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Meeting Lorna Sullivan, by Jules Andre-Brown

January 31, 2012

Lorna Sullivan, Michael Kendrick, Ernie Baatz (Bill in front) at the Spectrum Circus Themed New Years Tea

Jules Andre-Brown is traveling in the Philippines where, apparently, if you stay underwater the mosquitos are less dangerous (he tweeted).  Before leaving he wrote about a few thoughts about Lorna Sullivan, who came to do Optimal Individual Service Design training in Vancouver with Michael Kendrick.   We first met Lorna through the recent International Institute of Disability Leadership Conference, where she was a driving force in bringing together people from all over the world to talk about best practices.   Here are Jules’ thoughts:

“I had a great chat with Lorna Sullivan, The Chief Executive for Standards Plus in New Zealand, responsible for managing the organization and its relationships.  Lorna and her team have a great gift of putting on events and really work well with Dr.Micheal Kendrick at determining what is really important to people and families of people experiencing disabilities.

Over pizza on Wednesday, we discussed what was the road to implementing individualized funding in NZ.   She talks about the idea of “being of service to a person” rather than “being a provider of service models”.   She said an important thought was not to think of just the service model and that would trap people in a 1 size fits all solution, and some families wouldn’t know to do many of the roles within service model, but the would want “say-so” over the project.

She said within 1000 families, it was very rare to meet or hear of people who wanted to or knew how to do everything. But thinking of yourself as service to where the gaps were would be really important.”

You can read more about the work of Lorna and her colleagues here.   There’s a chance she’ll be returning to the area to do a two day Social Role Valorisation training.   If you’re interested in attending this, or sending people, please make sure you’ve subscribed to updates here so we can keep you in the loop.   aaron

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