The problem with calling your event “all abilities”

All abilities means different things to different people I’ve recently noticed some local events being described as “all abilities” events.  I’m never quite sure about what I will find when I turn up to an “all abilities” event because it means different things to different people. To me all means all.  So an event labelled “all abilities” means open to absolutely anyone to me. I recently did a poll on the Good Life Builders Facebook Read more…

What are the benefits of directly employing?

I’ve been running a survey for a few months now across people with disability and their families that use support workers to help their family member to have the good life they want.   I’ve been trying to understand how the employment relationship affects outcomes for the people they support. The results so far are interesting While the sample size is still relatively small the trends so far have been interesting…. People who directly employ staff Read more…

Are support workers friends?

A commonly asked question is can a support worker be a friend?  If your goal is to help the person you support to build friendships, then my view is that the answer needs to be no. There can be a murky invisible line between friends and support workers because they can feel very similar can’t they.  This diagram shows the similarities and differences. I  encourage supports to not to say they are friends because if Read more…

Key values and principles for good life building

Sometimes amazing, beautiful, wonderful, well-intentioned humans can do some not so good things without intending to  that have bad outcomes for people with disability. Even us parents who love our disabled kids dearly do and we don’t even realise it. We’ve grown up learning our beliefs about people with disability from the people around us – our parents and our peers and we may not even be aware of these beliefs. I remember walking to Read more…

Checklist for getting set up as an employer

Decide what kind of business legal structure (if any) you want to set up –  incorporated association, company etc. Get an ABN  – or a WPN if you decide not to set up a business structure. Get insurance – workers compensation and public liability insurance policy Work out how much you will pay under the the SCHADS Award Hire a book keeper Recruit staff Write contracts and position descriptions Check if you need to pay Read more…

10 Reasons why policies and procedures are a must

1.They set boundaries Employees must understand that there are rules that they must abide by and procedures that must be followed.  They must understand that failure to follow them has consequences. 2. Safety One consequence of not having policies and procedures in place is that there is no safeguard in place to protect the employee from injury and that can result in penalties to the employer. 3. Scope of practice Policies define the scope of Read more…

Setting up environments that increase the chances of friendships forming

Friendships can’t be forced.  But there are things we can do to increase the chances of friendships forming. Janet Klees proposes 5 Ps Janet Klees is a Canadian expert in building relationships between people with and without disability.  She proposes these 5 Ps: Person – know in depth the interests, skills, and conditions for success around this interest. Place – find the places in the community where this interest can be shared Presence – show Read more…

Don’t count your friends by the number of parties you go to

Building friendships for our family members with disability isn’t easy. How we define what a friend is will be really important for how we go about supporting friendships. If we don’t know what a friend is, then how can we know if we have them or not and our strategies for making them are working? Avoid Narrow Definitions of Friendships We can often fall into the trap of defining a friend very narrowly leaving us Read more…