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2018 Paris conference

Well, 2018 has been filled with new breakthroughs. These are posted on our Now and Next Alumni blog here.

For now, Annick is heading to Paris where she will share with an audience of practitioners, and people with disability and their families and carers what we have learnt about the value of experiential knowledge through our Pictability tool.

The organising body is the CNS (Caisse Nationale de Solidarite pour l'Autonomie) and the full pre-program of the 5emes Rencontres Scientifiques de la CNS can be viewed here.


Embedding the prospective lived experience and knowledge of families into a practical planning tool
Dr. Annick Janson, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

The time when parents receive a disability or developmental delay diagnosis for their child can be emotionally confronting for families, raising questions about the value of planning at this moment. The paradox, however, is that service providers need to produce a plan in order to access funding.

An Australian-New Zealand group tackled this issue, proposing a radical new approach to planning. Launched in 2015 by two professionals with lived experience (Mahmic and Janson, 2018), PictabilityTM a novel practical planning tool was co-designed with the 300 families that have since used it to create change for their children. This tool allows for a visioning experience, which embeds parents’ prospective lived experience into a creative and fun planning process. Parents described the resulting plans as inspiring them into action, and reported that using this tool has helped them move away from a deficit to a strength-based approach.

This application pioneers the implementation of Positive Psychology in the disability sector, in particular Seligman et al. (2016) concept of ‘prospection’ where families explore their futures with hope. Trained peer parents support participants to identify and draw on their inner strengths to formulate their inspirational goals for their family, child and their personal development.

Peer facilitators guide participants to work on and achieve their goals in the follow up Now and Next TM implementation program (Heyworth, Mahmic & Janson, 2017). Supported by research and development thought leaders (Moore, Fong & Rushton, 2018), parents train as participant observers and use bespoke applications to collect and analyse data about:
·      Ongoing feedback ensuring optimization of program impact,
·      Reporting on participants’ empowerment, agency and wellbeing gains through robust measurements.

Families recognize their accountability in building their capacity as the missing link in their partnerships with professionals, so they choose the specific pathways that match their strengths. In these parents’ view, leadership is not an option – it is their responsibility.

A comprehensive research framework accompanies implementation to add the family voice as crucial evidence (“what works”), largely been missing in the body of literature about professional-family partnerships. We disseminate translational knowledge gathered from 4 participating countries (Australia, New Zealand, Finland and Canada) on the application of this model for practitioners to use in their work with families and to inform commissioners and policymakers’ decisions.  

Mahmic, S. & Janson, A. (2018) Now and Next: An innovative leadership pipeline for families raising young children with disability or delay, Available from: http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-az/now-and-next.html

Heyworth, M., Mahmic, S. & Janson, A. (2017) Now and Next: A radically new way to build peer leadership in families raising young children with disability or development delay. International Journal of Disability, Community and Rehabilitation (http://www.ijdcr.ca/VOL15_01/articles/janson.shtml)

Moore, T., Fong, M., & Rushton, S. (2018). Evaluation: Now and Next program. Plumtree Children’s Services, Inc. & Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Parkville, VIC: Centre for Community Child Health.

Seligman, M. E., Railton, P., Baumeister, R. F., & Sripada, C. (2016). Homo Prospectus. London, UK: Oxford University Press.

Publications and presentations list: www.tinyurl.com/now-and-next-publications