My job has become more interesting of late. My job title is Director of Clinical and Educational Supports and as such I oversee the various treatment programs in my home agency. It's a job I enjoy and I get to work with wonderful people who are part of the team delivering these services. I know many of the people served through various events and through having done a lot of abuse prevention classes years and years ago. Others I know through the Rights Group, our self advocacy group, as I was there at it's inception and I helped facilitate the Bill of Rights for our agency, which was done under the leadership of the Rights Group.
But here's the thing. A change is happening. I'm getting independent calls from some of those who are being served who want to come and discuss what's going on with treatment and ideas that they have for making their lives better. Some come with disagreements with a decision that was made. Others come with suggestions as to how things might be better tailored to their wants and needs.
I have one word to say about this: Awesome!
The fact that people with disabilities have free access to pick up a phone and call a director and ask for meeting times to discuss their lives, the treatment plan in place and their future is simply awesome. To a one they come in well prepared, they state their case without anger or frustration, they work through with me what their concerns are and, as I am briefed before these meetings by their therapists, we come to an understanding, make some changes or adaptions.
What's even cooler is that their therapists encourage them to do this. It's not seen as 'going over my head to my boss' but as 'developing appropriate self advocacy skills.'
I have two words to say about that: Freaking Awesome. (I love my team.)
Remember, I'm old. I've been doing this for a long time. I come from a time and place where people with disabilities weren't even at the table when discussing issues around goals and around programs. The journey from there to where we are now has been astonishing.
Maybe we are, indeed, on our way to the day where treatment will work because the change process has become a partnership not an imposition.