CEO Corner – November 2023

After all of the excitement and trauma around Covid and the workforce crisis, HBI is making a commitment to raise its service delivery game.  It can be dangerously easy amidst recurring crises to sometimes lose sight of our mission to help individuals with severe disabilities create real lives.  The avoidance of this danger prompted our management team to begin discussions on how to renew our purpose, a few months ago.

We settled on a new beginning for our “Active Support” of several years ago.  The program grew out of a commitment at the Institute on Community Integration, at the University of Minnesota, to create a training program for providers on implementing a concept called “partial participation.”  Partial participation means that for individuals with severe disabilities there is meaning and usefulness in participating partially in activities and tasks throughout the day.  Even if I can’t complete a task completely, partially participating in it with staff support to make up the rest is valuable to me.

What kinds of tasks or activities?  Just about anything we do for fun or to live during the day.  Washing clothes, helping with meals, eating out, games, cleaning house, money management.  The goal is to have the person contribute as able in almost everything he or she must or want to do.  It enhances skills, raises self-esteem, is fun, builds responsibility, and oftentimes individuals surprise us with abilities we never knew they had.

The process went as followed, the University came in to selected homes, trained our staff, and helped us develop plans.  To renew the program, we picked a home, started with an individual and brought out our old training materials (good thing I keep everything).  The training department put together a curriculum and off we went.  The program has spread to others in the home and when we have everyone up and running we will move onto the next and then the next.

It is good that things have calmed down a bit so that we can really concentrate on our real work!

Don Priebe

News / CEO Updates / CEO Corner – November 2023