On March 15th, I attended a party on Astor Ave. Ten individuals, that Boundless supports, attended to celebrate some great work around new person centered planning ideas.  WHAT AN EVENT! The party was celebrating the beginning of our Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) inspired All About Me process. Staff had been working with individuals discussing what is important in their lives and what they want their future to look like.  Our Direct Support Professionals (DSP) then assisted each person in making vision boards; presentations in the form of posters, or books, or photographs, or artwork that represent what is important in their life and what they want their future personal outcomes to be.

Individuals invited their families and staff, served food and presented their All About Me visions for the future.  This process started as a way to begin our efforts to get the principles of person-centered practices and CQL integrated into an individuals life and into the thinking and actions of staff and families.  DSP assisted individuals in focusing on “what is important to you”, “what outcomes do you want in your future”, “who is important to you” and “what relationships would you like to develop or change”.

Valued Roles and Interests

Socialization was a constant theme from those we support, sharing ideas like: best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, athlete, helper, employee, movie critic, daughter or son, friend.  It was a powerful image that allowed DSP and family to better understand what relationships mean to those we support and what and how they need to support the individuals in the achievement of attaining and maintaining these relationships.

Interests were also a focus: “what is most important to me in my community”, “what assistance do I need to access these interests”, “do I have knowledge of what is available to me or do I need staff help to educate me and expand my options”.  Individuals discussed and highlighted trips they have taken or want to take, sporting events of interest, entertainment that they are interested in and classes that they may want to take.

What an exciting journey our CQL accreditation is taking us on……. to offer experiences and opportunities to the individuals we serve to expand their world.  All we have to do is ask the right questions and listen to the answers.

Susie Burke, Community Living Services Director