In late 2015, I attended the annual disability employment think tank hosted by the Center for Social Capital, the not for profit affiliate of Griffin-Hammis Associates. Held at a wilderness lodge in Idaho, the purpose is to get people away from technology and to speak freely about emerging trends in our field. In 2015, the focus was on staff, an important factor in the success of our work with clients.
We looked at seven areas of concern and discussed potential solutions and emerging practices. What did we discover? Amazingly or should I say not so surprising in the setting that we worked, over two hundred practice ideas and solutions emerged from our group of 40+ individuals involved in different aspects of disability employment. The findings are too voluminous to discuss in the limited space of this forum.
What I can say is that the findings and ideas are extraordinary in both their depth and simplicity, highlighting that no single person has all the answers and that by sharing and opening engaging in discussion about the future of disability employment, solutions to everyday and complex challenges that we face can be found.
Of course one of the commonest issues facing disability employment in Australia is the cloak and dagger manner in which service providers guard “their secrets”. Guess what? Your secrets are not worth keeping to yourself and the sector and by extension clients would be better off if you’d open up and share what works, what doesn’t and what we need to do to create a new paradigm.
I’m off to the USA to attend this years invitation only event in August and I’m taking one of the Centre for Disability Employment Research and Practice associates with me. We’ll be primed when we get back and will share some of what we discovered in the USA when we host the first of our annual disability employment think tanks in October this year.
Exciting times lay ahead of us with the NDIS priming the future of Disability Employment Services and we look forward to disrupting the conversation and building a new client centred disability employment paradigm. Join us!