Shaking Up Our Thinking at Skills Illustrated

New staff came together for the November edition of Skills Illustrated, an all day course that introduces Skills Society’s mission, vision, and values. This foundational course is designed to ‘shake up’ people’s thinking when it comes to what a paid support’s role is in the life of someone with a disability.

In the morning, using videos, discussion, and activities, participants had the opportunity to reflect on the language they use and how their choice in language can limit or open up opportunities for the people they support. In small groups they reframed dehumanizing service system language into person centered language that is kind and respectful.

Always a highlight, after lunch participants engaged in a Lego Serious Play session, collaboratively building a lego model to represent each of the five Skills Core Values. Key insights from the build were shared with the group as everyone reflected on what the core values mean and look like in action.

A lego build of Skills’ value “Embracing Complexity”

Key Insights that Emerged from the Groups

  1. Safeguarding Healthy Relationships is about a person having many rich opportunities to connect with others so they have choice in who they relate to.
  2. Embracing Complexity is about centering the individual you are supporting, recognizing them as the expert in their life, and drawing upon the rich and varied perspectives of those around them to make their goals and dreams come true.
  3. Supporting Engaged Citizenship is, in part, about advocating for accessible spaces so that all people can easily come together as a community.

Later in the day participants engaged in ‘mock’ MyCompass Planning labs, demonstrating what a person centered approach that supports the citizenship of individuals looks like in action.

Skills Illustrated is just one of the many ways Skills Society is innovating in the disability space – getting supports to think differently about disability and the role they play in supporting the citizenship of people with disabilities.

One group’s visual depiction of a person centred plan they created using the MyCompass Planning Lab approach

This post was prepared by Paige Reeves, Co-Coordinator of the CommuniTEA Infusion Project and PhD Student at the University of Alberta.