‘It’s part of respecting each person’s growth and choice’
Monday July 25, 2011 — Ryan Rogers
To be a truly inclusive community, citizens have a responsibility to provide supports to help each other realize a good life, says Karey Degenova.
“It’s not a favour, it’s something we all need to do for each other,” says Karey, the manager of housing and development for the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI).
This is what BACI stands for, she says.
“Inclusion builds community and honours clients, and it’s part of respecting each person’s growth and choice,” she adds, saying that person-centred planning is an individualized application of the same mentality being applied in the inclusion movement.
Person-centred planning speaks directly to the individuals BACI supports, and lets the individuals identify a group of people who are the most important in their life to support them. Each year this group assembles to help the individual BACI supports determine his or her goals and dreams, and plan to make them a reality.
Supervisor for the outreach department Cherry Sheena says being open to different ideas and being flexible helps to plan for individuals to meet their goals.
“If you’re flexible, and you’re able to try new things, being open to change will really foster innovation,” says Cherry.
Karey says each individual has different range of abilities and strengths, so planning to achieve their goals requires planners to be creative, and at the same time be very respectful of how involved an individual is willing to allow others into the most personal aspects of their life.
An individual may be more comfortable receiving support from friends and family than support staff, for example.
“It really should be the people close to the individual who are helping and meeting with them to find out who they want,” says Karey, adding that if BACI support staff are named, they’re always eager to be involved.
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