Kim Davis Interview
“The day for the kids was pretty packed.” Kim Davis recalls the 1970s, when school aged children with challenging behaviors stayed at the Developmental Training Center (Now the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community) in Bloomington during the week. Their day often consisted of speech therapy, small group activities, adaptive physical education. After school, they might have a recreation activity, go out into the community, or help fix dinner. The goal was to develop a home program with the school system and parents so each student could return to their home school.
Kim says, “I think that the Institute over time has really become a place where families could come and get information and I think that's a huge thing.” She describes how Institute staff help families and school systems connect. She states, “I was being a cheerleader for the teachers who just needed to know you're doing the right thing. Or here's a little tweak that you can do.”
Kim shares her thoughts on the controversial facilitated communication movement. The book “Movement Difference and Diversity” had an impact on how she provided support to individuals. Kim says, “I think sometimes we forget about the impact that disability has on the human being and we want them to respond in the way we want them to respond. But we forget they have a disability and it impacts them in many different ways and it's up to us, the people without the disability to figure that out and provide that support. “
Kim Davis talks about the importance of recognizing behaviors as communication. It requires people learn to listen differently. She also discusses her work with circles of support with students. Kim shares many personal stories throughout her 2013 interview. She retired from her position as research associate at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community in 2012.
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