Ever look at the rest of the week and think, 'how am I going to make it?' Well, that's how I'm feeling right now. I took yesterday off to get back into the time zone. One day may not have been enough. But, I've got appointments, commitments and decisions that have to be kept, attended and made. So, it's back at it.
I'm so lucky to have a job that allows me to travel to lecture yet remain a part of a team here locally. After spending the week talking to parents at the World Congress, I go back to work with even more determination. As long time readers know, I've been working at Vita on a project that has as it's goal the discovery of strategies that agencies can use to become abuse free. We've been on a wild ride as we've tried various policy changes, changed up how we use staff time, refocussed on self-advocate education and training.
I know in my heart that what we are doing is important but it becomes more 'real' when I speak to parent after parent who wants their children to live safely in the world and to rest safely in the agencies that provide them service. I remember the tremendous trust that parents hand us when their children take part in any of our programmes. They know their children are vulnerable and they hope and pray that we are trustworthy. But they shouldn't have to vaguely hope.
Every agency should be able deliniate the ways that they work towards being safe. Every parent should ask, 'What to you do to reduce or eliminate abuse of those in your care?' Every agency should be able to delineate several practical and 'in practice' strategies that are on-going and in play at all times.
We at Vita have some exciting things planned for the next couple of months. I think of that as I return to work today. I think of the mom who said to me, 'The worst part of having a child with a disability is the need to constantly trust strangers.' I get that. I learned much at the Congress. But what I really needed was to be reminded that this project, the longest of my career, matters.
One of the mothers I met at the conference was Gun who is a regular commenter here on the blog and asked to take a picture of her son with Joe and I. I thank her for sending me a copy.
See that guy in the picture? He's the guy I'm going back to work today for ...
PS. several people have asked me to write about telling a child about disability. i am going to do this in the next few days. give me some time to get it written right.