One of the best tools for family and community based rehabilitation I encountered in Australia is an attractive booklet titled “A Good Life for Disabled and Old People.” It builds on ancient traditions of caring and sharing within Aboriginal communities. The drawings (by Aboriginal and white artists working together) are wonderful. I wanted to include some of the drawings in this newsletter, and wondered how I could arrange permission. Then I discovered, on the title page, the following invitation:

Any part of this book, including the illustrations, may be copied, reproduced, or adapted to meet local needs, without permission of the authors or publisher, provided that [they are] distributed free or at cost, not for profit. …

I recognized at once this invitation (so unlike the standard warning prohibiting copying in any form). The wording for the invitation was taken, almost word for word, from the title page of Where There Is No Doctor, Nothing About Us Without Us and our other self-help manuals! So our spirit of free sharing has come full circle!

The following are examples of the wonderful, enabling and culturally sensitive art work from “A good Life for Disabled and Old Persons.”

Note: When the open-invitation to copy, adapt and translate any or all of contents first appeared in our self-help books over 20 years ago, such a “waiver of copyright” was almost unheard of. Today, an increasing number of “publications for the public good” carry a similar open-ended invitation. We are delighted to see that this new policy of caring and sharing is making headway, and that an increasing number of authors and publishers are placing human need before maximum profit. It is little breakthroughs like this that contribute toward a healthier, more caring and sustainable world.