Upskilling for tomorrow: PATH and Map training
Last August, we invited some of our staff to train alongside people with disabilities on PATH and Map graphics facilitation.
PATH and Map use pictures to help people explore what's important to them, their aspirations and what their journey might look like. We'll be using graphics facilitation more and more when we work with disabled people. This approach is one of our direct responses to people who are demanding for more flexible services from providers like us.
"Learning how to use PATH and Map signals that we're ready to provide a different kind of service," said Liz Tohu, our Special Projects Coordinator who secured funding so we can deliver PATH and Map to frontline staff.
"When we introduced graphics facilitation to our front of line staff last year, many of the participants felt it was a great alternative for engaging with people," Liz added.
"This time around, the workshop involved some disabled people. And the experience was eye-opening for both."
Young and ambitious
19-year-old Ignite Colleges student Sharniece was one of the workshop participants. Sharniece recently moved from Australia to New Zealand with her Samoan family and is fairly new to the disability system here.
As the workshop facilitators explained that PATH and Map was about completely focusing on the person, Sharniece felt herself getting nervous.
"I'm shy in nature and had major hesitations in sharing my dreams to people I don't know. I wasn't sure I could do it. But then I heard other people's stories and everyone was so attentive and respectful. This boosted my confidence and I felt opening up some more. The more I shared the more assured I felt.
"I think more services should deliver PATH and Map planning. As a person with disability, having a plan reassured me that I can do what I want and there's no limit to what I can do."
Another tool to add to our work kete
Tony was also at the workshop, and like Sharniece, he too had some early misgivings about PATH and Map.
"To be honest, my boss just told me to go," Tony joked.
Tony has worked for Independent Living Services (ILS) for 26 years and is currently their Information and Equipment Consultant. He played wheelchair rugby and spent some time coaching in the sport.
"PATH and Map sounded scary and outside my comfort zone. But I decided it could help me with my job and the people I work with."
It quickly became clear for Tony that visual planning is about bringing the goals and dreams of an individual to the fore.
"It showed how to bring key people in the person's life into the development of how those goals or dreams can be achieved within the reality framework of everyday life. The hopeful change in system transformation is that it will open up the world of possibilities for people. PATH and Map can aid that openness.
"It's another tool to add to our work kete and to draw upon. And it's certainly useful for people with challenging communication requirements," Tony added.
We've chosen Interactionz to deliver the workshops for us. They've been in the disability sector for over 50 years and over the past two years, have transitioned from a traditional disability service to a social enterprise, to be more aligned with the sector transformation.
Interactionz Quality Practice Leader, Janelle Fisher, said that as a person-driven methodology, PATH and Map has a place in the sector transformation.
"Graphics facilitation can be adapted to meet the focus person's needs and preferences. While PATH and Map are particular tools that have parameters to their delivery, the graphic facilitation principles can be mixed and matched according to the circumstances of the focus person and/or facilitators."
We'll be planning for another round of PATH and Map workshop in the new year and our people can't wait to get stuck in!