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Showing posts from November, 2015

You’re not ready

One worker-director’s personal journey
I value myself as an ordinary person, as a human being, and went down the route of looking for employment. I was told by Job Centre Plus that I had to seek advice from a disability employment advisor (DEA). I attended the appointment where the DEA spent the appointment on explaining how I’d never find employment. It made me feel unworthy and felt I was the problem, where the problem was they couldn’t find the appropriate employment for me because it wasn’t out there.
So the message I’m giving is it wasn’t my problem, it was theirs.
So, he sent me to supported employment agencies that he thought would suit me, and the various work placements and training came into this. I decided to knock that on the head because it made me feel ‘special’ in the shut out and stared at way. And none of it led to employment.
I’ve always remembered the Wetherspoon’s story, and that story kept me going. Wetherspoon’s was started by someone who was told by his teacher he w…

Shared Space

Coproduction is a buzz word. It gets used a lot. And it gets used to describe a lot of things.

We always start by thinking about power and control. I guess that's because we are used to not having either, despite being told we have been given them.

So, for us, coproduction is not a new type of engagement or involvement. Engagement and involvement always rely on someone else saying you can get involved. Usually the "someone else" is your service provider, local authority or government. As long as someone has the power to choose to involve you, they can choose to stop involving you as well. Same goes for empowerment, engagement and all these other buzz words for shifting how things work between the powerful and less powerful.

The hard reality is that the "someone else" really does hold the power and control. They have the money, the influence, the professional training, sometimes even the democratic right if they were elected. As long as "someone else" hol…