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When We Assemble

Peter and Kirby

At Peter Tonge Consulting, we work with organizations on both big and small projects. Incorporated in all is some version of an assembly model because we prioritize sharing discussions and conversations with our peers—people with disabilities—on the issues we are working to address. Our approach is rooted in the idea that those who are most affected by decisions should be at the center of solutions. “Nothing about us without us.” This model allows us to:

  • Honour intersectionality: We recognize the multiple, intersecting identities of individuals, including the unique experiences of people who are Deaf and with disabilities. By creating a space where these voices are not just included but are central, we ensure that our work is truly representative and inclusive.
  • Foster genuine inclusion: Our assemblies are designed to be accessible and welcoming to all. We provide the necessary accommodations to ensure everyone can participate fully, whether through sign language interpreters, assistive technologies, or other supports.
  • Acknowledge and build community: By regularly coming together in assemblies, we strengthen the ties within our community. We create mutual support and a network for advocacy that extends beyond individual projects and contributes to social justice and the advancement of human rights. 

The assembly is a structured form of gathering where people discuss issues, share stories, and make decisions collectively. This model is rooted in principles of equality, respect, and active listening. Here’s how it works:

  • Equal participation: In a circle, everyone is on the same level. There is no head of the table, symbolizing that each person’s contribution is equally valuable.
  • Structured turn-taking: Members take turns speaking, ensuring that each person has the opportunity to be heard without interruption. This is particularly important for individuals who may need more time to express their thoughts.
  • Focused discussion: The assembly model encourages focused and respectful dialogue. Topics are discussed one at a time, allowing for deep, meaningful conversations rather than fragmented or rushed exchanges.
  • Collective decision-making: Decisions are made through consensus, reflecting the collective agreement of the group. This acknowledges the ownership and commitment to the outcomes that everyone shares.

When we assemble, we create spaces where everyone is heard, respected, and valued. At Peter Tonge Consulting, we are committed to the assembly model because it embodies our core values of inclusion, respect, and intersectionality. Together, we can achieve great things. Our motto is ‘Let’s move forward, together’—don’t you know!

We will be launching a larger project soon where you will be able to join a dedicated assembly, be honored for your perspective, and be compensated for your contributions. Watch this space!

Photo; Kirby Cote

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