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Date(s) - February 26, 2020
All Day

Cornwall, Ontario

Presenter: Susan Thomas, Training Coordinator of the Syracuse University Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership, & Change Agentry, Syracuse, New York, USA. She has a bachelor’s and master’s from Syracuse University, and worked for 38 years with Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger, founder and director of the Training Institute, until his death. Since then, she has been carrying on Dr. Wolfensberger’s teaching and the Training Institute.

Description of the workshop: Most of the bad things that happen to people who are devalued by others are the result of the negative attitudes that these others hold towards them. After all, people act on the ideas that they hold in their minds. Therefore, if one wants people who are devalued or at risk of devaluation to get the good things of life rather than the bad things, then it is important that attitudes toward them be shaped to be more positive, or less negative.

While there is always much talk about how to improve attitudes towards certain classes of people, there is not necessarily much study of how attitudes are actually formed, and how they can be effectively changed. This workshop attempts to address that problem. It is aimed at people who are serious about wanting to change attitudes for the better towards people who currently are, or at risk of being, devalued by others.

The workshop will outline how attitudes towards people are formed, with special emphasis on the role of imagery and of unconsciousness in the formation of attitudes. Then it will outline a number of strategies that can be employed to make attitudes towards a class of people more positive, or at least less negative. There is overlap between these strategies and the content of Social Role Valorization (SRV), so people who are familiar with SRV will find much of the content of this workshop familiar, though not all of it. However, the material will be interpreted somewhat differently than it is in SRV teaching, and in any case, hearing familiar content in a new way may enable someone to think about and apply it differently.

Format of the workshop: The workshop will be presented in lecture style, with extensive use of overhead transparencies and some slides. There will be time for questions and discussion at a few points during the presentation, and especially at the end.


Registration Form

For more information, please contact Reina McDowell at