Monday, December 9, 2013

Discoveries, Plus Retreat

 On October 19 through October 23, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, I attended the Marc Gold & Associates fifth annual Discovery, Plus Retreat. The retreat required long days and even some evenings of attending informational sessions, presentations and workgroup sessions, but all of the time spent learning about Discovery was worth it. Beginning next year, staff at Sinergia will learn about Discovery.
This invitation only, retreat provided participants with information, skills, hands on experience and activities in understanding Discovery, and  how Discovery strategies are different from traditional assessment procedures for individuals with disabilities in preparing for customized employment.
Instead of trying to uncover the answer to what a job seeker wants to do, Discovery tries to determine a host of other findings. Discovery seeks to understand who the person with a disability is in as many aspects of life as necessary to inform planning.
A facilitator during one of the sessions helped us understand the shift that must take place by commenting; as professionals who work with and on behalf of individuals with disabilities and their families we must find a way to share in the journey of Discovery. This will require beginning new relationships, a new pact and new expectations.
In late January 2014 I will be training staff from Sinergia's Day Habilitation staff abut the Discovery process so that they may start introducing customized employment to the participants.
Cassandra Archie

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