top of page

Articles & Documents

We hope you find the following collection of articles and documents of assistance. You can read them on line or download by clicking on the green buttons. For further information or queries please contact Belonging Matters on Phone/Fax +61 03 9739 8333 or Email

Image of - coffee, magazine and spectacles

Social Role Valorisation

Social Role Valorisation

Roles Based Planning: A Thoughtful Approach to Social Inclusion and Empowerment

Scott Ramsey 

ROLES BASED PLANNING is a new, innovative approach to planning that marries the most beneficial components of person-centered planning to the critical thought base associated with Social Role Valorization (Wolfensberger, 1998) and to field best practices for improving social status, social inclusion and employment outcomes for marginalized populations. Since its inception in 2002, Roles Based Planning has led to some of the best employment and social inclusion outcomes for adults with develop- mental disabilities in North America.

What Does Social Role Valorization Have to Teach Us About How Best to Support People with Disability?

John Armstrong

Sometimes the focus upon people’s physical and intellectual impairments obscures the realisation that people are also very devalued by their society and community, and often even by human service agencies themselves. Devaluation brings social repercussions to people’s situations that can be more impactful and pervasive than the intrinsic impairments that occupy much of our attention.

This article introduces the reader to the major implications of social devaluation and proposes a set of strategic responses utilising substantial empirical evidence taken from the fields of education, psychology and social science especially role theory.

Membership of The International Social Role Valorization Association 

Our international organisation, comprised of individual and organizational members from across the globe, provides a network of support and alliance with others working to understand and use SRV. ISRVA maintains and updates the major SRV website, available in both English and French, keeps us all connected through social media, and provides opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue, training, and study for members. In addition, we support periodic International SRV Conferences, and offer small grants for SRV study and scholarship.

The International Social Role Valorization Association

Circles of Support

Circles of Support

Belonging Matters Guide to Circles of Support

Belonging Matters: Deb Rouget and Teresa Micallef

Belonging Matters Circles of Support Workbook

Belonging Matters: Deb Rouget and Teresa Micallef

A Guide to Circles of Support

Many people with a disability, with the support of their families have taken great strides to improve social inclusion and access to their community but often this task depends on one or two key family members. This creates a significant concern about what will happen when these family members are no longer able to provide support in the future. Circles of Support are one of the ways people with disability can safeguard their vision and support in the future.

Voice - The Journal of Down Syndrome Australia: Deb Rouget and Teresa Micallef

Home Share

Are you living with a disability and looking for an opportunity to live independently? Maybe you’re looking for a housemate, but worried about finding the right person? We’re here to help... Home Share Melbourne provides a range of services that make it easier for you to make a great choice about where you live, how you live and who you live with.

Home Share Melbourne

Home and Accommodation

Home and Accommodation

Belonging Matters’ Submission to the NDIA Home and Living consultation: An ordinary Life at Home.  September 2021

"In this submission, we have provided a brief overview of Belonging Matters, our work, some of the barriers people with a disability face in regard to securing an ordinary home life (gained from nearly 20 years of supporting people with intellectual disability and Autism), some reflections from a recent consultation with people with intellectual disability and family members, as well as some recommendations about what needs to change to enable more people with a disability to achieve an ordinary home, and life at home in which they can enjoy and thrive."

Belonging Matters

You Can’t Solve Homelessness Through Housing Alone

"The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is not responsible for providing accommodation for people in need of housing assistance. What the NDIS is responsible for are the supports to ‘assist a person with disability to live in the community, including building their capacity to maintain a tenancy’. This policy imperative is consistent with Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  which includes the obligation to support people to achieve their rights to live in and be included in the community.
In the context of an NDIS funding environment, questions therefore arise as to what constitutes quality (and indeed value for money)
in individualised community living; and how might people and their families plan for and demonstrate quality outcomes that are sustainable over time? The Individual Supported Living (ISL) framework provides a research backed approach with practical guidance to address these questions."

Keith McVilly, University of Melbourne, Gemma Dodevska, University of Melbourne,
Jenny Crosbie, University of Melbourne, Errol Cocks, Curtin University, Stian Thoresen, Curtin University, Allyson Thomson, Curtin University, Patricia O’Brien, University of Sydney

Creating Home - Establishing the Features that Turn a Dwelling into a Home

(Extract) Home constitutes the most important domain in our lives. This is not to say that other domains lack importance; our work- life, community connections, education or spiritual pursuits enrich us greatly and are greatly needed, yet all of these pursuits can still not flourish without the essential and secure foundation of a home. Refugees have shelter, but cannot flourish until they have home. People in group homes, nursing homes and shelters for the poor, have shelter, but do not have home. They can be said to be homeless; not shelter-less, but homeless. And they do not and cannot flourish.

By John Armstrong

Crucial Times - CRU Newsletter

This edition of CRUcial Times is an exploration of what it means to create a home. We want to explore how we can assist people with disability to have more than just a bed, a room in someone else’s home or basic shelter but a home that others would clearly recognise and maybe even envy. Having a stable home can open doors to community, growth and connection.

Community Resource Unit

Why Group Homes Are No Longer Optimal: A Commentary 

Though the group home was at one time the leading edge option for improving the lives of people with disabilities, it is now no longer considered the best option by leaders in the field

By Michael Kendrick

Who is Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) For?

No matter who is deemed eligible for Specialist Disability Accommodation, we must uphold the sanctity of home - what it means to have a real “home”.

By Deb Rouget


The aim of the project was to learn more about the characteristics of Individual Supported Living (ISL) in order to inform, educate, and influence greater “take-up” of these options by families and support services to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

By Professor Errol Cocks, Professor Patricia O’Brien, Dr Stian H Thoresen, Professor Keith McVilly

Individual Supported Living (Edition 2):


By Professor Errol Cocks, Monique Williamson, & Dr Stian H Thoresen

A Home of My Own

Cameron Skinner lives in Warrigal, Victoria. He is a receptionist for the Jeremiah Business Group, lives in his own home and believes in the importance of giving back to community through volunteering and sharing his story at workshops and conferences. He is also an avid Collingwood Football Club supporter. Deb Rouget has been involved in the lives of people with a disability and families for nearly 30 years. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of Belonging Matters since its inception in 20

By Cameron Skinner & Deb Rouget (First published in Monash University's jounral, 'Parity' 2018)

Enabling Home:

How Genuinely Supportive Persons, Agencies And Systems Can Enable People To Have Real Homes Of Their Own​ 

By Michael J. Kendrick PhD

Building Something From Nothing:

One family's experience with supportive housemates

By Libby Ellis

A Home Thats Right For Me! Ontario Report:

Valuing Choice, Evolving Individualized Residential Options

By Jenny Carver & Associates

Personalised Residential Support:

PRS Report

By Professor Errol Cocks and Ross Boaden

Personalised Residenial Supports:

Guide To Decision Making

By Professor Errol Cocks and Ross Boaden



What Helps You Feel Included Guide:

A study with people with intellectual disability talking about loneliness and feeling included.

Click Here for the 'Easy Read' version.

By Sally Robinson, Jan Idles, and Tim Cahalan

Loneliness and how to counter it: People with intellectual disability share their experiences and ideas - A study by Flinders University

A study with people with intellectual disability talking about loneliness and feeling included. In this inclusive research study, 17 people with intellectual disability participated in focus groups or individual interviews and talked about what makes them feel lonely and what helps them to feel included.

By Sally Robinson, Jan Idles, and Tim Cahalan

Neighbourhood Circles Project Part One

The Neighbourhood Circles project is being delivered as part of the Inclusive Neighbourhoods Initiative and aims to strengthen
the models for neighbourhoods where everyone has a role to play; where everyone is recognised, respected and included. This project is about exploring, strengthening, amplifying and advocating for current and future neighbourhood initiatives that work to include and look out for all members of its community. Neighbourhoods where all individuals, regardless of circumstance, can experience inclusion and belonging. The following document highlights the variety of ways that different neighbourhood circles can form and take shape in the greater Adelaide region and provides some background to different concepts that can help to support their amplification, inclusivity and sustainability into the future..

Community Living Project

Neighbourhood Circles Project Part Two

The first Neighbourhood Mapping document focused on exploring and enhancing our understanding of the different types of neighbourhood circles that exist across the greater Adelaide region, as well as some of their potential barriers to inclusion, accessibility and sustainability. We believe it is important to highlight some of the next steps for neighbourhood circles and initiatives to address some of the potential barriers, which may help us to think about what it might take to support more vulnerable people to be included in

the future. While this document does not attempt to provide all the answers to many of the questions that arose throughout the course of this project, it hopes to instil further confidence and inspiration
in our neighbourhoods as stronger places of safeguarding and belonging. The strength in our neighbourhoods resides in the stories that they tell. Sharing stories from our neighbourhoods becomes the guiding force behind this document, in which their significance as sources of belonging are addressed.

Community Living Project

The purpose of life is a life with purpose: creating meaningful futures through valued roles.

Conference paper from the 'The Odyssey: celebrating achievements, progress and change', Family Advocacy, Sydney 2012.

By Jane Sherwin and Meg Sweeney

Ways to build and join Community

Suggestions on how to foster community and develop roles within it.

Belonging Matters

How to live, not just survive, with an intellectual disability:

Community Living Ontario Canada

By Daniel Share-Storm

Good Lives:

Research on Self-Directed Lives: Perspectives of People with Disabilities and Families

By the Research Group on Self-Directed Living - Princiapl Authors Dr Eilionoir Flynn, Jonathan Angus and Rachel Cassen


Belonging Matters' Submission to the Inquiry into the Social Inclusion of Victorians with a Disability, Parliament of Victoria, September 2014

By Belonging Matters

Connecting People And Building Social Relationships:

Relationships and friendships arise from sharing common interests and passions

By Deb Rouget

Leadership For Social Inclusion In The Lives Of People With Disabilities: 

Five challenges for those in leadership roles

By Jane Sherwin

Some Reflections Of What Might Be Needed To Assist People With Disabilities To Become Included In Community:

Our reflections stem from the individuals and families we have assisted over many years who have struggled to live a "typical" life in the community.

By Deb Rouget



Belonging Matters’ Submission to the NDIA Support for Decision Making Consultation, September, 2021

In this submission, we have provided a brief overview of Belonging Matters, our work, insight into some of the barriers to decision making (gained from nearly 20 years of supporting people with intellectual disability and Autism), some reflections from a recent consultation with people with intellectual disability and family members as well as some recommendations for enabling more effective support for decision-making.

Belonging Matters

Seven Steps to Self Direction

Building right relationship between people with disability, their families, friends and support workers

Resourcing Inclusive Communities

Valued Lives Health Passport 

In light of the COVID-19 Virus The passport is a detailed document that can be used as communication tool to fill out with important information that is readily available to whoever supports/cares for you in a changing/emergency situation e.g. if visiting a doctor, having to go to hospital, having a new support worker care for you

Valued Lives

Social Role Valorisation In Action

An exciting array of practical articles and viewpoints based on Social Role Valorisation

By Values In Action Association

Good Lives:

Research on Self-Directed Lives: Perspectives of People with Disabilities and Families

By the Research Group on Self-Directed Living - Princiapl Authors Dr Eilionoir Flynn, Jonathan Angus and Rachel Cassen

Manawanui Media Release:

New research shows giving people control over their government funding is better for everyone.

By Julz Britnell

Who Cares?

The impact of ideology, regulation and marketing on the quality of life of people with an intellectual disability.

By Robin Jackson

Beyond "Choice and Control": 

Helpful Supports for Strengthening Personal and Situational Capacities

By Michael Kendrick PhD

Greame Innes gave his final speech as the Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the National Press Club of Australia on July 2.

By Greame Innes

Discerning Actual Levels of Substantive Empowerment:

By Michael J. Kendrick PhD

The Natural Authority of Families:

By Michael J. Kendrick PhD

Empowerment and Self Direction Relative To The Design And Governance of Personalised Service Arrangements:

By Michael I. Kendrick PhD

Ability Technology

Providing home control solutions and assistive technolohy services for people with a disability.

Transforming Agencies

OCL - Transforming the way services are delivered to people with a disability.

By OCL Board of Directors

Some Lessons Concerning Agency Transformations Towards Personalised Services.

By Michael J Kendrick PhD

An Organisational Study Of OCL's Pursuit For Improved Lives:

By Patricia Fratangelo

Listening Differently:

A normal life, along with the attributes that each person brings, should be paramount in all decisions that are made.

By Patricia Fratangleo

Personcentred Approaches:

Genuine personcentredness means treating people as unique human beings with distinctive and/or even idiosyncratic longings, aspirations, visions, and needs.

By Deb Rouget

Challenging The Myth that One Size Fits All:

The problem with relying on a myth is that it may lead one to believe that it is the actual truth.

By Maureen McLiesh, Anita O'Brien. and Deb Rouget

Challenges Of Organisational Change And Authentic Choice:

Choice has been used historically as a reason for segregated and congregated programs.

By Jeffrey L. Strully

Transforming Agencies to Personalised Supports



Small Business Enterprise Models of Employment

For persons with intellectual disabilities and high support needs

By rrol Cocks, Stian Thoresen, Robert Jackson and Allyson Thomson

Discovery is...:

Who is the person?

By Marc Gold & Associates

Customised Employment:

Individualising the employment relationship between employees and employers in ways that meet the needs of both.

By Marc Gold & Associates

Business Benefits Of employing People With Disability

A Fact Sheet

By Australia Network on Disability

School Inclusion

Rock Solid

Rock Solid is for Aboriginal families with school-aged or younger children with special needs in Victoria. Here, we use the term ‘Aboriginal families’ to include all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

Rock Solid covers some common themes that people in community have told us about. This information is for everyone – for Elders, for parents and carers, for young people themselves, and for everyone involved in caring for Aboriginal children.

Association for Children With a Disability

Vision for an Inclusive Education

A ‘vision’ can help people with disability and their families get what others often take for granted: a good life. A vision document capturing long-term hopes and dreams can be a powerful tool for sharing long-term goals and clarifying the place school can play in achieving that vision. A vision of an inclusive life is essential if a family wants a child with a disability to live a life embedded within, and contributing to their community, rather than being a ‘visitor’ on the outskirts. An in

Community Resource Unit Queensland

Learning From Home during COVID-19

The site provides general advice to parents in the current situation and useful websites to support student’s wellbeing.There are links to information on disability specific areas and Assistive Technology in the Inclusion tab and additional resources can be found in the Learning Resources tab

Deaprtment of Education Queensland

From Behaving to Belonging: The Inclusive Art of Supporting Students Who Challenge Us

About This Book: Challenging behavior is one of the most significant issues educators face. Though it may seem radical to use words like love, compassion, and heart when we talk about behavior and discipline, the compassionate and heartfelt words, actions, and strategies teachers employ in the classroom directly shape who students are—and who they will become. But how can teaching from the heart translate into effective supports and practices for students who exhibit challenging behavior?

Julie Causton & Kate MacLeod

Life Long Learners

Most people with disability have been tagged with a long list of deficits. Many of these are determined through an array of assessments that indicate what is wrong with them. What often follows is a whole series of interventions to try to ‘fix’ their problem. While some of these may be helpful and necessary, too often deficits are used to define the identity of the individual and what their life will be. This can have a negative impact on the experiences, opportunities and roles they are offered

Family Advocacy

A Summary of the Evidence on Inclusive Education

Across the globe, students with disabilities are increasingly educated alongside their nondisabled peers in a practice known as inclusion. Inclusion is prominently featured in a number of international declarations, national laws, and education policies. These policies, coupled with the efforts of advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, have led to a substantial increase in the number of students with disabilities who receive schooling alongside their non-disabled peers.

Dr. Thomas Hehir, Silvana and Christopher Pascucci Professor of Practice in Learning Differences at the Harvard Graduate School of Education IN PARTNERSHIP WITH: Abt Associates 55 Wheeler Street Cambridge, MA 0213

Wake Up World

Autistic boy with higher IQ than Einstein discovers his gift after removal from state-run therapy.

Access Symposium

Ensuring Authentic Inclusion For All Students

Australian Social Role Valorisation Association

SRV really expands my radar

The DDLS Advocate, October 2012:

Disability Discrimination in Schools

Lessons Learned From Our Journey Of School Inclusive Education

Inclusiv education is the best preparation for adult life.

By Martin and Darcy Elks

Why Should Schools Include Children With A Disability?

The first point to consider about inclusion is that it is fundamentally a moral issue.

Mixed Feelings:

A parental perspective on Early Intervention

By Lisa Bridle and Glenys Mann

School Inclusion
bottom of page