Friday, December 13, 2013

Moving To the Radical Side

Right now Joe is in the shower and as soon as he's out, I'm in. We are rushing around getting ready to go to the new venue for my last training of the season, in fact, my last training of the year. I'm lucky that the training I'm doing is to teach other trainers to teach people with disabilities about abuse prevention. We begin by having the new trainers watch me train people with disabilities who have agreed to participate in the day. I've been blessed for two days now by having awesome people with disabilities who fully work with me in order to make the training effective - both for themselves as for the 'new trainers' watching. There have been a lot of laughs.

I like ending my training year by doing sessions that involve people with disabilities. I got into this field because I wanted to work directly with people with disabilities and throughout my career I have managed, no matter what else I did or what position I held, to have direct contact with people with disabilities. I never want to be too far from my roots and too busy to have real time and hear the real concerns of people who live in care. It's refreshing but it's also sobering. I am reminded, every time I do one of the abuse prevention training sessions, of the joys and pains of community living as expressed by people with disabilities in the training.

During the training I feel like I'm honoured to hear the concerns and the fears of the group, I'm honoured to hear the hopes and the dreams. I carry away with me a renewed sense of commitment ... we need to do more that service delivery, we need to engage in societal change ... we need to confront bigotry and eradicate social barriers created by bias and ignorance. We need to do more. But we need to do more under the leadership of those who speak so eloquently of the lives they live and the goals they have in the community - to feel safe, - to feel respected - to be given a chance. Not much to ask for ... is it?

I'll be home late tomorrow. I'll be at work on Monday. And I'll be thinking all through the season about what I've heard, what I've been reminded of ... and about the need to recommit to the radical side of service delivery - making change happen. 


Louna said...

I needed to go through the sentence about training people with disability to train people with disability to do abuse prevention a few times to get it right. I've heard somewhere that the goal of any good educator is to make themselves unnecessary. It seems like that is exactly what you're doing, empowering others instead of staying in control of who knows what, and that is great.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm . . . love the upbeat content of this blog! Wonder how your "trainees" would role-play what happened to you yesterday?????

(this is not to say that I don't like the more difficult blogs . . . and I have caught your enthusiasm today!)

Anonymous said...

Lovely... :)

Andrea S. said...

Dave, I thought you would like this photo apparently taken in about the 1920s in which a boy with Down Syndrome appears with his family: