“We, the ones who are challenged, need to be heard. To be seen not as a disability, but as a person who has and will continue to bloom. To be seen not only as a handicap, but as a well intact human being.” — Robert Michael Hensel
At ReFocus, we believe that adults with differing abilities have a natural right to participate fully in mainstream society.
We believe there are five essential requirements to “normalize” the participation of adults with differing abilities in their communities:
1. Create conditions that provide as many opportunities as possible in a wide range of community settings, including neighborhoods, schools, work places, stores, recreation sites and churches.
2. Encourage self-determination so that clients understand their situations, the options they face and how to act in their own best interest.
3. Develop functional, meaningful skills and strengths, according to each person’s ability, that are valued in society and that decrease dependency on others.
4. Support relationships with families, neighbors and coworkers and, when necessary, widen each person’s network of personal relationships to include increasing numbers of people who do not have developmental disabilities.
5. Teach society to “re-focus,” to see abilities instead of disabilities, and to recognize adults with developmental disabilities as fully human, developing citizens who are entitled to the respect, rights and privileges as every other citizen.
Simply, anything that people in mainstream society would not accept, we would reject at the outset for people with differing abilities.
How we put our philosophy into practice every day
We strive to provide undivided attention and focus on the needs and feelings of our clients. At ReFocus, being there is the first rule of support.
Incorporating play into our work allows us to be more creative, relaxed and enthusiastic about the tasks we do on a daily basis. We strive to bring some fun and lightness to our work day and into the lives of those we serve.
From simple things like opening a door, saying "thank you" or telling someone how well they've done, we try our best to brighten the day of those around us and, in turn, create an enjoyable place to work and grow.
It isn’t easy to be happy all of the time but at ReFocus the last rule of our philosophy is simple. If your attitude isn’t helping those around you, change it. It’s in your power; it’s your job.