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Extraordinary Lives: Disability and Destiny in a Technological Age
Stephen L. Talbott

Chapter 4: On Forgetting to Wear Boots

"I have no doubt that Camphill is an expression of a
great intuitive thrust out of the deep heart of nature
which has us in its keeping and knows that both we and it
are in mortal peril".
(Sir Laurens van der Post)

Whenever friends visit my wife Phyllis and me, one of our favorite places to take them is the nearby Camphill Village in Copake, New York. The village is part of a thriving, worldwide movement for the care of people with special needs. You will find here villagers with Down Syndrome and a great variety of other mental handicaps -- all pursuing their lives in a beautiful, restful, productive, socially supportive, and artistically rich setting. If there is a place that can bring healing to a high-tech society, surely this is it.

Dignity and Laughter

One of the first things likely to strike you about most any Camphill community (there are more than ninety of them worldwide, from Ireland to Botswana to India) is the beauty and craftsmanship evident in the buildings and their furnishings. Much of the craft work issues from shops where the villagers