I'm having a bit of a buzz right now. I know that many of you know that I co-edit "Service, Support and Success: The Direct Support Worker Newsletter" with Angie Nethercott. We are really trying to get submissions for the monthly publications and have helped several people publish their first article. I've written several and Angie and I have co-authored some together. When Angie and I talk about topics, we tend look look at the issues that direct support workers are facing and then write articles which address those issues with ideas.
Well, I'm doing something very different right now. I had a woman with an intellectual disability come up to me at an abuse prevention training that I was doing. She told me that her staff had asked her to say Hi from them and to tell me they like the newsletter. I thanked her for the message, and told her, truthfully, that the message made me feel good.
"What's the newsletter about," she asked.
I explained that it was to help staff learn better ways of providing service to people with disabilities and better ways to take care of themselves too.
She looked at me gravely, then said, "You should write something to tell them not to say 'no' so much." She nodded to emphasize the point that what she was saying was important.
It took me a few days but when I had some time I began researching how 'no' is used in support giver, support recipient relationships. The first thing I got from that few minutes was that she was absolutely right. 'No' is said way, way, way, too often. And most of time, and I mean this in only this context, 'No doesn't mean no.' Most often 'no' means 'later'. But it has other meanings as well.
So, I'm buzzing because I'm now writing something at the request of someone who lives with service who knows what service she wants.
We've come a long way.
And with people with disabilities speaking up, like she did, maybe we'll get where we are wanting to go, faster.