About Friendships and Community

You may have a lovely home in a nice community, but you could still be lonely. Some people with disabilities have experienced abuse and discrimination, and have been not allowed to have ordinary opportunities to be part of community life and to form friendships.

Building friendships and community can be a difficult, slow process, but everyone can be a great citizen and form wonderful friendships and loving partnerships. This module will introduce you to friendships and community.

This module features presentations from many leading professionals and self-advocates, including Dave Hingsburger, Lynda Kahn, Margaret Cushen, and Steve Dymond.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain some of the challenges of developing friendships and community.
  • Discuss the different ways that people think about friendships and community.
  • Describe what friendships and community mean.
  • Explain the value and importance of friendships and community.

Understanding and Promoting Rights

This module presents a clear and matter-of-fact approach to the rights of the people we support. Beyond describing and defining rights, this module gives the user first hand knowledge and expertise on how to maintain and promote the rights of the person they support.

This module includes video presentations from Dave Hingsburger, Simon Duffy, Gary Kent, Roger Crown, Steve Dymond, Sam Sly, Doreen Kelly, Fredda Rosen, Margaret Cushen, Bernard Carabello, and Beth Mount.


On successful completion of this module, learners will be able to:


    • Define what rights are, and understand the difference between legal and moral rights.
    • Describe the disability rights movement.
    • Describe human rights as developed by the United Nations.
    • Explain how to support the rights of the people you support, including those with multiple and profound disabilities.
    • Explain how rights interact with responsibilities, decision-making, risk, power and control.
    • Detail how, why, and in what circumstances rights may be limited or taken away.
    • Describe the different types of advocacy and the six important principles and other skills that relate to advocacy and your own role.
    • Explain how to help people make choices.
    • Describe the benefits and role of person-centered planning.

Supporting and Understanding Communication

Communication is the most complex human skill. It is the way we understand the world, express ourselves as individuals, make choices, develop relationships, build trust and control our lives. In this module, the renowned speech and language specialist, Sue Thurman, provides a comprehensive and straightforward introduction to the subject.


This module features presentations from a range of leading professionals and self-advocates, including Dave Hingsburger, Lynda Kahn, Kathie Snow, Jack Pearpoint, Simon Haywood, Brad Goldman, Steve Dymond, and Margaret Cushen.


On successful completion of this module, learners will be able to:


  • Define communication.
  • Describe the personal, social, and physical barriers to communication and the potential impact of these barriers.
  • Explain the importance of communication.
  • Understand the different ways people can communicate, including without words and your role in using the different forms of communication.
  • Describe in detail a wide variety of approaches that use alternative and augmentative communication.
  • Define how you can use your role to support good communication.