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The 10 Commandments

of Creating Community

(or How to Get Out of the System

and Into Your Community)

Revolutionary Common Sense by Kathie Snow

Click here to visit Katie Snow's website


1.   See yourself as—and become—a “regular” (not “special”) person or family.

2.   Expect inclusion. First and foremost, inclusion is a state of mind. See yourself or your family members as citizens of your community who belong!

3.  Develop and nurture relationships with people in natural environments and typical activities: community activities, church, school, leisure, etc.

4.  Use natural supports and generic services instead of services and programs from the system (like soccer, ballet, swimming, etc. in place of formal therapy). What would we do if there was no system? Would we really go without or would we find what we need in our communities?

5.  Ask for others’ help, and then give back to others—however you can—in return. Community is all about reciprocity!

6.  Be specific about what you want and need from the community, but also be flexible.

7.  Be patient with others and with yourself as we all try new ways of doing things. If your first effort fails, learn from the experience and try again.

8.   Experience the “dignity of risk.” Be willing to try things you’ve never done before!

9.  Be proactive, not reactive, when dealing with others. Think “win/win” not “win/lose.” Negotiate and compromise.

10.  Act as if—no matter what—you cannot fail! See yourself as successful. Attitude is everything!


©2001-06 Kathie Snow, Clip art from Adobe In-Design. Permission is granted for non-commercial use of this article: you may print this web page and photocopy it to share with others. Click here to download the PDF handout version of the article. As a courtesy, please tell me how/when you use it.  Click here to email Katie Snow

 Do not violate copyright laws: request permission before reprinting or republishing in newsletters, on websites, or in other media



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Last Update to this page was March 15, 2011

Copyright © 2006 Dennis C. McNulty