A passion for supporting peers to do planning for the future is turning into a business venture for a group of self-advocates from the Lower Mainland.
Self-advocates Gladys Duran, Barb Goode and Ryan Groth are all trainers in a process called People Planning Together (PPT).
PPT teaches people who receive comprehensive services, such as residential supports, to take a leadership role in planning their life. People are supported to develop a Person Centered Description (PCD) after actively participating in a PPT class. The PCD is then used to assist an individual to create a plan or make changes to their support plan, or any other plans they may have.
Until recently, Gladys facilitated PPT sessions with James White, who supports the process as a mentor. When James became a facilitator for CLBC and a participant in CLBC’s leadership program, PPT seemed like a natural fit for a person centered project.
“PPT is an incredibly empowering process for both trainer and participant,” says James. “It fits beautifully with CLBC’s vision of good lives for people.”
In a PPT session, Gladys approached Ryan and Barb to see if they would be interested in being trainers and joining her to do more sessions around the province. The answer from both was a resounding “yes”.
The group was awarded a Self-Advocates Seeding Innovation contract from the British Columbia Association for Community Living which received funding through CLBC’s Innovation program.
Barb explains, “We wanted to do something unique, something that others haven’t done before. Really, we are helping people to find their niche in life.”
As the group met and started to make plans, they realized that there might be an opportunity to create work. They began to talk about and research the idea of forming a worker’s cooperative. The result was the formation of the ESATTA Cooperative. ESATTA stands for Empowering Self Advocates to Take Action.
In addition to providing PPT training, the group presents workshops on a variety of subjects. When asked about the workshops, Ryan says the group hopes to be hired to present to self-advocates and staff. They are currently working on a self esteem workshop called “Light Your Path While Living in the Fast Lane” and are in the planning stages of creating presentations about internet safety, loneliness and how to incorporate a worker’s cooperative.
If you are interested in ESATTA training sessions, creating a custom made workshop for your agency or group, or if you have any questions, you can contact email@example.com.