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Surviving Cogworld

Author: John O'Brien

John O'Brien has watched and supported the development of some of the best and most inspiring support for people with intellectual disabilities in Wisconsin, over many years. Today those supports feel threatened as major organisational change is leading to the merging of systems for older people with systems for people with intellectual disabilities.

However this is not just a local issue. All over the world systems of care and support are becoming increasingly commodified, regulated and mechanised - they are becoming part of cogworld. 

This is despite the fact that common-sense and experience tell us that good support has nothing to do with these mechanical processes:

Good support is not an accident and it cannot be bought for money. Good support engages whole people in each other’s lives. It calls on the capacities of people’s hearts, their practical thinking and their capacities for action.

In this important paper John reflects on the nature of cogworld and what we can do to stop it from growing.


The publisher is Developmental Disabilities Network.

Surviving Cogworld © John O'Brien 2015.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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