This review is a part of the Spring 2021 Disability Concerns Canada Newsletter. In this newsletter, every edition will focus on a different Canadian classis and introduce you to its regional advocate.
If you have ever wanted information on how to relate to people with developmental disabilities, this is the book you should read! Cara was an “accidental” student within the Community Rehabilitation Degree program while in university, and it was here that she acquired her lifelong interest and passion for improving the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. Throughout the book Cara addresses families, staff and support teams on how to support people with disabilities to build purpose and connection. Relationships enable us to get to know the person rather than focus on their disabilities. This is where the title of the book comes from; when we develop a connection with others, and are a part of the community, we are noticed, known and missed! The information in this book is valuable for everyone when establishing relationships with anyone, not just those with disabilities.
Many persons with developmental disabilities require encouragement and assistance to relate to persons not known to them. She stresses several important features regarding communication with a person with a disability: it must be person-centred rather than disability-centred, it must be authentic, and it must enable the person to identify his/her role within the community. Her writing is punctuated with numerous stories to illustrate what she is talking about. Chapter 5 is a treasure chest of strategies that anyone can use to ensure that connections are real, genuine, and lasting.
This is an easy read (I did it in one afternoon), and you will be blessed with a wealth of valuable information on how to relate, support and encourage a person with disabilities to have the best quality of life possible. In fact, it can help all of us to establish meaningful relationships with the strangers we meet.
Pick up your copy of Noticed, Known, Missed from Cara's website.