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Optimal Individual Service Design 2012 – in Vancouver, B.C.

November 1, 2011

Perhaps the most intensive and transformational training currently offered around North America in our field, based on growing analytical and critical thinking and firmly rooted in Social Role Valorisation and knowledge of best practices around the world, Optimal Individual Service Design is a two week co-facilitated course that has been offered in many countries with excellent feedback from participants, who have said they came away informed, transformed and with a new sense of purpose and the training to allow them to accomplish new goals for those they care about.  

In effect, there is the two week course, for thirty participating trainees, and there are ten focal people who work with small teams through the two weeks to create plans which are then owned by the individual, and then there are also opportunities to sit at the back of the room while Michael Kendrick, Lorna Sullivan and Dennis Harkness talk about their own experiences of person-centredness and agency transformation.    Agencies participating in the course, and family members, are welcome to send others to sit in on these public parts (where private information is not being discussed).   Prior to the course, we will have a schedule for participants and another schedule for those wishing to sit in and learn.   As the time grows closer we will try to offer free evenings for families and self advocates who have wish to meet the instructors and ask questions.

We’ve participated before in offering this by partnering with other agencies and would be glad to do so this time as well.   Please contact for more information or check our eventbrite registration site

To learn more about Dr. Michael Kendrick, visit his website at

“My association with Michael Kendrick began nearly twenty years ago, when advocates from Connecticut became interested in the innovative approaches to human service reform and community development that he was helping to fostering in Western Massachusetts. His initial work with our agency staff involved training, introducing us to the concepts and disciplines of “normalization” (later Social Role Valorization) theory. Soon, however, our Office began to rely on Michael to consult on program design and advocacy strategies. As we responded to legislative mandates and requirements arising from class action lawsuits, Michael guided and facilitated our efforts to develop both legally based, professional advocacy programs and community based, Citizen Advocacy projects for people leaving Connecticut institutions.

Over the years we have asked him to prepare formal studies on questions of organizational structure and strategy, to develop and provide training to community groups and boards, to serve as an expert witness, and to lead discussions amongst our Board and staff members as we periodically re-examine our commitments and priorities. Michael can always be counted on to recognize and penetrate to the heart of the issue; to bring fresh insights and inspiration. His deep understanding of the dynamics of societal change and systems reform, coupled with his awesome intellect, essential goodness and, not least, his wry sense of humour bring unique, authentic and lasting contributions to our common struggles on behalf of people with disabilities and their families.”  James D. McGaughey, Updated Nov 12, 2003

Check out other testimonials here.   

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