My previous note was about facing with the emotions that arise in a specific transition: that from receiving traditional support services to making lifestyle choices and then purchasing the support needed to implement these. How do you encourage people to be creative when in the past they have been used to be the passive recipients of ‘services’?.. with peers sharing transition stories!
Exploring future lifestyles or professional options with disabled people and their families is a creative process – albeit often in an unfamiliar territory. Too many people feel ‘stuck’ and don’t dare dreaming about a meaningful future for a disabled loved one. So they organise carers who focus on solving the problems of day-to-day living.
Crossroads often force us to plan – like when leaving a service or joining a personal budget-type scheme. However the most common emotion around change is fear.
Peer support for clients and families of the disability sector is of paramount importance because it has the potential to hasten clients’ outcomes achievement. This is however a complex issue because of the highly specific nature of the help that each person needs.
I tackle this challenge with two ideas – peers and technology.
The idea is to orchestrate the meeting of people and knowledge via a multimedia peer-learning system accessible online and via mobile devices, thus distributing the right learning experience for the right audience, at the right time.
Whilst in years gone by, disabled people have been specifically excluded, this is not the case anymore as many organisations communicate - sometimes boast - inclusive values. Organisational leaders, however, seemingly assume that when ‘protective’ mechanisms against exclusiveness are put in place, inclusive outcomes naturally follow.
In my daily work, I research new models to support disabled people. I am passionate about the move towards choice and control for people with disabilities.