The ideas of interdependence and social capital are spreading, thanks to the work of the Interdependent Network (IN).

“The IN is all about building social capital to make lives better,” says Patti Flaherty, President and COO of CONNECT, who attended the first IN symposium in Pittsburgh in October, 2013. “If we as the providers of services aren’t supporting that, then what difference are we making in the lives of people with brain injury and disability?”

The Pittsburgh symposium attracted approximately 70 health and rehab professionals and support workers to exchange ideas around interdependence and its integration into their respective fields.

Flaherty has been involved with the IN since its 2008 inception. The symposiums are based on the results of an international study conducted by the IN examining the community engagement of people with disabilities, which CONNECT participated in.

“Rehab is typically focused on a person’s independence, whereas social capital is all about interdependence,” she says. “So social capital is really about taking rehab to the next level.”

Thanks to a grant from the Milbank Foundation, the IN has additional workshops and mini workshops planned in Toronto, San Jose, New York and Kansas City.

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