whitehorse daily star screen capture Improvisation as a strengths-based approach

Strengths of people with disabilities emphasized

“Things like taking risks, having a capacity for imagination, living in the moment, impulses, these are all thought of as deficits in FASD but that’s actually what you need to be a good improviser.” – Dr. Rebecca Caines

The Community Improv workshop series held last week at the Whitehorse Public Library, using community improvisation as a strengths-based approach to disabilities and social isolation, conducted by IICSI Researchers, Dr. Rebecca Caines and Dr. Michelle Stewart, was featured in the Whitehorse Daily Star.

Further Background to the Project:

Researchers Dr. Rebecca Caines and Dr. Michelle Stewart are from the University of Regina. Their community-based research project starts with the premise that people living with FASD are the experts on FASD, and hold artistic and imaginative potential to harness unique improvisation skills such as impulse, imaginative narrative, and spontaneity. Those living with FASD have considerable expertise and wisdom that draws on their lived experience navigating social worlds and systems where FASD is stigmatized, racialized and misunderstood. This socially-engaged project blends art-based research methods with social sciences to explore new ways of understanding FASD, exposing the difficulties and opportunities inherent in this complex disability, whilst creating music, theatre, storytelling and other improvisatory forms. By creating a collaborative space for improvised creativity with individuals living with FASD, this project will explore new ways of understanding FASD while being attentive to the difficulties and potentials inherent in this complex disability.

The project launched in 2016 with consultation followed by pilots in two communities. Following the success of the pilots, there was a feasibility stage in which the project ran semi-independently in Spring 2017. Given the success and interest in the project we are now in the process of final consultations with individuals, families and support workers prior to releasing a cluster of free resources in time for September 9, 2017 – International FASD Awareness Day. Free resources will include: 1) Creative Guide to Sleep & Relaxation Tool; (2) Community Improv & FASD toolkit for agencies and (3) Community Improv & FASD for families and individuals.

These tools and resources are grounded in current research, are evidence based and community-driven. We encourage you to get in contact with us to find out more (visit fasdresearchproject.com or email: [email protected]).