I was again invited to the Family Support Institute Training Weekend in Naramata – last year this was a really transformational weekend for me as a parent, professional and I got to test my chops as a graphic recorder and facilitator. This year we upped the ante 🙂 This is an amazing group of folks. If you are a parent or have a family member with a disability and need support, contact them to find out about Resource Parents in your area. If you are feeling like you’d like to offer something to other families which include people with disabilities, inquire about their annual training program. Last year I think it was 27 new Resource Parents and Resource Family Members came on board, assisted by more experienced peers who have been there from the beginning. If you’re a professional or an agency, consider having someone from FSI come and speak to your group or board – they are having amazing conversations about education, supported work, sexuality, housing and government.
Greeting sign for Registration Desk
A busy schedule for the two days – this worked well!
Using the Ipad to record family conversations with six branches of government
One of the best workshops I’ve ever attended, on including parents with disabilities, who sometimes have children with disabilities. Wow. And Cara’s first workshop presentation!
While it’s hard to pick a “favourite presentation,” last year’s session on the role of Resource Parents blew me away and this year’s did too. Was back on the Ipad for this one.
Bonnie facilitated a great dialogue about FSI’s strategic planning process, gathering more input for the board. She has the most amazing smile but every time I took her photo to use in this, she looked this serious! Ipad.
A bunch of families spontaneously came together for a discussion of housing, community building, safeguards and intentional futures-building – I got asked to come in and concretize things so that they can build on the conversation. It was such a gift to be present.
with one of my favourite people, FSI Executive Director Angela Clancy – a brilliant companion for thinking through… everything.
Ben uses the map we made together to explain to some other parents what they’d been talking about.
I really like working with groups to do things with graphics that will serve their purposes. One of their challenges has been getting feedback about what people would like to see in the next training weekends, so they thought it might work better to make a graphic for people to write on. By the end of the weekend it was 2/3rds full of ideas – so that worked!
Daphne and Rachel, facilitating a closing ceremony, wanted to have a graphic way for people to be able to name their children as individuals. I’ve been wanting to do a Van Gogh riff on something so made this field of stars, and then got star shaped cutouts which people wrote on in silver and gold ink and stuck to the chart. This might be the favourite things I’ve done so far. See below
the star chart with names was rolled up and used as a kind of talking stick artifact, first in a “fire” of candles with a heart-beat drum, and then passed from person to person. I am so grateful to have been part of this.
Last but not least, they wanted signs for the doors this year, so people would have a better sense of negotiating sessions that were in different buildings. I used the Ipad to make these!
Oh, one more thing – Spectrum Society, our agency, was thrilled to get the annual Family Support Institute award for our supports to families in B.C.!
our E.D., Ernie Baatz (left) accepted the award on behalf of our board, our colleagues, the teams we are part of and the famiies we support who have welcomed us with such open hearts. “You’ve challenged us, and we’ve been excited to meet the challenge.” Shelley Nessman (centre), me (right).