Presenting a paper on the findings of my research into quality checking in Australia has been a unique experience. Firstly because I was able to share our work widely and secondly because I was able to meet with people from all over the world and listen to their life stories.
Choice Support employs around 30 people with learning disabilities as Quality Checkers to monitor services. They bring a uniquely informed perspective to their work, because they all have first-hand experience of services. Read more details about Thomas' research here.
I was attending the International Association for Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities World Congress in Melbourne, Australia. I am grateful to Choice Support for sponsoring this trip for me and I hope the contacts I met down under will bring more collaborative work to the organisation.
My presentation attracted people from different countries and also many people with disabilities. The findings of research on quality checking went down a storm. Especially because Australia has a new system of providing support to disabled people called the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which is being rolled out gradually across the country.
People in the audience were genuinely interested in the impact of quality checking and the value of utilising the skills and experience of people who are at the receiving end of support.
I also had a poster presentation on the development of language of people with Down's Syndrome. This meant that delegates looked around at all the posters on display and I stood close to my poster to explain it and answer questions if needed.
During the conference I made contacts with people with and without disabilities from across the globe and I’ve heard stories from people from Japan and Malaysia, to Canada and Denmark! This was all extremely valuable for the development of our work in the UK and in the organisation.
After the conference in Melbourne I visited the Centre of Disability Studies at the University of Sydney were I trained a group of self-advocates and other professional on how to become Quality Checkers.
Thomas Doukas (5th right at back of photo) with the Inclusive Research Team lead by Professor Patricia O’Brien, who had invited him to do the Quality Checking training at the Center of Disabilities Studies, University of Sydney.
I was received with great enthusiasm and once again people I met in Sydney were genuinely interested in our work and on how they can implement similar methods in Australia.
Dr Thomas Doukas
Choice Support Involvement Team Leader
Tags in this document: Quality Checkers