Marita Jonols, Sensus Stockholm-Gotland/Sweden
Our chapter is about how staff can support persons with disabilities to develop and practice critical thinking as well as moving towards an equal and mutual dialogue.
In easy English: When people with disabilities learn to be critical, to take a stand and share their own opinion - they can criticize their staff.
And, in that way, we will be better staff!
The chapter consists of three complementing parts:
At Medis5 we had a discussion and asked our participants to write about:
We have also talked about the countries that are involved in the STELLA project. Participants have collected flags and discussed what theirs associations are when they think about them (for instance: Italy - pizza).
Spastic Children's Foundation | Turkey
Discussing Social Behavior and Analytical Thinking (chap. 2. and 4.)
Medis5 | Sweden
At Medis 5 we’ve held discussions about the definitions of critical thinking, watched films and did role plays in training critical thinking and constructive criticism. We have also discussed the link between being able to be critical and how this tool might improve yourself, your colleagues and your staff. We stressed the fact that: You have to be critical in a very respectful way. We also discussed mutuality, that being critical should be possible for all participants, not just the staff. This will encourage a more equal working place.
We noticed that the expression “critical thinking“ was a bit too abstract and difficult for many participants. To make it more comprehendible, we formulated questions like “What can be better?“ in specific situations.
It was clear that many people do not have the habit of formulating their opinion. Some get a bit stressed when they are asked what they think about something. Hence, we had to construct concrete situations easy to relate to. We did this in playing easy role plays.
Popular topics were different ways of staff behaving badly towards PWD. E g talking to PWD in baby language or directing questions to staff instead of PWD. Everyone got the chance to say something critical when staff behaved in different or strange ways in the role plays. We realized this was a good method for us since we could exaggerate to make behaviors very obvious and funny.
Participants at Medis 5 have been divided into more or less active groups. Some participants are writing texts on “Whats makes a good leader“.
Others will share their methods in how they work with constructive criticism.
Kent Sidvall and Lena Hesse will make the initial translations from Swedish to English.
Anders Wieslander and Josefin Rehn will be cowriters of the Introduction. They have started to write but will include parts from the other chapters later in the process.
Participants with disabilities are included in the administrational work, for example Lena Hesse will be responsible for filling in and getting signatures for The Letters of Content. Rolf Hendil Forssell is the technician when we watch films.
Hopefully a ripple effect of this project will be a better belief in the self, some tools in formulating criticism and taking up place.