radio interview ‘Exploring the shadow world of ICE prisons’

This radio interview contains much material that is instructive in terms of societal devaluation. One claim made in the interview is that these prisons, many of them for-profit, exploit the labor of the prisoners. If accurate, this may remind us of similar exploitative practices which were common at many institutions. See for example these reports:


Posted on March 13, 2017 at 5:49 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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How to Function Morally, Coherently & Adaptively In a World that is Disfunctional, Including its Human Services

The Implementation Project

The Syracuse University Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry

The Moral Coherency Study Group

are pleased to announce a 7 day workshop:

“How to Function Morally, Coherently & Adaptively In a World that is Disfunctional, Including its Human Services”


DATE- Monday the 3rd through to Sunday the 9th of July, 2017
Each day begins promptly at 8:00am; the first 6 days include evening sessions. The workshop ends at 4.30pm on the seventh day.

VENUE- Macquarie University, Herring Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113, Australia


The Training Institute developed this workshop to equip people with a special combination of worldviews, preparation, support considerations & strategies needed to function with high moral ideals, with integrity intact, & even with effectiveness in the world generally & in human services that are full of imperfections & never-ending problems.

Some assumptions underlying the content of the workshop include:

  • there are powerful dynamics of disfunctionality in the world
  • these dynamics endlessly express themselves in derivative disfunctionalities in society, as well as inhuman service approaches, systems & structures
  • it is imperative that people who want to function with greater moral coherency become aware of these dynamics
  • once one is aware of these dynamics, one is in a position to respond & act much more adaptively in the world
  • there exists an array of adaptive strategies for living with these realitiesThe workshop explains the great depth and universality of problems in the world, in society, & in human services. Many of these problems are intractable, & therefore need to be confronted in order to cope with them. The workshop orients participants to craft their moral identity, & offers strategies & encouragement to live adaptively & with coherency amidst the disfunctionality.

This workshop is not intended to provide participants with specific solutions to specific problems. Instead, participants will learn an array of universally applicable strategies that can be applied to whatever situations confront them & participants will be pointed toward further study & progress in these various strategies. Many resources will be distributed.


The format of the workshop is physically & intellectually demanding. It is conducted in lecture-style, with a series of presentations given in a logical sequence of topics. Following each presentation there is opportunity for participant comment & general discussion. Some opportunities for private reflection on the material & for informal discussion are provided at the end of each of the first six days to assist participants to deal with the challenging nature of much of the material. Further information on the workshop format will be sent prior to the workshop.

What past workshop participants say

“This is a brilliant workshop: suffused with deep insight and incisive analysis. It addresses many issues that confront us, in our professional as well as personal lives”

“Without a doubt the most thought provoking workshop I have attended”

“A journey of self discovery that challenged the way I see the world. This workshop

raised my consciousness to the underlying ideas that cause dysfunction in human

services and how I can redirect my own interactions to forge a positive way forward”

COST: Options (All prices are Inclusive of GST and in Australian dollars)

$1595-Accommodation for seven nights for single room with ensuite, all meals, workshop tuition and

workshop material.

$1155-Workshop tuition, workshop material and all meals (participants are expected to be onsite and

ready for workshop by 7.45am each morning, & evenings sessions are also a part of this



Register at

To register go to the link Moral Coherency Workshop 2017 OR

visit website:


Refund and Cancellation Policy

Due to the nature of this international event we have had to develop a strict cancellation policy:

– Cancellation on or before 5 May 2017 – 100% refund

– Cancellation between 6 May 2017 and 19 May 2017 – 50% refund

– Cancellation from 20 May 2017 – No refund (substitute participants can attend)

Posted on February 10, 2017 at 11:03 am by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Valuing Lives: Wolf Wolfensberger and the Principle of Normalization

This article in the Winter 2017 issue of Making a Difference (published by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities) includes an article by Dr. Pat Nobbie entitled ‘The rhythms and patterns of life.’ The article begins on page 27. Dr. Nobbie poses the question “What makes a good portrayal of people with disabilities in the media, or a good portrayal of people of any diverse characteristics for that matter?” In examining this question, the author references the video Valuing Lives: Wolf Wolfensberger and the Principle of Normalization.

Note: on 23 February 2017, from 5 to 7 pm, the McGoogan Library of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (US) will host a viewing of the documentary, followed by a panel discussion. For those in the area, I highly recommend it.

Posted on February 6, 2017 at 11:57 am by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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January 2017 issue of The SRV Journal is at the printers

The January 2017 issue of The SRV Journal is currently at the printers and will be mailed/emailed when completed. In the meantime, this is a list of the articles, reviews and columns:

The Importance of the Citizen Advocacy Scheme in Facilitating Valued Roles for, & the Valuation of, Vulnerable People by Mitchel Peters

A Testament to Courage & Resilience by Deb Espiner & Fran Hartnett

The Importance (& the Benefits) of Being Personally Connected & Engaged with Devalued People, & Its Relevance to Social Role Valorization by Susan Thomas

Learning, Applying & Disseminating Social Role Valorization (SRV): What Family Members & Human Service Workers Have to Say by Judith Sandys & Peg Jenner

SRVx10 Study Groups: Their Development & Results–So Far by John Armstrong

Reviews by Joel Boyce & Christie Mallon

Column by Joe Osburn

Posted on February 6, 2017 at 11:50 am by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Jesuit Worldwide Learning: Education at the Margins

The mission of Jesuit Worldwide Learning is to “provides tertiary learning to people and communities at the very edges of our societies – be it through poverty, location, lack of opportunity, conflict or forced displacement – so that they can contribute their knowledge and voices to the global community of learners and together we will foster hope to create a more peaceful and humane world.”

This is an interesting project to consider from a Social Role Valorization and PASSING perspective. Who (factually and existentially) are the groups of vulnerable people that this project is focused upon? What are the processes of social devaluation and wounding described in the TEx Talk video? What needs are identified and discussed?

Analyze the project mission and goals in terms of:

• access to the ‘good things of life‘ (including ‘opportunities and expectancies that enable one to discover and develop one’s abilities, skills, gifts and talents’)

• the developmental model

• the role of student

• the culturally valued analogue (of higher education)

• interpersonal identification


Posted on February 5, 2017 at 11:47 am by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Washington Post article: He was homeless when they took him in.

An interesting Washington Post article (3 February 2017) to read and analyze from an Social Role Valorization perspective, including for points of heightened vulnerability, the process of social devaluation, interpersonal identification, etc.

‘My guardian angel’: He was homeless when they took him in. He became like family to them.

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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WSJ article ‘Babies Show a Clear Bias—To Learn New Things’

The 26 October 2016 Wall Street Journal article ‘Babies show a clear bias–to learn new things’ describes contemporary research that reinforces the emphasis in Social Role Valorization (SRV) on imitation, role modeling, competency enhancement and the developmental model. “Babies leap at the chance to learn something new.” This echoes the opening line of Aristotle’s Metaphysics: “all human beings by nature desire to know.” If we want people–no matter how impaired or societally devalued–to learn and become more competent, then it is important to believe that they can learn and hold high expectations for their ability to learn, among other things.

Another point from the article relevant to SRV has to do with interpersonal identification and imitation. The author notes that babies “can figure out who is likely to teach them.” Babies are already figuring out their environment enough to know who they can learn from, and accordingly pay greater attention to those people. This ability does not stop with babies of course. SRV proposes that we can facilitate interpersonal identification with the goal of fostering imitation, competency enhancement and learning (Wolfensberger, SRV monograph, 3rd rev. ed., pp. 118-121).

WSJ article: ‘A small fix in mind-set to keep students in school’

The 18-19 June 2016 Wall Street Journal article ‘A small fix in mind-set to keep students in school’ is relevant to the Social Role Valorization theme of mind-sets and expectancies. It describes two different studies on the power of mind-sets in schools.

From the article:

“The psychologist Carol Dweck at Stanford has argued that both teachers and students have largely unconscious ‘mind-sets’–beliefs and expectations–about themselves and others and that these can lead to a cascade of self-fulfilling prophecies.”

“Changing mind-sets is hard: simply telling people that they should think differently often backfires. The two new studies used clever techniques to get them to take on different mind-sets more indirectly.”

“In the first study … the most important part was a section that asked the teachers to provide examples of how they themselves used discipline respectfully. The researches told the participants that those examples could be used to train others–treating the teachers as experts with something to contribute … The researchers didn’t tell people to have a better attitude. They just encouraged students and teachers to articulate their own best impulses. That changed mind-sets–and changed lives.”

Note the connection made between changing mind-sets and changing lives, or in SRV language, how can changing mind-sets create greater access to the ‘good things of life’ for societally devalued people?

How might these studies be relevant in other human service fields? Could such studies be replicated with human service workers?

Posted on June 18, 2016 at 11:36 am by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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7th International SRV Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

I am happy to share the following announcement from Zana Lutfiyya:

“I am pleased to announce that we have confirmed a location for the 7th International SRV Conference, to be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from June 4-8, 2018 at the Fairmont Hotel. Monday June 4 and Tuesday June 5 will be pre-conference days and the conference itself will take place Wednesday June 6 – Friday June 8.

A program committee is being formed and we will take the opportunity to consult widely at certain points in the process. I hope to be able to announce the theme of the conference, as well as dates for paper and presentation proposal submissions and registration in August 2016.

The Fairmont Hotel is located at the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown in the Exchange District, steps away from the intersection of Portage and Main. Conference attendees staying at the Fairmont will be within walking distance of the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, popularly known as the Forks. The Forks is a National Historic Site, and the location for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People, the Children’s Museum, the Winnipeg Railway Museum and a farmer’s market in the summer, along with restaurants and cafes. It is the hub for several walking and bicycle trails that extend west along the Assiniboine River to the Manitoba legislature, across the river into Old St. Boniface, the French quarter of the city, and north along the Red River through the Exchange District. Visitors will be within a 10 minute cab ride to Osborne Village or Corydon, areas known for their restaurants and shops.

Coming to Winnipeg, visitors will also have the chance to visit the largest collection of contemporary Inuit sculpture and art in the world at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada’s oldest civic art gallery, or spend time at the Journey to Churchill, located at the Winnipeg Zoo in Assiniboine Park. The Journey to Churchill includes exhibits on northern Manitoba and the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservancy Centre (where several bears live!). For people willing to travel about 30 minutes to the south west edge of the city, they can visit Fort Whyte, another conservancy area with walking trails, an interpretive centre and a herd of 30 bison. Of course, people are welcome to come and simply take part in the conference as well!

So please hold the date and plan on attending the 7th International SRV Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.”

Posted on May 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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podcast ‘A heart outrun’

This podcast would make for an interesting exercise for a classroom, SRV study group or workshop. It is from a regular podcast series entitled ‘Modern Love’ sponsored by the NY Times and a Boston public radio station. The podcast is # 18, ‘ A Heart Outrun.’

This podcast includes the recitation of a written essay followed by several interviews. I recommend listening to the essay written by Gary Presley, read by a professional actor (that in itself is something to consider from an SRV perspective), but also to the interviews with Gary and his wife Belinda.

As an SRV exercise, I think that this would require thinking about the essay and interviews from the perspective of various SRV concepts and themes. In light of the complexity of human relationship, and the empirical nature of SRV, any analysis would also raise issues outside of SRV.

Podcast link:


The essay:


A related website:


Some SRV issues to consider include:

• relationship domain (Wolfensberger, A brief introduction to SRV, 3rd revised edition, p. 30)

• mindsets and expectancies

• language and titles used to refer to the couple

• heightened vulnerability

Posted on May 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm by MTumeinski · Permalink · Leave a comment
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