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Supporting the citizenship of people with disabilities

Introducing MyCompass Labs

At Skills Society we are always looking for innovative ways to connect people with disabilities to meaningful, engaged citizenship roles and employment opportunities in the community. More recently, we have been tweaking our previous Citizen Action Lab process to better fit with the MyCompass Planning platform. This has resulted in MyCompass Labs, the latest iteration of the think tank process! Read on to learn more.

Skills Society uses MyCompass, an online platform and planning tool, that helps people chart the path towards all things good in life. The tool enables individuals with disabilities, in collaboration with their supports and family members, to set goals, track progress, and share accomplishments.

Supports putting ideas for roles and activities on sticky notes as they work through the MyCompass Lab process

To compliment the MyCompass online platform, Skills also offers MyCompass labs. The MyCompass Lab process helps unlock creativity in community support workers so they can strengthen their approaches to supporting people with disabilities. The process has evolved over 10 years to its current form, a 1.5 hour guided brainstorming session that spurs people to think differently about their role in supporting the citizenship of people with disabilities.

The lab process brings key support people together to generate fresh new goals for an individual’s MyCompass plan. These labs are offered on an ongoing basis and can take place in the Action Lab or in an individual’s home. A steward takes the group through a series of disciplined creative processes which enable them to first think and dream big and then slowly refine their ideas into concrete, achievable goals and tasks to be entered into an individual’s MyCompass plan.

To mix things up, on December 13, 2018, we hosted a MyCompass Lab Workshop. On this day, we hosted four different MyCompass labs simultaneously in the Action Lab. Key supports came in, were led through the process by a steward, and left with a series of fresh new goals and tasks to input into the individual’s plan.

Supports generating information about the individual they support in the discovery phase of the MyCompass Lab process

People who participated in the workshop day reported feeling excited and grateful to have the opportunity to come together with others for a short time to do some designated thinking about how to best support the citizenship of someone they support. We are proud to have this unique tool to assist supports in curating plans that are meaningful, exciting, rich, and full of a diversity of experiences.

Didn’t get to participate in the last workshop day? Don’t fret! We plan to offer them once a quarter. Watch your email to sign up for the next one. 

This post was prepared by Paige Reeves, CommuniTEA Infusion Coordinator and PhD student in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. 

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