Helping people live the life they choose

An example of how one-page profiles can help a person communicate their working style. Carl’s story also highlights how profiles can be used by a Quality Auditor as a review tool by assessing whether or not a provider is supporting people to achieve the things that they state as important.

Carl's one-page profile

Carl’s one-page profile

Written by Dimensions

Carl Shaw is a Quality Auditor at Dimensions. He carries out audits so that we can measure the quality of services against an agreed set of standards called Reach2; they outline what people should expect from a supported living service so that they can, for example, choose where and who they live with, how they are supported and who supports them.  As well as being an excellent Auditor, Carl has rounded experience in his field as he too has a learning disability.

As a Quality Auditor, Carl’s one- page profile has been used to introduce him to the people living in the services he audits, and the staff teams there.  In developing his one-page profile, Carl asked his family, some friends, colleagues and fellow trainees at a course he attended about person-centred reviews what they admired and liked about him. Carl got lots of feedback and decided to categorise the answers into three parts – work attributes, things that keep him on an even keel and other attributes.

Carl likes to have a good balance of home life and work life. He works 25 hours a week which enables him to feel fulfilled in both areas of his life. His one-page profile reflects this and so the people working with him are aware of this important balance without Carl having to explain it.

Carl’s one-page profile highlights that it is important to him that people we support get enough support to live the life they choose – the Reach2 standards are assessing this. In his one-page profile Carl explains that he might come across as strict in his assessment of our services, but that is because the quality of the service people experience in order to live their life is very important to him.

Carl also asks managers for the one-page profiles of the people they support. He finds this an essential tool for his job because when he visits a service he can look at the things that are important to the person, and then asses if those things have been achieved or are being worked on.

Carl also mentions in his profile that he needs support with writing and English.  He is now doing an English literacy course to help him to be able to type reports better. This is another benefit that has come out of sharing important information by using a one-page profile.

A different way to use a one-page profile

An excellent example of how a one-page profile can be adapted to create a professional résumé. Joey recognised the value in the rich information that a one-page profile captures and used it to present himself to potential employers.

Joey's one-page profile for job hunting

Joey’s one-page profile for job hunting

Written by Julie Malette

When Joey developed his first résumé, he was a 15 year old grade nine student living in Sturgeon Falls Ontario.  He was interested in finding after-school and weekend work.

Joey had previously gone to a few local businesses to apply for work and had not heard back from any of them.  His mom suggested that he create a résumé that included the ‘Like and Admire’ and the ‘Important to Me’ sections that feature on a one-page profile.

Joey used the Like and Admire information from a previous family activity, calling his grandmother to explain what he was doing and asking her what she liked and admired about him.  Joey and his mom also talked about what was important to him and wrote this down.  They debated whether or not he should include a picture on his résumé.  They thought that it was likely to get people’s attention but is not usually part of a work résumé.

Joey decided to add his school picture to his résumé.  He then printed some coloured copies and went to local businesses to apply for work.  One employer told him that he had never seen a picture on a résumé and liked it.  He said that although he was not hiring at that time, he would remember his meeting Joey and their conversation and would call him if they had any openings in the future.

Using sections of the one-page profile in the résumé made it stand out from the rest.  Identifying what people like and admire about the person sends a much stronger statement than simply listing strengths and skills.

Joey did get hired to work part-time at a local coffee and doughnut shop.  He learned much from this work experience and has realised that working in the food industry is not what he imagined it would be.  He is now in grade 12 and looking for admin and self-directed types of employment opportunities.  He is also focusing on his schoolwork in an effort to get University scholarships.

Making familylife run a little more smoothly

An example of how a one-page profile can be used in the home to help families communicate and support each other better. 

Written by Julie Malette

barbBarb is a mother of three and a single parent during the week. Her husband comes home on weekends, which changes the dynamics of the home significantly. He also has four children who visit  frequently. Barb has two jobs as well as community commitments.

Barb was feeling quite overwhelmed at home. She had recently been given a medical diagnosis that she felt her family were leaning on when she was frustrated or tired. She was feeling like she was the person that was expected to ensure the home was just as everyone wanted it…like superwoman would. Although she appreciated being valued in this role and wished she could do that, it was just getting to be too much for her to balance so she created a Mom and Wife one-page profile.

She sat down one afternoon and created the profile on her own. She took an appreciation activity they had done as a family in the past and used it to develop the Like and Admire section of her wife and mom profile. Barb printed it and shared it with all of her children and her husband. She then stuck it to the refrigerator with a magnet so it would not be forgotten.

When her children first read it they mentioned that some of it they already knew and some of it was a surprise. Her youngest son started asking before cuddling up to her on the couch. Dishes and meals were more often taken care of by others. Barb began experiencing less resistance from her children to do their chores. Her diagnosis is never used as an excuse anymore, instead her family asks if it is a bad day medically or just a rough day in general. A few times, her children have made her a nice Jacuzzi while she is out on her daily walk; when she returns it is prepared for her. Overall, the profile has really helped everyone understand that Barb is not a machine and they have more respect for her needs. Gentle reminders sometimes need to be given but for the most part it has helped make home life go much more smoothly.