Individualized Support for Peer Support Workers April 24, 2012
Hope Leet Dittmeier Realizations 1024 Garden Creek Circle Louisville, KY 40223502-356-3874 (US); 087-116-1563 (IRE) email@example.com
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 2“Individualised Supports”Terminology Trickery! Are there distinctions between “Individualised,” and “PersonCentred” and “Customised”? Terms often used interchangeably but are typically intended tosignify high QUALITY. Calling the work “individualised” doesn’t necessarily make it so! We can do harm even when using individualised approaches.
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 3Terminology Trickery! An individualised plan does not necessarily make forindividualised work. Once individualised, not always individualised! Individualised is used to describe both a methodology or way ofdoing the work and a set of beliefs about what constitutes goodwork.
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 4What Constitutes Good Work?Discovering and appreciating people’s unique identity People have distinctive personalities, interests, gifts,experiences, backgrounds, etc. We can not presume to know a person or understand theirdesires or needs by their labels, test scores, or history
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 5What Constitutes Good Work?Understanding and portraying people in a positive light Individualised work involves identifying people’s gifts and findingways to illuminate them so that people become known in a positive way The images we convey about people in the words we use, the visualimages we share, the activities we engage in all portray strongmessages about people to others
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 6What Constitutes Good Work?Supporting people to find and use their personal power todirect their own livesoPeople have the right to determine their own destinyoPeople have the right to make mistakesoPeople often need assistance to make productive decisions. Weneed to support people by: Offering necessary information for people to make “informed” decisions Teaching decision-making strategies
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 7What Constitutes Good Work?Efforts that build relationships and communityoRelationships are everyone’s best protection and safeguardoPaid relationships do not supplant “natural” onesoRelationships with typical community members offer benefits thatusually don’t occur as a result of relationships with other peopleseen as needy by society
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 8What Constitutes Good Work?Meaningful relationshipsoPeople can be good friends, neighbors, lovers, etc.oMost of us have a great deal of personal knowledge about howto grow relationshipsoIt is perhaps the most critical part of our work to facilitaterelationships
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 9What Constitutes Good Work?Promoting “typical” approaches, methods and lifeexperiences Creating or utilising specialised places or programmes isincompatible with individualised work Grouping people based on their diagnosis is incompatible withindividualised work Ask the question, “Where and how would valued people . . .?”
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 10What Constitutes Good Work?People are ready – just as they are – for community life Severity of disability does not dictate the kind of lifestylepeople can live Availability of responsive supports does dictate the kind oflifestyle people can live If we do our work well, virtually everyone can live in their ownhome in the community and can work
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 11What Constitutes Good Work?Recognizing and addressing the impact of DEVALUATION Devaluation occurs when a person or group is PERCEIVEDas different in a way that society values negatively, “deviant” Devaluation is a harsh reality in the lives of people withmental health diagnoses! Many individuals and groups are devalued: older people,overweight people, people from a different race or culture, poorpeople, people who have physical impairments, etc.
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 12What Constitutes Good Work?Recognizing and addressing the impact of DEVALUATIONoMuch of devaluation is unconscious!oEven people who are nice, intelligent, well-meaning and hard-working(including those working in human services) devalue others.oThis results in people being treated in ways that wouldnot be considered acceptable for valued citizens: abuse,neglect, and brutalization.
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesDISABILITY BECOMES LIFE DEFINING – The disability becomes the focus of what people know and understand about a person – as if that is all that matters – Decisions are erroneously made based on one narrow dimension of who a person is
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesSEPARATED – Distanced from valued society both physically and socially (institutions, special education, etc) – Congregated with other people who are devalued
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesDEPRIVED OF TYPICAL EXPERIENCES – Lack of opportunities to learn ordinary things the way others would – Exposed to non-typical circumstances, sometimes learning unusual habits
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesCAST INTO HURTFUL NEGATIVE ROLES – Object of pity – Menace – Patient – Burden – Client
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesLONELY – Fewer freely-given friendships – Disproportionate number of associations with other labeled people – Sometimes stressed or absent family relationships
Common Life Experiences of People with DisabilitiesLOW EXPECTATIONSPeople have very limited imaginations about whatis possible – What people can do – The roles people can play – The lifestyle that people can enjoyLow expectations become self-fulfilling
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 19Addressing Devaluationo Making certain we don’t do anything to confirm orperpetuate the negative roles which have been castupon peopleo Minimising or disproving the negative roles whichhave been cast upon peopleo Helping people maintain their valued roles or obtainnew roles that fit who they are and that are highlyregarded by other citizens
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 20It’s about ROLESo A role is a noun, a title, something we areo Helping people BE or BECOME what they can BE!o Focus on roles instead of: o Physical Presence o Fixing people o Activities o Care-giving o Protection
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 21Implementing this way ofworking
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 22The process of individualised work
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 23Getting to know the personDeficiency-based focus Capacity-based focuso Assessments with oSpending time with people comparative scores and those who know themo Diagnoses and labels wello oThe essence of who the A thorough description of what a person CAN’T do person iso Performance on one’s oAppreciation of what a worst day! person CAN do oWhat’s possible with good support!
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 24Getting to know the person Spending time together – asking, observing, appreciating,challenging, wondering Learning from others who know and care about the person Discovering potential not previously known or recognised Understanding the essence of who the person is
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 25Getting to know the personInterpreting the facts The person’s history and how it impacts them Number & nature of current relationships, including voids Current devalued roles, including ways they are perpetuated Previous and current valued roles, including desired/potential roles Talents and interests, especially those un-noticed Specific vulnerabilities Success, especially what contributes to success
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 26The process of individualised work
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 27Determining what is desiredNot a simple question with readily available answers!oAbsence of opportunity to know and understand the optionsoThe low expectations the person and others holdoThe courage to give voice to one’s dreamsoFear of failure
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 28Determining what is desiredoNot limited to what we are prepared to do, are already doing, oreven know how to doo“Sensibly unrealistic” ~ remembering that people’s potential isnot typically evidentoLooking beyond the literal for the appetite behind people’s goalsoNo two will be the same
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 29Determining what is desiredBalancing Wants and Needs What is important to the person? What is their own vision for their life? What is important for the person?
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 30Determining what is desiredMost pressing needs “Distractions” oWhat we know how to do well;“What will have the our expertisemost impact on oWhat we are prepared to doimproving the quality quickly or easilyof the person’s life? oWhat meets the needs of the provider oWhat is more pleasant to address
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 31 Determining what is desiredVisualizing the Person’sDesired Lifestyle!oHomeoWork or contributionoCommunity rolesoMeaningful relationshipsoNew things to learn
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 32The process of individualised work
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 33Creating what is desiredA new role for most of us!oImagination and creativity ~ “What will it take for . . . tohappen?”oCustom design ~ “Starting from scratch”oNetworking ~ “Who would know/have . . .”oResourcefulness ~ “Where would we find . . .”oKnowledge of formal resources and how to access them ~challenging the systemoDetermination
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 34Creating what is desiredHousingoOf the person’s choosingoFitting for the personoIn typical home settingoIn valued locationoAlone or with people chosenoUnaffiliated with human serviceoIn the person’s name, perhaps earning equityoWho controls the front door? Who has keys?
KEITH 36 year old man Unhappy/unsuccessfu l experience in group home and sheltered employment Planning started in Oct 2006; moved six months later to own home March 2007
Keith’s Home Autonomy from mom Private Downtown Affordable Within rolling of sports and music venues Gated, safe Small, intimate development Masculine decor Accessible bathroom Clean, neat, new View from indoors Front-loading washer and dryer
The Benefits of HavingA Home of One’s Own! Control over the front door Social status Permanence Relationships Hospitality Greater independence Customized
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 38Creating what is desiredFirst – what is family able to do, want to do, do well (that theperson being supported find acceptable)?Second – who else in the person’s social network might beinterested in assisting the person in specific ways?Third – what generic options for support are available in thecommunity?Fourth – what blanks do we fill with paid supports?
Presentation from Hope Leet Dittmeier November 2011 39OUR WORK INVOLVES THE ADDRESS OF . . . IMAGE ENHANCEMENT COMPETENCY ENHANCEMENT
Images are conveyed by:Appearances (clothes, accessories, hair, etc)Activity (work, volunteer, movie, class, etc)Language (describing someone by who they are as a person, not by their disability)The people around you (settings, community, DSP’s, etc)
41Commitment“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions.And the actions which speak louder than the words.It is making the time when there is none.
42CommitmentComing through time after time after time, year after year after year.Commitment is the stuff character is made of.The power to change the face of things.It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” unknown author
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