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New Edition of Everyday Lives: Values in Action

The cover of the Everyday Lives:Values in Action document with that text in cursive script against a light blue sky background with colorful houses below.ODP is excited to present the latest edition of the Everyday Lives: Values in Action booklet! The Everyday Lives booklet is published every five years with updated information to guide individuals, families, and providers through support systems, individual well-being, and establishing an everyday life.

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Everyday Lives Recommendations. Everyday Lives: Values in action is a living document that continues to answer the shifting needs of individuals and families. The document is compiled based on the feedback of the Information Sharing and Advisory Committee (ISAC) that consists of stakeholders from all walks of life across the services system. 

This year, ISAC members moved to add a fourteenth recommendation to the document: Promote Racial Equity:

Communities are richer, more just, and stronger when we honor and respect the whole of racial diversity. Access to a quality, person-centered, culturally competent system of supports and funding must be equally available regardless of race. Services must include planning over a lifespan and address racial disparities, including outcomes. The duty to ensure that racial diversity is promoted and supported, at all levels within the services system, must be embraced.

While the Everyday Lives document is constantly being evaluated and amended to keep up with the needs of individuals and families, the two core values of the recommendations have stayed true since 1991:

1. We value what is important to people with disabilities and their families, who are striving for an everyday life. An everyday life is about opportunities, relationships, rights, and responsibilities. It is about being a member of the community, having a valued role, making a contribution to society, and having one’s rights as a citizen fully respected. It is a vision that we should all be working toward together.

2. People with disabilities have a right to an everyday life; a life that is no different than that of all other citizens. This continues to be the truest statement on which we can build our work. Everyday Lives will be a guide to ODP as it develops policy and designs programs. Providers of services will use the recommendations of Everyday Lives to support individuals and their families to achieve an everyday life. Everyday Lives will guide everyone toward the possibility of an everyday life.

Deputy Secretary Kristin Ahrens highlights ODP's commitment to ensuring all Pennsylvanians with a disability are supported in building their own everyday life in the publication's new foreword:

"As we near the 30th anniversary of the adoption of Everyday Lives, the words of John McKnight included in the first Everyday Lives publication hold true: “Our goal should be clear. We are seeking nothing less than a life surrounded by the richness and diversity of community. A collective life. A common life. An everyday life. A powerful life that gains its joy from the creativity and connectedness that comes when we join in association as citizens to create an inclusive world.” Everyday Lives guides us in our commitment to help create a world that embraces and celebrates human differences, a world in which everyone can experience belonging."

You can read the new Everyday Lives publication at the following link: