Where people with a disability control the resources to live the life they want.
To help people with a disability identify their skills, gifts and contributions and use resources available to them to develop valued social roles and create a good life.
possibilitiesplus came about due to the innovative work of Dr. Bob McCormack, who has been passionate about the development of individualised supports and services for people with a disability. In 2012 Bob sent in a proposal to The Genio Trust to develop an independent brokerage service to enable individuals with disabilities and their families to have individualised budgets and to select the supports that best meet their individual needs.
The Genio Trust was established to support innovative projects like possibilitiesplus and is financially supported by Atlantic Philanthropies, in collaboration with the Department of Health, the HSE, and non-governmental advocacy and service-providing organisations.
The Genio funding enabled the employment of two support brokers, Angela Lane and Claire Finnegan, along with intensive training with Neighbours Inc., a New Jersey based support brokerage, in operation for over 15 years.The team have worked to develop an awareness of the possibilities available to individuals and their families, if they choose to develop an individualised service for their family member. possibilitiesplus are holding a national workshop on the 30th May 2013 led by Patti Scott, Director of Neighbours Inc. Patti will demonstrate how support brokerage works for the person, and the key stages in the process. The Workshop will also enable family members to discuss the challenges and focus on how the process will work in the Irish context.
Angela and Claire are working with a number of individuals and their families, on a one to one basis, with a view to planning a better life with the person, with the resources available, as well as the development of proposals for funding to the HSE.
Angela worked with adults with an intellectual disability in the area of supported employment for a number of years. She has a degree in psychology and anM.Sc. in Counselling Psychology. Angela has worked in two prior Genio projects – latterly with adults to help them live more fulfilled and independent lives as defined by their individual gifts and preferences. Hope Leet Dittmeier provided consultancy and training to this project.
Angela enjoys walking and gardening and playing golf (badly!). “I love travelling to new places and prefer places off the beaten track with a sense of history and culture. I enjoy listening to music and going to concerts. My taste is pretty varied from Springsteen, Amy Winehouse and Adele to Irish traditional, classical, Barry White and a lot in between! I love shopping, (especially shoes!) make-up, fashion and dancing and enjoy eating out when I can. I also enjoy going to the cinema and to the theatre.”
Claire Finnegan has worked in disability services and was a member of the management team which developed a family resource centre. Claire volunteers in a number of projects in her local community, including Lakers in Bray, which provides a sports and recreational services to individuals with a disability in the south Dublin, Bray and Wicklow area. Claire has a degree in social care and counselling skills. She has three children, one of whom has a disability. She is also involved as a parent with the Autism Spectrum Disorder initiative (ASDI) and believes that parents and families should have an active and inclusive role in the services their family member avails of. Claire believes that communication between the individual, their families and those providing supports is vital in order to have a clear understanding of the person’s needs. Claire enjoys cycling, walking, dancing, quilt making and has studied massage and alternative therapies.
We all live our own unique lives; with the people we want to spend time with, people with a disability are no different. They only need to be listened to, for the individualised supports to develop around them. As one parent recently commented about trying to get a suitable service for her son:”I have been doing this for 25 years and not been listened to”. possibilitiesplus strives to listen to the individual and their family as they are the experts in their own lives.