Community outreach in action: Living Our Visions (LOV)-Dane

Living Our Visions (LOV)-Dane, based at the Waisman Center’s satellite community outreach office in Madison, is a grassroots organization of individuals with disabilities, their families and community members who strive to create fulfilling, community-centered lives for adults with disabilities.

By mobilizing its members’ strengths, LOV-Dane focuses on the assets of people with disabilities, and works to change the perception that the primary role of people with disabilities is that of a client or a receiver of services.

“LOV-Dane as an organization has a commitment to reciprocity. When we partner with other organizations we want to be sure that we are also contributing to that organization’s mission,” says Amanda Bell, a community organizer at LOV-Dane.

Recently, LOV-Dane members participated in an outreach pottery workshop at Wheelhouse Studios at the UW-Madison Memorial Union.

“With the Wheelhouse project, LOV is joining in the university’s effort to make bowls to donate to Habitat for Humanity’s annual Souper Bowl event,” adds Bell.

Staff and members of LOV-Dane envision a future where adults with disabilities live as independently as possible in communities to which they contribute through productive employment, engaged citizenship, and reciprocal relationships.

Rachael Kramer, a bridge builder for LOV-Dane, says that the organization’s activities create opportunities for peer interaction and community involvement that often wane as teens transition from highschool to adulthood. “For individuals with disabilities, life after high school can be isolating. Creating a safe environment to try new things and room for self-discovery is wonderfully challenging but also leads individuals with disabilities to finding their passions.”

For more information on LOV-Dane, visit or call 608.516.4285