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Person-Centred Thinking Through Talk & Technology!

Over the past two years LiveWorkPlay has worked closely with members and families, the staff team, and the Sharevision organization to improve how we co-create, monitor, and celebrate real life outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. Important to this process is an annual face-to-face meeting with the member, Service Coordinator Allison Moores, family members or other supporters the individual has invited, and often an additional LiveWorkPlay staff member that has worked closely with the individual. During this meeting, attendees create a plan that reflects the member’s hopes and goals for the coming year.  Plans can be as simple as “I like my life and I want things to stay the same!” or as complex as “I want to move out!” Everybody leaves the meeting with a copy of the plan.

Staff who work in direct support of members input data and reports to Sharevision, making note of any critical developments related to goals and objectives in the member’s plan. Staff communicate with members in person, on the phone, by email, text, Skype, Facebook, and probably some other ways we’ve forgotten to mention! In some cases communications between an individual member and their direct staff connection can number in the hundreds in a single mont! Staff are equipped with mobile devices and forwarding services so they can do most anything on the road that they can do at the office. They can use their cell phone to send a document to the printer at the office, or even take an image of a member’s Ontario Disability Support Program reporting form and fax it to the ODSP office – right from their phone!

Staff often input directly into Sharevision from remote locations in the community while the information is fresh. All they need is a computer or any type of mobile devie with an internent connection. Allison uses the data in Sharevision to generate a report, which provides a recap of the plan created at the annual face-to-face meeting earlier in the year, as well as any updates or progress achieved. The reports are then sent to members and families 6 months or so after the annual meeting. Depending on what supports and services LiveWorkPlay is providing (the relationship is different for each person) the report provides information on:

Paul Hamilton and his parents Bernie and Sharon enjoy a smile with Allison and Grace Hudson as they review Paul’s Sharevision information and make plans for 2013! “I don’t usually like meetings but this was OK!” said Paul.
  • living in the community
  • housing
  • volunteerism
  • education
  • citizenship
  • employment
  • social life/relationships
  • classes/courses/clubs/hobbies
  • fitness
  • travel

The annual meeting plan and mid-year report are formal planning activities, but neither are intended to produce documents that are written in stone. Member needs change frequently and LiveWorkPlay moves with them, with shifting of staff resources, schedules, and focus when possible. LiveWorkPlay must plan and allocate resources in order to provide quality service, so responding to change is a process and we do our best while making sure the needs of others are not compromised.

As of January 2013, LiveWorkPlay members now have their own secure access to Sharevision. One of the features that members are enjoying most about this is a customized calendar – just for them! For example, LiveWorkPlay supports a variety of social meet-ups, often on Friday nights. Much of this involves behind-the-scenes planning to help decide on meeting places, provide advice about bus routes, and coordinate dozens of community members from the LiveWorkPlay volunteer team who take part in the fun. With the new customized digital system, members can login from the comfort of their own living room for reminders of the plans they have committed to and all the details involved. It’s not only saving trees, but now individual calendars can be instantly adjusted when plans change!

“All of this has been about a year in development,” says Allison. “The entire staff team has been involved in shaping how we use the Sharevision system, and we’ve requested many changes as to how we input data and what we would like to be able to do with it. Now we’ll be getting feedback from our members and families as well, and they’ll probably help us come up with some new ideas. This is about fundamental tracking of our work, but beyond that, it’s about understanding how our work is changing people’s lives, and ultimately, helping create a more welcoming community.”

We’ll have more information about LiveWorkPlay and technology in future news items and blogs!