ABI Community is a collaboration of trainings, workshops, resources, and supports that has grown around the annual All Born (in) Cross-Disability Best-Practices Educational Inclusion Conference. The All Born (in) movement started in 2005 as a parent-driving initiative in pursuit of an inclusive, civil society, created by Northwest Down Syndrome Association in partnership with Portland State University, the Universal Design for Living and Learning Coalition, and many other innovative partners. ABI Community encompasses a network of parents, teachers, professionals, self-advocates, and allies that work together for inclusive schools and communities.
Our mission is in pursuit of an inclusive civil society. We empower and support families and individuals whose lives have been touched by developmental disability. We work to increase education, promote public understanding and acceptance, advocate for full inclusion, and defend the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. Our values are the core of our organization and the basis for how we make decisions to support our mission.
“Disability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to enjoy the opportunity to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, and experience full integration and inclusion in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society.” Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act
... disability is a natural part of the human experience.
... In the right of all people to contribute and participate as valued citizens, regardless of race, religion, disability, income, ethnicity, age, gender and/or sexual orientation.
... in the need to promote civil rights of people with disabilities.
... in the principles of self-determination and informed individual choice.
... families are an invaluable resource in crafting supports. Within that principle we believe in collaboration and partnership.
... decisions that affect families should be made by families, and that families have the right to all information and support necessary to become empowered to make good choices.
... family involvement must be respected throughout the life of the person with the disability.
... in individual choices that honor personal preferences and cultural beliefs.
... support systems must be designed to meet specific needs.
... flexibility is key and “one size fits all” services do not work.
... in encouraging and promoting full participation and leadership of self-advocates.
... in creating learning opportunities that follow best practices and empower families.
... in being a parent and self-advocate driven strength based organization. We rely on the support of professionals but empowered parents are the guiding force behind our organization.
... in an involved, inclusive community and in working with the community to increase capacity.
... risk-taking and “outside the box” thinking is inherent in growth, leadership and change.