Approaching Best Practice for adults with PIMD in day services

I had the pleasure of spending a day at WALCA in Bexley, NSW, last week.

There were many things about the service that make me suggest they are approaching best practice.
Most notable was their InterCom service in IGLO:). This part of the day service included two staff dedicated to supporting the communication of the service users. The staff had built particular expertise in Intensive Interaction and other communication strategies. They had an area of the day service where they could bring clients for one to one work. In addition, they had other staff spend a day in the part of the service so that they could model and share what they’d learnt. 
They showed and discussed a video that they had made of the work. They impressed me with their ability to describe the outcomes for service users and how these had been bought about: people who were now taking turns in sound play, people who had started the service screaming most of the day and now smiling in interactions… Very impressive, and showing the value of day services when time is dedicated to staff learning and nurturing their ability to bring about and describe outcomes.

Raising Our Sights – video

After several months of waiting, the UK Raising Our Sights video that accompanies the report is now on the Department of Health website. It has been segmented into parts, for download size purposes I assume. I recommend watching all parts – but if you have to choose, I would recommend starting with Victoria and Mitchell’s video (Alex and Simon perhaps are more in-line with having severe ID rather than profound – but nevertheless it is a good video).
I think this an important example of supporting adults with PIMD and it may be helpful to both services and families supporting people with PIMD.
Click here for both the report and the videos.

upcoming event – Raising Our Sights

Cross posting this event that might be of interest (related to below mentioned report)
Raising our sights: services for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities
Professor Jim Mansell
Friday 16 April 2.00pm – 5.00pm
Presented by Professor Jim Mansell, Director of the Tizard Centre, University of Kent
Implementation of new government policy for people with intellectual disabilities in England (‘Valuing People’) after 2001 has not made sufficient progress for people with more complex needs. A revision of the policy has identified this (‘making it happen for everyone’) as a goal. One of the groups identified as not receiving better services quickly enough are adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities. This master class describes the results of a review of services for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities and its recommendations for action. Participants in the master class will have the opportunity to assess Victorian policy and practice in the light of the issues identified.
Enquiries to Professor Christine Bigby, C.Bigby@latrobe.edu.au – bookings essential

Upcoming Workshop in Victoria – Armchair travel

The following workshop is being conducted by Communication Resource Centre – I have no connection with it – but it looks great!
This workshop will provide:
Information about
• the concept of armchair travel
• the role of the senses and the impact of sensory processing disorders on the ability to participate in everyday activities
• sensory assessments
• Armchair travel resources

and strategies for
• enhancing sensory performance
• formatting armchair travel experiences
• developing other sensory-focused activities

The practical component of this workshop provides you with the opportunity to develop an armchair travel experience for someone you support.

Prerequisites:
An interest in developing individualised supports to engage people with PIMD in activities in ways that are meaningful to them.

Target audience:
Direct support staff, teachers and others who support people with PIMD.

Date: Monday – March 29th 2010
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
Venue: Whitehorse Library – Meeting room 1
Cost: $187.00 (Includes GST)

To register for this workshop you will need to complete an application form. See attachment
OR Telephone 03 9843 2000 OR Email crc@scopevic.org.au
Communication Resource Centre, Scope, 830 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill 3128

Learning from mistakes abroad


Toward the end of last year Beverly Dawkins published the following article: Dawkins, B. (2009). Valuing Tom: will Valuing People Now change the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities? Tizard Learning Disability Review, 14(4), 3-12.
It is a response to the UK Valuing People Now policy shift and its impact on people with PIMD in the UK. It highlights the many ways in which the current policy has let down people with PIMD:
– decreased access to day services
– poor planning
– continued discrimination in health context leading to uneccessary pain and, at times, death
– continued inadequate access to advocacy
– …
New initiatives attempting to improve the lives of people with PIMD in the UK are highlighted: Emerson’s demographic study, Mencap’s various studies…
Although this is based in the UK, I believe this is highly relevent in the Australian context, both in terms of current and future issues.