STORY – Working with Service Providers: Taking the measure of a full life

Quality of Life Poster

Dan CollinsDan Collins doesn’t have time to be bored. As Executive Director of Langley Association for Community Living (LACL), he leads an organization that provides a range of supports to over 400 children and youth with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities.

CLBC works with service providers like LACL to support more than 17,000 individuals to have a strong quality of life. But until a few years ago, there was no easy way to answer the simple question: how well are we doing?

In 2011 CLBC began working with Dr. Robert Schalock, an international quality of life expert, to do something that had not really been tried before. CLBC partnered with service providers to administer a survey to ask people with developmental disabilities themselves about their quality of life. The idea was to find a way to start working in partnership with service providers like LACL to better evaluate our efforts. The initiative is known as Include Me!

“We were excited when CLBC approached us about Include Me!,” says Dan Collins. “It served as an invitation to explore our values and how we support folks while taking a closer look at our business process and operational systems.”

LACL experimented with novel ways to engage those they support and even developed a plain language board game to encourage learning, coupled with fun and laughter.

“We began the process in 2012, and the results of our initial survey revealed that we could do more to address each individual’s capacity and ability to make decisions about their lives,” says Dan.

Over the past four years LACL has been making changes based on the information learned from participating in Include Me! “Led by self-advocates, we piloted a new planning process that used electronic posters to express personal plans,” said Dan.

And the effort is paying off. LACL’s 2015 survey results showed people they support are feeling better about their personal development, social skills and their relationships in the community.

“There is so much more to Include Me! than a survey. It is not an assessment of your organization or a measure of performance,” says Dan. “It is the beginning of a process, a continuous process, to improve how we deliver needed supports and services. This is the approach we took at LACL and we are thrilled about the results.”

LACL


To learn more about the services of Langley Association for Community Living, visit: www.langleyacl.com

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