The story is beautifully and honestly told. When first introduced to LiveWorkPlay, the circumstances were not ideal. There had been many issues and challenges with Phil’s living situation and relationships prior to being connected to LiveWorkPlay, and there had also been an abrupt transition.
We didn’t know much about each other, and from the beginning Lynn established high expectations.
Fortunately, this was a great fit. In getting to know Phil and his family, the team at LiveWorkPlay quickly developed corresponding high expectations.
We believed Phil’s life could be quite different, and set about finding ways to understand Phil’s own wishes and to help him move forward on those hopes and dreams.
The video does a great job of telling the story, and we can also provide some significant updates.
Lynn and Rodd had some dreams of their own, and when Phil’s life became more established and his support network grew to include a variety of paid and unpaid supports, they realized that they could start to think more about their own futures. A long story short, Rodd and Lynn Eisner are now the proud proprietors of The Farmhouse Inn Bed & Breakfast in beautiful Canning, Nova Scotia!
As for Phil, as shared in the United Way Ottawa story, he has an update too: he chose a change of career from his original work at PODS (PODS has since hired another LiveWorkPlay member) and he is now a member of the team at East India Company Pub & Eatery! “Good people. They laugh, they always say hi, it’s good work man!”
Phil was the inaugural recipient of the Rob More Good Life Award in 2014 (see video below). The thunderous standing ovation says it all!
This is an important story not only because of how Phil, his family, and the community have benefited from person-centred supports, but also because of the implications for others. Phil has been labelled many times throughout his life, and we are not talking about his current labels like “co-worker: or “friend.” We are talking about life-limiting labels like “unemployable” or “requires supervision at all times.”
As supports and services for people with intellectual disabilities continue to evolve, we can look to Phil and his family for inspiration as well as guidance. Phil is the same person he always was when he was given those limiting labels. He continues to receive support in his daily life. But those supports are a response to his needs and abilities, and have the intention of helping Phil to live his life like other citizens. That is how excellence in the field of developmental service must now be defined.