature Issue on Volunteerism by Persons with Developmental Disabilities, 14(2) [online]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration. Available from


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