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The intention of our work within this project has been to support organisations to move towards becoming more person-centred and community focused which requires making fundamental shifts from a system centred approach and developing person centred activities, structures & processes which become firmly embedded throughout the organisation. Such a process of change requires more than tinkering at the edges of an organisation. It necessitates a deeper understanding of what people and families who use services want in their lives and how the organisations supporting them can contribute to achieve it.

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Within the New Path to InclUsion Network we used the Theory-U developed by Otto Scharmer and the presencing institute (www.presencing.com) as a framework to guide our learning and activities. 

Prototyping in the New Paths to InclUsion project:

Each of the project partners developed prototypes as a culmination of the multiplication workshop with the intention of creating new practices within their organisation which lead them closer to their objective of building inclusive opportunities through person centred practice. To do this partners either worked alone, in teams or with other project partners who shared similar intentions.

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“What we can't accomplish ourselves / We can achieve when we're together …”. This song by Xavier Naidoo rings in me when I think of the history of our "Person-centred planning” network in South-Tyrol.” It started about eight years ago. At that time we were only few people.
We were enthusiastic about the person-centred methods and ideas. We somehow felt that a planning for the future was a good way and possibility for people to realize their personal lives, to be aware of their personal dreams and wishes and to organize their lives in this direction.

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Within the New Path to InclUsion Network we used the Theory-U developed by Otto Scharmer and the presencing institute (www.presencing.com) as a framework to guide our learning and activities. 

Overview

(Guided) Journaling leads participants through a self reflective process following the different phases of the U - process. It allows participants to access deeper levels of self-knowledge, and to connect this knowledge to concrete actions. In the sensing phase it can support immediate recording and processing what has been learned through observing and listening to others.

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Leben mit Behinderung Hamburg (LmBH) was founded by Mr. Kurt Juster in 1956. Since then the organisation has been developed to a large service provider to assist and support people with disabilities and their families in the Hamburg region. LmBH amongst other supports about 900 adults in their living accommodation and their daily life. About 300 people go to 8 sheltered workshops and 500 families having children with disabilities are supported by various family assistance programs. The Parents’ Association (Elternverein) with its 1550 members is an important partner in Hamburg’s social politics. Leben mit Behinderung Hamburg is capable to develop forward-looking projects and offers in various areas.

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Sharing stories is a good sensing tool which can raise awareness and understanding of what is happening within an organisation. The personal stories of individuals can be extremely powerful but they need to be approached with care and sensitivity and the right kind of support. Sharing success stories enables us to see the possibility of what may be different. However guidance on how a story is recorded or delivered using positive language and appropriate exposure also needs to be considered.
Stories can be shared in different ways. In the multiplication workshop, participants were asked to prepare a poster of a positive change which had happened in their organisation as a result of being part of the project.

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APEMH is a national organisation supporting people with intellectual disabilities in Luxembourg. APEMH’s services are incorporating day care and activity centres, sheltered workshops and living homes where 6-10 people may live.

Marie and John are a retired couple who both have legal guardians and therefor, according to legislation in Luxembourg, are not able to take all decisions about their lives. For many years they had talked about wanting to marry, but nobody really listened to them or considered it to be possible. However, following the Sensing Workshop as part of the NPI programme, APEMH were exploring, through their discussions in team meetings how they needed to change as an organisation to be more person centred. In one of these discussions someone remembered this couple and their long time wish. It was something which had been there all along but only now they really did hear it.

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This is a good exercise to begin the journey into the U. It marks the beginning of a Sensing process by exploring the current situation and perceived intentions of teams or organisations. It enables reflection on the question ‘will what we are currently doing take us to where we want to be?’

To find out more, please click here.

Sharing stories is a good sensing tool which can raise awareness and understanding of what is happening within an organisation. The personal stories of individuals can be extremely powerful but they need to be approached with care and sensitivity and the right kind of support. Sharing success stories enables us to see the possibility of what may be different. However guidance on how a story is recorded or delivered using positive language and appropriate exposure also needs to be considered.

Within the New Path to InclUsion Network we used the Theory-U developed by Otto Scharmer and the presencing institute (www.presencing.com) as a framework to guide our learning and activities. 

The dialogue walk is another tool which is proposed by the presencing institute during the Sensing phase and the movement down the U. The practice of dialogue walks can also be used at other stages e.g. the crystallising after the presencing and prior to the prototype creation phase as to explore emerging possibilities and to reaffirm ones vision and intention. In the New Paths to InclUsion project dialogue walks have been one of the most frequently used tools, to which most of the participants regularly where looking forward too. In many cases people have retold how going on a dialogue walk, seems such an easy to use and efficient tool to clarify ones thoughts with new insights and new ideas being a regular “side effect”.

To find out more, please click here.

This is a good exercise to begin the journey into the U. It marks the beginning of a Sensing process by exploring the current situation and perceived intentions of teams or organisations. It enables reflection on the question ‘will what we are currently doing take us to where we want to be?’

What is a Sensing workshop

In his book
Theory U: Leading from the Future as it emerges Scharmer describes the processes which lead to change through entering the U:
Entry into the U begins with a shift in consciousness, by becoming aware of a situation and recognising what no longer works or makes sense in the current practice of an organisation.
Raising our consciousness requires actively taking steps to observe more closely and toreflect on what is seen and heard.
Good observation requires looking from every angle and in every corner, listening with intensity, often by asking different questions.
Within an organisation which supports people with disabilities this can mean consultations
with all stakeholders, including people who use the services, their families, staff members at all levels, funding agencies, politicians, the community and more to discover.
 
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The dialogue walk is another tool which is proposed by the presencing institute during the Sensing phase and the movement down the U. The practice of dialogue walks can also be used at other stages e.g. the crystallising after the presencing and prior to the prototype creation phase as to explore emerging possibilities and to reaffirm ones vision and intention. In the New Paths to InclUsion project dialogue walks have been one of the most frequently used tools, to which most of the participants regularly where looking forward too. In many cases people have retold how going on a dialogue walk, seems such an easy to use and efficient tool to clarify ones thoughts with new insights and new ideas being a regular “side effect”.

 

The association BALANCE - Living without Barriers - has been founded in 1987 by a parents group. The children of these parents, young people living with disabilities, were passing vocational trainings in a residential school in Vienna, because their families were living in the countryside near Vienna. Having passed the training no one of them wanted to go back to his or her village. They wouldn't have found a job there.

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The Strategic Context

The final module of the “New Paths to Inclusion” Training Course in Person-centred thinking, planning and action focused on the consequences of Person Centred Planning which should lead to organisational change. This requires taking a closer look at what O`Brien and Towell called the strategic context of person-centred planning. Following Amado & Bride (2002, 370) it has been a common weakness that person-centred planning was perceived as just a different kind of planning process that could be delivered in a vacuum without significant organisational change. “Effective person-centred planning is not limited to the planning process itself; it also demands organisational, systems and community change.” If like John O`Brien and David Towell so clearly articulated, our focus is to achieve real positive differences in many people`s lives, than we must purposefully focus on building capacity or competence(s) on four different interrelated levels of change and actions over time, which following O`Brien and Towell mark the conditions for successful person-centred planning.

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Read the story of Gianina clicking here.

Despite its usage in the disability field for many years, there are important differences in understanding of what inclusion is, how much to value it in relation to other desirable things, and especially what it means for the future of services.
The diagram on the other side of this page maps different understandings of inclusion on two dimensions:

- Responsibility – the demand for organizational action required by inclusion. Low responsibility means that, however important inclusion may be, it is primarily someone else’s task. Low responsibility for inclusion (Quadrant I & Q II) often means putting higher priority on other concerns like using scarce resources to provide current services to as many people as possible or respecting people’s or families’ expressed choice for current arrangements, or providing specialized interventions for underserved groups [...].

- Disruption – the extent of innovation that inclusion demands. Low disruption (Q II & Q III) holds that current practice is generally on track to offer as much support for inclusion as is possible and desired by people and families. Under all but the most unusual circumstances (exceptional levels of funding or heroic levels of family effort) inclusion outside the family circle and service world is unrealistic for people who require high levels of accommodation and assistance [...].

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I would like to tell a story, which I experienced as an underwriter in a planning. Mrs. Jung lives in an institution for people with physical disabilities. She is about to retire and would like to move to a home for the elderly, as she wants to live in a quiet place. The assistant in the institution knows the personal future planning and asks external persons in order to set up the planning. The moderator and I see Mrs. Jung several times to discuss, whether she wants to make a plan and what her strengths and requests are. Mrs. Jung tells us that she does no longer want to go to the residents‘ meetings and that her chores (e.g. distributing clean laundry etc.) are too hard for her now.

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If we intend for person-centered planning to be true to people and their families, then we must invest in organizational learning that promotes innovation. How we might expand and integrate aspects of personcentered planning and innovation as large systems move through significant organizational change toward
inclusion? How might we direct our attention away from old assumptions and practice toward the capacities of people, their neighborhoods, and our desire to make a difference in the lives of people?

As one of the originators of Person-Centered Planning, during the past 35 years I’ve had the privilege of introducing person-centered values and tools to a wide variety of people, service settings, and communities throughout the world. In my role as a consultant to New York State over the past 18 years, I’ve had the opportunity to plan with thousands of people, their families, support staff, and the organizations that support them.
I’ve been engaged in various planning conversations in virtually every type of service setting. I’ve also become personally involved with about 15 young people a year (x 35 years) who are transitioning from either high school, or a traditional segregated setting, toward a more inclusive life in a local community.

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About a year ago we (several parents) took over a small farm. The couple that was running it before was too old to continue the work. As our children used to play on the farm during their spare time and wanted to continue doing this, we decided to set up an association and took over the farm. That made us into farmers over night, having to take care of goats, rabbits, ponies and chickens. After a lot of work (group barn for the rabbits; conversion of a construction trailer into a new chicken home etc.) we had some time again for new ideas. Somebody asked if a young man with disabilities could help with the work on our farm. As we were happy about any helping hand, he started with the late Saturday feeding and locking service. Now Jan comes every Saturday with his mother or father and helps on the farm. He works increasingly independent and is able to look after the animals, feed them and lock the barns.

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To see the Mapping on the Inner States of Change Sectors, please click here.

FEAPS was the Spanish partner organization that participated initially in the New Paths to Inclusion Network project, now the organization is called Plena Inclusión España.
Plena Inclusión España is an organization providing services to more than 135.000 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities throughout Spain.
Plena Inclusión España was one of the new members of the project and received the PCP training during 2013 and 2015.
FEAPS has changed recently its name being called Plena Inclusión España from 2nd of October 2015. This change is the result of a consultation and reflection process where its members (including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities) agreed that they no longer wanted to have the word “Subnormal” in the name of the organization representing them.

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Creating Blue Space: Fostering Innovative Practices for People with Developmental Disabilities [(2013) Toronto: Inclusion Press] explores three core themes:

  • The breakdown of the delegated approach to serving people with developmental disabilities and the search for good support forms through innovation in an evolving developmental disabilities field.
  • Moving from client-hood and consumerism to citizenship by undertaking a quest for communities of diversity and mutuality.
  • The design and delivery of individualized supports through the development of blue spaces that encourage generative action in self, relationships and organizations.

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The story of Petr is begins in an institution where he was put at his age of 12. And he had spent in institutions 18 years afterwards. This fact plays a key role in his further life. When we met him, he had a civil guardian and had lived in hostel, without any support: no social work, no network of people helping him, only one good friend a former social worker of his.
He was put in a position of a "small child" although being 30 years old. He did not have any legal capacity and could not decide anything concerning his common life or his finance. He did not know anything about self-advocacy. Nobody has tought him this skill. It was not needed and wanted in institutions where he had lived.

PATH-Petr

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The purpose of person-centered practice is to assist people with intellectual disabilities and their allies to co-create the conditions for a life together that they have good reasons to value living. Such a life includes a personally suited version of the ordinary experiences that matter to anyone: the experience of being present in typical community places for the same purposes as other citizens; a sense of belonging as an equal among others; opportunities to develop gifts and capacities and experience the respect and sense of meaning that comes with the expression of those capacities in contributing social roles; and the power to make choices about their life circumstances.

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For me as the Director of the Lukashaus it was a beautiful thing. I was pleased to get the project started.
It was not exactly new grounds for me and the Lukashaus. Already in 1994 I supported and implemented the idea of self-determination. The tools that helped me realize the project were the 1996 book by Marlise Pörtner, „Ernstnehmen – Zutrauen – Verstehen“ (respect – trust – understand), the German book „Vom Betreuer zum Begleiter“, (between care-giving and support) and „Selbstbestimmung“ (self-determination) by Willem Kleine Schaars.

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It is very simple. Well done, and with a solid values base, the family of Person-Centered Planning approaches can and do assist to create some remarkable, almost unimaginable futures, for people who have traditionally been written off and institutionalized. It can be a core element in a systems change strategy. So the 'possibilities' and power of Person-Centered planning and facilitation have only just begun, and are brimming with enormous promise.

However, simultaneously, there is a serious challenge to this potential as large system 'accountability' requirements thin the soup of possibility into a gruel that can barely sustain life. The pressure to deliver 'more' with less and do it faster means that the very core of Person-Centered Planning is often gutted because there is no time to be person centered. In fact, in North America, with economic cutbacks, there is a frightening 'recovery' and 'reinvestment' in larger-group mini-institutions and institutions.

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Personal futures planning was hardly known in Switzerland in 2013 and only a few places worked with the aspects of this approach. The research and development project "The Future is Now!"- futures planning for adults with intellectual disability and their families - was carried out in Zurich at the University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH) between 2009 and 2015. The methods of personal futures planning were used in this project. About 130 families in German-speaking Switzerland took part in the informative meetings on the aspects of the new Adults Protection Act, which provides more self-determination for people with disabilities and, which came into effect in Switzerland in 2013. Afterwards about 40 families with their sons and daughters with disabilities participated in a series of 6 courses on futures planning.

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What is this module for

  • To reflect upon the experiences of what was working and not working in implementing person person-centred practices in the area of work and respective organisations.
  • To identity barriers and possibilities for successful organisational change and be able to develop action plans based on the aggregated learning from individual plans.
  • To understand the philosophy, values and tools of person-centred thinking and planning as a continuum in the light of service, networking and community competence and to understand the role of organisations.
  • To develop an understanding of the importance of a person-centred organisational culture and find practical ways of putting it into practice.
  • To be able to use person-centred tools within an organisational context to develop a person-centred organisation.

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