"agencies supporting people with intellectual disabilities"

The Possibility Post – Start Where You Are!

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said “The perfect place to begin, is right where you are!” .. and indeed how can we do anything but? The important thing is that we start! This month marks yet another new beginning for Abilities Manitoba as we’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Province to embark on the creation of a quality assurance framework for services provided to people who are funded through the Community Living disAbility Services. Abilities and our government partners have been talking about a means to measure and increase quality within the disability service sector for decades and we are very excited to begin. The Possibility Post will be a regular forum and feature on this site as we do this work. Check back here regularly for updates, resources, musings and motivation related to best practice and a quality framework in providing meaningful, person centred services to citizens in Manitoba. To start I thought I would share my first brief presentation to the Abilities Manitoba membership on November 15th in case you missed it! I am tremendously excited to undertake this hugely important task and gain great confidence by the fact that while I have a lead role, I will be regularly (and I do mean regularly) rely on the collective wisdom and talent that lies in this room and as well as elsewhere in the province. As Margo identified, we have entered into an agreement with the Province to develop a quality assurance framework, performance standards, and measurement tools for services being delivered to CLdS funded service providers. In addition, we will begin to gather or create and make available capacity building resources to help service providers meet these standards and continue to develop their services. Finally we will make recommendations on implementation options for the quality framework including articulating the risks and benefits of any particular option. We will work with Health in Common who has already begun some of this work to first hear from people who receive our services, along with their families and service providers across the province. We want to and need to hear about what is currently being done by service providers to understand and evaluate the quality of their services, what would help, what worries people about this work and what people hope for. We will also review and learn from what other areas in Canada and the World have done in this area. The focus of this work will be on quality. Quality as defined by the person receiving it. It will be not only focus on doing things right but on seeking first to understand what the right thing is. My bias will be that this is most often learned by having good meaningful conversations with people who receive support and their families to understand if the support being provided is even what they wish. Where traditional conversations may not be possible, the discovery process must be more creative and purposeful in order to gain this insight. We will do this work in partnership with the Province in the form of an advisory committee and working group that will include representatives from member agencies both urban and rural. While not everyone can contribute through the working group, there will be multiple opportunities for people to be engaged with this work and contribute or provide feedback should they choose. Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not end by thanking first the Abilities Board for the opportunity to contribute to this project and secondly to my employer, St.Amant and more specifically John, for his support and flexibility to make this...

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Come Celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities


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Leadership Survey

We reached out to all MLA’s running in the leadership races for the Liberal and NDP parties. Responses will be posted as received. Dr. Jon Gerrard: Section one: Better Outcomes a/ Training: Are you aware that the minimum requirement for Direct Support staff is grade 10, First Aid and CPR? The thought of someone who hasn’t even graduated high school being responsible for the care of a child with complex needs is unsettling.  There needs to be a higher standard for education and training for someone who will be supporting individuals with complex needs.  This is discussed in later questions in the context of the need to ensure care givers have some understanding of recent developments in neuroscience. b/ Turnstile staff: Did you know that over the course of an adults’ lifetime, a person with disability could have over 700 Direct Support staff? Are you committed to significantly reducing this number by improving training standards and wages? It is important to have a level of consistency in the support of individuals with complex needs, and in particular those with intellectual disabilities.  In part this must come from improving training and wages.   It may also come as a result of increased use of self-managed care plans.  For example, I am aware of an individual in self-managed care who has had two very long term care-givers who have been with her each for more than 25 years.   This level of consistency of certain caregivers has made an important difference in the quality of life she has achieved.  Having over 700 Direct Support staff working with a person with complex needs over the course of that individual’s life time is of great concern, indeed it is unacceptable.  It has the potential to open up the door to neglect and abuse. To prevent the high turnover there should be a provincial standard for training with a consistent curriculum across the province.  Wages should be based on levels of training and experience.   Self-managed care should be viewed as an important option. c/ Wages:  Many provinces pay wages significantly higher than paid in Manitoba. Our non-profit agencies are funded between $12.06 – $13.75 per hour for Direct Support wages. Do you support a higher wage for staff? There needs to be incentive for staff to view this as a career rather than just a job.  Higher wages that are above the poverty line are crucial to retain quality and dedicated staff.  Yes, I support higher wages for staff. d/ Vulnerable Persons Act (1996): The PCs brought in the Vulnerable Persons Act in 1996 and there has yet to be a full review of the Act since then. Do you support a review of the Act? A lot has changed since 1996, and as with all legislation, revision is necessary to ensure it is up to date with what is current best practice.  Within the legislation things such as the role of Substitute Decision Makers need to be revisited, as well as the role of the Public Guardian and Trustee. Section two: Your vision a/ Community versus Institution: What is your view of community-based services versus institutional services? I strongly support de-institutionalization and community living.  In this day and age we no longer need institutions as we have had them in the past.  I see individuals with intellectual disabilities as living in the community and being a part of his community the same as any other person.  However community based living needs to be better supported and there needs to be more options for individuals and families for what this looks like.  In other words services should be...

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