Magazine article Herizons

New Dawn for Women with Disabilities [DAWNing: How to Start & Maintain a Group]

Magazine article Herizons

New Dawn for Women with Disabilities [DAWNing: How to Start & Maintain a Group]

Article excerpt

DAWNing arose from the precious and practical learnings of DAWN Canada's often thriving and sometimes wobbly 14-year existence.

The new book published by the DisAbled Women's Network (DAWN) is a self-help manual for women interested in forming a DAWN group for support, companionship, or especially to bring about broader social change. Full of encouragement, practical advice, and humour, DAWNing will be useful not only for women who want to start a group, but for any woman with a disability who has felt alone and powerless. And who of us hasn't--that's why I first connected with DAWN, the Dis-Abled Women's Network, after my stroke.

Editors Joan Meister and Shirley Masuda invited contributions from well known and lesser-known women who live and work with people with disabilities.

"It was an honour to be at the receiving end of so much knowledge and generosity," Joan Meister says. "I was amazed at how it all fit together so well."

The contributors don't hesitate to share their fears and mistakes as well as their successes. They also discuss their own limitations, the difficulties of learning to work with diversity and the challenges of operating with little or no funds.

Basic Guidelines offers a primer with sections on diversity, cross-disability, self-identification, access, confidentiality, and research guidelines. Learn about the nitty-gritty of constitutions and by-laws (with good examples of each to modify and use), running meetings (for example how to chair a bi-lingual meeting involving a hearing disability), group processes, mentoring, research, networking, electronic communications, conflict resolution, coalition building, advocacy, lobbying, corporate partnerships, and last but certainly not least, funding. …

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