Joe Osburn has worked in human services since 1964, in a variety of direct service, administrative, and consultative positions primarily with poor families and families with handicapped children. Since 1974, his work has focused particularly on the dissemination and application of normalization/Social Role Valorization (SRV) as a major safeguard in the lives of impaired, poor, elderly, and other socially vulnerable people. He has visited and assessed many different types of human services throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Currently, he directs the Indiaian Safeguards Initiative, a non-profit SRV-based project established in 1991. His main activities include planning and conducting SRV and related training for providers and recipients of services; coordinating and leading comprehensive in-depth evaluations of service quality of human service programs, agencies, and service systems; writing; and other related SRV-based projects. Joe is on the editorial board of The SRV Journal. He is currently working on a project to study the SRV theme of model coherency.
Joe maintained a long affiliation with Wolf Wolfensberger, Ph.D., the formulator of Social Role Valorization. He is a member of the North American SRV Development, Training & Safeguarding Council. He has taught both graduate and undergraduate level courses and have been a guest lecturer on frequent occasions at many different colleges and universities, and also has been a presenter at many conferences, meetings, and similar events. Joe regularly provides support to a few small communal organizations that practice hospitality, life-sharing, or other forms of solidarity with socially vulnerable families and individuals.