Here's an article written by John in 1977. When I asked him about it, he didn't even remember it, but I asked him to read it and give his permission for me to put it on Inclusion Network. He thinks it's dated, but I think it's a great historical article. You can find more updated material on the same issues at

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its working fine for me i went through the file and its really good i really thank you for sharing this.I am doing a Freelance Writing Jobs and would love to write such kind of article.i am very much impressed by ths one.
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Hi Connie
Thanks for posting this. Amazing to think John wrote it 30 years ago. I remember the huge jolt I got when first reading some of John McKnight's stuff. The idea that the "cuddly" services I had worked in for most of my career might be a big part of the problem was a major paradigm shift for me. The notion of Serviceland continues to catch the imagination of people I work with in the Big Plan and in training. I think John's point about civil society requiring active citizens is so true...
Thanks again.
Hi Connie

This is the theme that I will always remember as my introduction to John's ideas.

Like you, I get to meet so many good people who work in services, in so many places. Many of them really do want to "make a difference", that is one of the reasons they got connected to people. But it is always amazing to see how embedded the notion of "valuable deficiencies" embedded that it is invisible to people.

And yet when you create space for people who are "serviced", to talk about their dreams, what is important to them, and their capacity to contribute, with people they choose and trust (including people who provide services), it is interesting to see the mix of relief and validation, with a dissonance that comes from the structure of the world of "service", the patterns of thought, and expected behavior that seems to have sucked common sense out of us.

Thanks for reintroducing John's article.

Looking forward to seeing you this week.

Reply to David Hasbury: I was doing some work with one of my students/employees of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on family support (@1990), looking at stances such as "good parent" and "bad parent"  (O'Connor, 1995); She actually exited on "what they need, they can't do", and I, of course, was just seeing if "we" could do better (e.g., Racino, 1999, Racino, 2000)...just didn't finish her assignment is how I think....People who see "it" often "jump ship" without trying to address the situation of people who indeed are in need of governmental assistance often with employees who are relatively poorly paid in devalued jobs themselves. Do love John NcKnight's articles for shaking up the status quo a bit.


always enjoy John McKnight, and read many of his articles so many years ago...we talked at TASH when John O'Brien and Steve Taylor and Zana Lutfiyya facilitated that strand on community building (in my book, Racino, Personnel preparation in disability and community life, 2000, p.208). John McKnight gave an exceptional presentation that year as the keynoter. Pat Rogan and I taught an assignment in our course, Community services and systems change (Racino, 1999) based on his initial mapping work (and analysis of the Knights of Columbus, and so forth). My favorite of his articles is "Do no harm" (which is, I think, a good stance toward the world), and believe he is "right on" with neighborhood development and asset mapping (including the reports on his website in 2011). Currently, he is nearer my field of public administration than the disability field unless deeply involved in city development and evaluations, and so forth. Go Northwestern University (Evanston campus and downtown Chicago).


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