International speaker feature: Steve Scown on self-directed approaches

12
Mar 14
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Steve Scown is the Chief Executive of Dimensions; the UK’s second largest disability service provider. We are delighted to be having him over to Australia for the first time – as our international keynote speaker at this year’s Self Directed Approaches conference.

Being a thought leader on self-directed approaches, known as ‘personalisation’ in the UK I asked Steve for his take on the topic and here is what he had to say: Personalisation is a word I use a lot when I’m invited to speak at conferences such as Self Directed Approaches. Dimensions supports over 3500 people who have learning disabilities and autism in the UK and we have been working towards personalisation for over five years. In that time I have seen some fantastic improvements in how people are supported, and many aspects of my organisation have changed beyond recognition. To me, personalisation means that each person supported by Dimensions has as much choice and control as possible over whatever we do to help them live the life they choose. This can be about a range of things including where they live, who helps them to get up and go out and it can also be about how we help people learn to take control over their own care and support. People worry a lot about the money. However, we’ve actually found that when people take control over their lives and support is focussed on what the person wants rather than what a local authority wants, it can actually cost less. And in the UK these days that’s a really good thing. For personalisation to succeed, everyone must have the confidence and courage to let go! To hand over choice and control to the individual; to listen and engage without having already decided the answer and to recognise that a one size fits all approach rarely fits anyone.

 In addition to speaking at the conference Steve will be facilitating an interactive workshop  on ‘how to shift a whole organisation to self-directed approaches’ – don’t miss your chance to learn from one of the UK’s leading experts in this space!

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Submitted by Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell

Fiona is a producer who brings an international perspective to the team, with a background and experience in Scotland, Singapore and Shanghai. She is a foodie, a keen netballer and passionate about travel.
Fun fact about Fiona – She survived cycling down ‘the world’s most dangerous road’! (In Bolivia, South America)

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