Circle of Support

Everyone needs a hand from time to time, but sometimes you might not be sure who to turn to. That’s why it’s good to have a circle of support – a group of people who you can count on to be there for you when you need them. More specifically, building a circle of support can help you know which of your friends and family members are committed to helping you live a full, self-determined life. Often, people in your circle of support have agreed to do certain things for you – perhaps one of the people in your circle is your movie buddy, and the other has offered to take you to your doctor appointments. Don’t be afraid to ask people to join your circle of support – they are your biggest advocates and helpers, and are happy to be by your side!

Want to learn how you can build your circle of support? Micah Fialka-Feldman – self-advocate, national speaker, and disability rights pioneer – and his mother Janice Fialka are experts in building circles of support. Be sure to check out their resources below:

Inclusion Includes Belonging: How to Create and Sustain a Circle of Support: This article, written by Micah, Janice, and Micah’s sister Emma, gives you tips on how you can build and strengthen your circle of support.

An Invitation: Micah and his family have learned that the best way to get people to be a part of Micah’s circle of support is to actually invite them into the circle, and let those people know how they specifically can help Micah. Here is a template of the invitation Micah and his family use when getting new people to join Micah’s circle.

Micah Fialka-Feldman: Through the Same Door: Get to know Micah’s story of how he became the disability rights pioneer he is.

What’s a Parent to Do? Micah’s College Dream: See how building a circle of support helped Micah find inclusion and achieve his goal of going to college!

What Matters: Reflections on Disability, Community and Love: This is Janice Failka’s book about her experience as Micah’s mother, and how the family worked to help build his circle of support.

Why Do My Feet Hurt?: Strengthening the Parent-Professional Partnership: This is a guide for how parents can build relationships with the important professionals in their child’s life.