Sunday, September 07, 2008

In the Funnies: Dilbert and Consumer-driven Services

Oh my goodness, I saw this in the paper this morning and I thought it was perfect!

This cartoon is set in an office, and I think that most, if not all, workers have dealt with this sort of gatekeeping at some point.

In fact, I think every system that has ever existed has this problem: once a system BECOMES a system its mission becomes 'staying in business' which means protecting 'the way we do things.'

Haven't you seen this in businesses, schools, clubs, governments, service organizations, and churches? Even families are not immune sometimes.

And, unless systems are very intentional, all proposals become perceived as threats. Even ideas and innovations that could bring about improvements for the systems themselves meet with suspicion, resistance and sometimes all-out rejection.

Many organizations develop a real hardening of the boundaries between them and everything else--this hardening of membranes is dangerous. Organizations, like organisms, require some semi-permeability of their membranes in order for the bad to leave and good things like nutrition to get in. When membranes lose their permeability, organisms die--so do organizations.

(I put that in for my kids who tell me they will NEVER use what they learned in science class!)

This problem is compounded when you are a person with a disability or family member who is ALWAYS in the proposing position. We are always asking everyone to individualize their services to meet our needs... and even when doing so will cost them less or make them better at what they do, our ideas are not always welcomed.

I don't know what the answer is. I know that I want consumer-based everything for my daughter. I want to avoid systems.

I do not want my daughter's life to be made of whatever program A or B or C has (or doesn't allow.)

I don't want her to be 'bulked' for education, employment or anything else.

I want to find services the way I buy groceries: cereal made by a couple of different companies, tea from another, canned goods from whoever has the best price, and fresh produce from the farmers' market at the church around the corner from my house.

People with disabilities employ a huge portion of the education, healthcare and service industries, yet these industries often control them.

Who has some great ideas to shift this balance??


aoc gold said...

Boats Sail On The Rivers


Boats sail on the rivers,

And ships sail on the seas;

But clouds that sail across the sky,

Are prettier far than these.


There are bridges on the rivers,

As pretty as you please;

But the bow that bridges heaven,

And overtops the trees,

And builds a road from earth to sky,

Is prettier far than these.

-----by runescape gold

Anonymous said...

Amen Sister!
But how DO we wake up these tired gatekeepers to their limiting ways, and reintroduce them to the idea of actual discernment not just a simple rubberstamped denial of new ideas?
The administration I am dealing with presently appears to have tagged anything I suggest as "No Good" making any comments I have invalid or at the very least "suspect". My breath seems wasted on any discussion, as minds are already prejudiced against it. This is frustrating and irratating, as you know! Let's come up with a way thru this block!kathy

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog - I appreciated the prespective from "fresh eyes" so to speak!

I hadn't even thought about the fact that if Kayla learns in a smaller environment that is what she'll be used to and she needs to learn how to learn in a regular classroom (more kids) thanks for pointing that out! Definitely something we'll have to keep in mind and watch out for.

Her teacher and classroom assistant were also aware of the kids wanting to help Kayla and said they've been telling them "let Kayla do it" "she can do that herself" etc...but not wanting to crush their spirit either for being so helpful; so that is good they are aware of it.

Thanks for your tips and suggestions!

Ashley's Mom said...

It seems I have to deal with gatekeepers every single day. I keep hearing support organizations throw around the term "systems change" like that is going to make everything better, but I never actually see any systems change.

My experience has been that the only true systems change comes out of litigation or legislation..