Category Archives: community living

More employment related graphic recording – the Pacific Autism Family Centre

Several of my favourite things came together around creating this graphic – it’s about the idea of massively increasing supported, equitable employment for people with disabilities in British Columbia, it’s a group that’s thinking BIG ambitious thoughts about holistic supports and brought together a group of diverse interests to facilitate a discussion about partnerships and how research can lead to action, and I got to draw with Liz Etmanski, my favourite drawing partner.

SocialEntDisabilitiesRoundTableJuly2015 copyLast but not least, it is a project that is generated by families and I learned a lot of new things and got to change my mind about some stuff 🙂 and I always like that (it tends to happen around Liz a lot too).

Looking forward to next steps with these folks!

LizAaronReadyToDraw

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#clmooc Remediation Make Cycle 2

I’ve been really fascinated by what’s coming across my social media feeds as educators of all kinds have tackled the idea of “reMEDIAtion” over the last week in the #clmooc group.  As my avocation is special education for adults, I was particularly interested in this idea: “Remediation – as we’ll be thinking about it here – is unrelated to another use of the term in education: we are not talking about “remediating kids” as in “remedy”-ing them.  Here, the focus is on media, and ways in which moving from one medium to another changes what we are able to communicate and how we are able to do so.”  On the other hand, I’ve been travelling, and teaching in some new places, and trying to wrap up some projects, and dealing with a hospitalized family member and a paper I am supposed to be readying for publication so I wasn’t putting too much pressure on myself…  but one of the folks was talking about the idea of constraints as compelling…

I’ve been teaching drawing as communication to adults, and it’s always fascinating to see who is scared of what.  To watch someone draw perfectly well and beat themselves up with every line.  To watch someone who didn’t think they could draw anything, draw something recognizable, and then the next day come back to say their children were so thrilled they insisted she hang it on their fridge door.

Yet, as interesting as it is, it’s a bit hard to relate to, honestly.  I’ve always been able to draw pretty much anything, and while I had a few art teachers who didn’t think that was true, or wanted me to want something “more,” the shyness people have about this skill range is difficult for me to fathom.  Thinking about this, I realized how invested I was in the idea of control…  even when I decided I’d rather fail the drawing course than do what was wanted, I was in control.   About the same time, I ran across an old reference in some notes I was looking at, twitter bots – in this case, twitter-bots you send images to and they re-create (re-mediate) your images – either randomly or by sending them commands.  This led to me discovering a whole family of twitter-bots that, as it happened, were at war!

TwitterBotWar.08 AM TwitterBotWar.39 AM TwitterBotWar.33 AM

As a graphic recorder and facilitator (and illustrator and researcher), my actual job a good part of any month is re-mediation – I listen to the conversations people have about certain subjects, and turn them into drawings.  In my research I get a lot of people talking about one subject and then turn that into a drawing as a recording.  This was part of my Master’s thesis and is part of what I am continuing to look at in my PhD program.

So, this kind of interaction:

CommunityMappingVictoria

Turns into this kind of documentation, through my drawings and (often) the incorporation of drawings and work by the groups (in this case, “name tags” in which the “my name is…” was replaced with “the gift i bring to community is…”):

CommunityMappingVictoriaGraphic

There are lots of good things about such projects but in essence what I like is that we focus on the ways people can communicate (visually) as a way of congregating information that they can present to those who are empowered to make changes.  In this project we went to six different cities in the end, in which agencies, government and policy makers were as excited to hear what people with disabilities wanted as people with disabilities were to tell them.

I also continue to be fascinated by technology and its effects on our lives and relationships.  So I started sending some of the documents and images to the twitter bots.

I combined a picture of me drawing with a drawing and send them to imgblender – which takes two images and overlays them in different ways: 

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Then, using the twitter-bots JPGglitchbot, imgshredder, lowpolybot and Quilt Bot, I continued to experiment with the photo of me drawing a research project plan for a collaborative group of researchers with intellectual disabilities:

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This led to me combining and re-mediating more of the graphic recordings, and in particular one of me and my family, combined with a recording about how people who live with folks with disabilities feel about their “jobs,” lives and the idea of “home”:

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Finally, I made myself stop but then, in bed with my iPad and reading one of my favourite comic series, Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100, I could not resist combining the iconic cover of this future-Batman in a dystopian world with a publicity photo of me, and really liking the effect 🙂

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and then, the next day, I discovered the twit-bot UShouldFrameIt and decided my new portrait needed framing:

BatEducatorFramed

and then, in an act of post-structuralist robotics, that a sarcastic comment from LowPolyBot to UShoudFrameIt as part of the twit-bot-war needed a little framing too….

TwitBotWarFramed.47 PM

To see the Imgblender Gif in action, go here.

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Family Support Institute Training Weekend graphics

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.

the value of one

Greeting sign for Registration Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A busy schedule for the two days - this worked well!

A busy schedule for the two days – this worked well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Ipad to record family conversations with six branches of government

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!

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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

home choice

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF2712

with one of my favourite people, FSI Executive Director Angela Clancy – a brilliant companion for thinking through… everything.

 

 

 

DSCF2710

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 work for them.  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!

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.

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.

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.

StarsRolled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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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).

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).

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