Here's the scoop. I'm still controversial. I'd been thinking the last little while that my message must have become mainstream. But yesterday in doing a lecture on abuse prevention and abuse reporting, the idea that front line staff a) don't investigate and b)call the police before calling a supervisor - things that are just the way things are done. Things we've been doing in Vita for a couple of years now. Well, well, well ... did some people get mad at me.
I heard that people with disabilities can't be trusted.
They make mistakes.
They misunderstand things.
Accidents happen that become reports of abuse.
I heard that front line staff can't be trusted.
They make mistakes.
They can't handle the responsibility
And for the first time in a long time I got into a wee bit of a shouting match with people in my audience. My heart was pumping, my attention was at full alert ... it was kind of fun. Because I'm so often around those of similar mind and similar practice,I can forget that we're still leading, still setting the pace.
Of course I thought of this all overnight and came up with ways that I could have handled it better. In the example we were using when the firestorm broke out there were other things I could have said and kept the integrity of the message.
But what was good for me, was to have an arguement with equal passion on both sides and equal caring on both sides. There was a time I would have villified those who disagreed with me in such a manner. I'm of an age now to realize that two people can have good intent but believe in different practice. Particularly when old practice (believed to be best) is challenged and new ways are being suggested.
I mulled the whole thing over in my head and came round to the fact that, such as it is, this is my job. To get yelled at by those who see change as a threat to the status quo. When people stop getting annoyed. Stop writing nasty comments about the content of my presenation, it'll be time to fold up the tents.
I'm guessing that's a ways away.