Impact – Ability

The desire of most people I’ve met in the disability community is to make the world a better place for people with disability. As a corollary most also realize that in doing so, they will be making the world a better place for everyone.

In today’s language this desire is described as impact. Not short term, flash in the pan impact. But impact that lasts and sustains itself over time. Impact that changes people’s attitudes, and society’s structures.

I’ve spent the past 10 years exploring how other social movements achieve that kind of impact. I’ve travelled, met, read, studied, spoken, applied and stumbled along the way. I’m now ready to report in on what I’ve learned. My observations are contained in my new book, Impact – Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation.

One of my biggest ah ha’s was realizing just how ingenious, creative and innovative people with disabilities, their families, friends and supporters really are. In fact I would conclude that innovation is the disability community’s core competency, skill and expertise. We are used to inventing our way out of adversity. And that is something the world is very much interested in.

So here’s an irony. Many of us would identify the disability community’s core competency as advocacy. There is no question we’ve had to develop our advocacy muscle. However I’ve concluded our defining characteristic is our innovation not our advocacy. We became advocates because our innovations weren’t being recognized and implemented. Before advocacy came innovation. Before advocacy comes innovation.

In conjunction with Impact’s publication I have begun a blog series focused on the disability world’s ability to achieve impact. I invite you to send me your writing or posts on this topic. I’d be delighted to share them.

Together let’s shine a light on the remarkable innovative talent in our community.

Ah – Ha’s

“You don’t have to be disabled to be innovative, but it sure helps.” – Norman Kunc

Learn more:

Impact-Ability Webinar Series
We have an upcoming webinar series hosted by Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack, based on his best selling book Impact: Six Patterns to Spread your Social Innovation. It will focus on the ingenuity and creativity of people with disabilities and their families as a force that continues to change the world: Click here to register