Tapping into people’s potential involves intent listening: supervisor
Monday June 27, 2011 — Natalie Hamilton
By listening closely, support workers can successfully uncover people’s hopes and dreams and tap into their potential, a supervisor says.
Whether they’re helping someone raise his or her voice or assisting another in finding a job, Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) employees are driven to deliver person-centred supports.
“We’re really encouraged to look for people’s potential and once we get an inkling of something, we’re fully supported to go out and fulfil it,” day program support worker Jill Rowan told BACI Blast.
For instance, Jill recently learned a woman she supports had some high school work experience at a coffee shop. As a result, Jill, with the assistance of others, helped the woman land a job as a café attendant at Starbucks.
Supervisor Alisdair Archibald says making life more meaningful for people involves listening to what they want and helping them realize their own dreams.
“When you get people doing things that they’ve never done before, they’re so excited about it and you can tell that their quality of life has really improved,” says Alisdair.
For instance, a man he supports named Ricardo wants to work. BACI’s trying to arrange a job for Ricardo delivering groceries.
“He’s really excited about making some money and being able to have a little extra cash in his pocket to do some other things he likes, or things he’d like to buy,” Alisdair says.
Meanwhile, a woman BACI supports is enjoying a new-found freedom to make her own choices. She formerly resided in an institution.
From living in a world of “yes” and “no,” the ability for the woman to express herself is liberating, residential-care worker Anne Simons says.
Through BACI, Technology for Independent Living and the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, the woman has also been able to gain her voice through the use of an augmentative communication system.
“Giving people a way to communicate beyond ‘yes’ and ‘no’ — that’s what’s important to the Burnaby association,” says Anne. “Part of the mandate is that people get a say of what they want out of their life.”
Providing people with the support they need to voice their opinions and allowing them to set their own goals is at the core of BACI’s mandate, she adds.
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