Practice Statement: Community Inclusion

Being in the community brings us into contact with people on many levels and in a variety of settings. Some of our contacts are casual (greeting a neighbour, chatting with a shopkeeper), while others are more formal (seeing the dentist, working with others on a job). Sometimes these contacts develop into closer relationships over time.

Practice Definition: Community Inclusion

What would be observed in practice:

  • People have contact with a broad range of people outside of Spectrum Care, including cultural and spiritual needs
  • Participation in the community results in meaningful interaction with other people, leading to enhanced personal relationships, expanded social roles and deeper involvement in community activities
  • Connections with family members, friends and co-workers are maintained and encouraged to allow more avenues for people to have a wide range of contacts and involvement within their local community
  • People have the opportunity, freedom and support to define what level of contact they want for themselves. No predetermined level of interaction is expected
  • People with limited experiences in meeting others have the opportunity and support to meet and interact with other people
  • Services do not limit opportunities to have contact with others, eg rostered hours are flexible to meet the needs of people supported

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. What does community mean to you? Why is it good to part of different communities (as opposed to only one)? Can you have a good quality of life without belonging to communities?
  2. Watch the video in the activities and discuss the different gifts and contributions the person/people you support can give to different communities. Remember to keep these front of mind, rather than focussing on their impairments.
  3. Read the piece about supporting people with challenging behaviour. Discuss what the support workers did well and what they didn’t do so well in the two examples provided. Is there something in there you could incorporate into your own practice? (Note: even if you don’t support people with challenging behaviour there is something in the segment for all of us to learn.)

Activities

  1. Dear Community – NZ Down Syndrome Association
  2. SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR TO INCREASE THEIR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
    Sometimes people we support do not respond well to strangers. This may be because they don’t really like people, but it could also be because life has conditioned them to distrust people they don’t know. Think about their experiences with new people, these new people are likely to be professionals who try to take things away from them, or stop the person from doing something they enjoy, poke and prod them (eg doctors and dentists), meaning the experience is unpleasant. Instead when introducing a person we support to someone new, we should aim to create a positive experience. Eventually the person will start to be more open to interacting with people they don’t know well.How can we create a positive experience?
    1. Start where they’re at: What are they currently able to do? What is a practical first step towards building on their skills?
    2. Set them up for success: Start out with little and often and fade support gradually. Aim for errorless learning: Provide lots of help/support/prompts to make sure they get it right. Make sure they are in a familiar setting (e.g. a dairy or café they go regularly) and that the interaction is very short. Slowly build up a series of positive interactions with the same person there (e.g. the dairy owner or barista) that get progressively longer.
    3. Use motivators/reinforcement: Think about things you know are reinforcing for the person (ie things they like, things they would walk up to/pick up/take/do/use if offered, etc.) Either include these in the activity or provide these afterwards to reward participation. Ask the new person to provide the reinforce.
    4. End on Success: What we practice/reward is what we’ll see more of in the future. Avoid the temptation to push further when things are going well. Ending things on a positive/successful note will make it more likely that the person will be willing to participate the next time you give it a go.

    Good practice example:
    Paul and his support worker Sam regularly go to the local café. Normally when they go, Sam orders the coffee and muffins (with Paul beside him) and then they both go and sit at the quiet table at the very back of the shop. Sometimes the barista, Jean, says “Hello” to both men, but Paul never responds. Sam was concerned that Paul was missing out on an opportunity for interaction and with support from his team came up with a plan to gradually start increasing the amount of interaction Paul had with Jean. Sam approached Jean before their next outing and asked if she would help him with the plan. Sam gave Jean a small plastic toy which Paul really liked and asked her to give it to Paul, while saying “Hello” as the first step. The eventual aim was for Paul to eventually make his own order and have a conversation with Jean, but everyone knew that this would take a little while. They knew however, that if they slowly started increasing Paul’s positive interactions with Jean that progress would be made.

    Not so good practice example:
    After a team discussion about community inclusion Alex decided that it was time Sharon started interacting more with the dairy owner down the road. Normally when Sharon and Alex went to the dairy, Alex would make the purchase while Sharon stands behind him. This time however, Alex decided that Sharon would make the purchase. So usual they went and picked out Sharon’s favourite soft drink and went up to the counter. Alex then instructed Sharon that she was to take the drink up, and that he wouldn’t do it. Sharon took the drink but was uncertain with what to do next, so Alex pointed to the counter and waited. Sharon took one step, and Alex encouraged her to keep on going up. At this point, overwhelmed Sharon sat down on the floor and refused to get up. Alex was embarrassed so grabbed Sharon’s drink and paid for it, and used it to bargain with Sharon to get up and leave the shop.

Community Services

Discussion Questions

  1. What does community mean to you?
  2. Why is it good to part of different communities (as opposed to only one)? Can you have a good quality of life without belonging to communities?
  3. Watch the video in the activities and discuss the different gifts and contributions the person/people you support can give to different communities. Remember to keep these front of mind, rather than focussing on their impairments.

Hub and Support Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. More to come…

Activities

  1. More to come…

Managers and Coordinators

Discussion Questions

  1. Complete the first activity with your team. What is the value of exploring different theoretical viewpoints? What is the danger of focussing on only one approach? How should we support our staff to navigate between different theories, perspectives and advice?
  2. Feedback from staff indicates that some teams struggle to apply the Practice Framework to the context they work in because the Practices appear to be directed at services for people with a lower level of impairment than the people they support. How can we support our staff who support people with complex challenges (behaviour, mobility, communication etc.) apply these theories? (Hint: we have put together a resource on increasing community engagement for people with challenging behaviour in the Residential category this month.)

Activities

  1. Theory Activity: As a team discuss the main points of the following theoretical perspectives in relation to building community links for people with disabilities. What does each of these viewpoints suggest is the best way to achieve social inclusion?
    • Humanness (focus on unique gifts and contributions)
    • Social Role Valorisation
    • Social networks/ relationships/ capital
    • Any other theories to add?
    (As preparation the article “ More than Community Presence: Social Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disability” is a good, if long, summary of the different viewpoints.)