Our Experience of Vision Planning

Lou and Jeanette Micallef write about their experience of a planning session held as part of Pave the Way’s Six Day Workshop, “From Visions to Actions through Planning”.  This workshop is held over two long weekends, a few months apart.   

The first weekend offers an opportunity for people to spend time together as a couple, and as individuals, to think about their son or son or daughter or other family member with a disability and to become clear about the best possible life they can imagine for them. 

The second weekend is about how to use these ideas as the basis for planning so that their vision for the future starts to become a reality.  On this weekend people are encouraged to invite others they know and trust to join a planning session facilitated by a Pave the Way staff member.   

Lou and Jeanette write about how this planning session, which they call “Vision Planning”, worked for them.   

 

Our Experience of Vision Planning

The idea of Vision Planning had been a part of our thoughts for quite a few years.  Work commitments did not allow enough time for both of us to come together to share.  Although we had participated in a 2 day Workshop in 2005 and it had made us aware of future possibilities, the task seemed daunting. The Big Question – Where to start?  We were not sure what we wanted to do or what we needed to put into place. 

When an expression of interest for the Pave the Way 6 day Workshop came along, we jumped at the chance to start the process again.  There were less commitments on our time, we both felt ready and saw that there was an opportunity to start the actual process.  

Extra incentives – ‘Pave the Way’ offered assistance and guidance in all aspects.  We were ready and wanted to get ‘something’ done. A working result was our expectation. 

For us, starting small seemed the best option to achieve success in getting a planning group going. 

We invited –

  • Faye, our daughter with a disability, because we felt she understood enough to have an input into her future.       
  • Our two other children because we felt confident in their understanding of the problems we faced and also we wanted them to be aware of the process we wanted to begin.       
  • A family friend who we trusted to have a good understanding and provide input.

All were eager to participate. 

The process had been explained to us before hand and the meeting was relaxed, easily paced with small breaks and everyone felt comfortable.  The time went really quickly and we hoped we could get enough done.  We set some long term and short term goals. Each person took on tasks they felt able to accomplish.  A process was established to be continued.  All information was documented and shared.  Now there are 6 people aware of what needs to be done. 

Our challenge is to continue the process – hopefully with the urging of our ‘helpers’. 

As the process becomes documented and more people become aware, it will become easier for others in the future to work together, and with Fay, to ensure the best possible life for her. 

Lou & Jeanette Micallef June 2008