How We Can Help
Steven Ripplinger (1984-2016) planted the seed for REALM so that many other people could benefit from Support Networks and his life.
Steven lived his life to the fullest. Initially with the support of his parents and immediate family and later with the additional support of his network. Both Steven and his network blossomed.
A personal support network is a small group of volunteers who come together to support a person with high physical disability.
We call that person a Centre.
A Centre can be individual but may also include parents, siblings, spouse or a whole family.
"I wish I had been given this REALM support sooner in my journey. Their process, knowledge and resources have made a real difference for me.”
Each network has a paid Facilitator.
This is a person who helps coordinate the network and supports the Centre to self-direct the network.
A Facilitator typically works about 4 hours each month.
“There are opportunities for people with disabilities but REALM and my network help identify them and figure out what’s needed to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Most importantly, a Facilitator is a connector; connecting people to the network and connecting people on and off the network to the steps and tasks needed to help a Centre achieve priorities and goals.
- One activity at a time
- One goal at a time
- One dream at a time
Who will be on my support network?
Networks might include parents, siblings, extended family, friends or acquaintances from school, work, church, social activities, clubs, sports, your neighbourhood….
….it is different for everyone.
Don’t worry; your facilitator will help you figure this out.
“My son’s network has given him the confidence to become an independent young man who lives the way he wants to live. This is power for him. One of the things I’m most proud of is that he recognizes his own intelligence and has become an independent thinker. The gift of a network has given me more time for my family and for me. Best of all, I can just be mom!”
REALM will guide and support you through the steps to develop your support network with:
- How Roles Contribute to Your Success
- Finding your Facilitator
- Adding Network Members
- Communication – the Foundations for Everything
- Network Organization and Tools