Translation Please!

A few weeks ago I did my April required annual training in Relias. I was most impressed by one term― self-determination, and the example given was very practical. The story describes a young woman with a legal guardian; she wanted to select her own new hairstyle, but it was a style the guardian did not like. The multiple choice question that followed, of course, had only one right answer. This young woman had the right to select her hair style. Haven’t all of us at one point or another chosen something knowing that someone else would object?

Self-determination is not a word I use outside of KenCrest, and definitely not what I tell myself when I go to get my hair done; it’s my hair and I will enjoy it the way I want! The material and the scenarios in the Relias module took the big term, self-determination and translated it into everyday language. We’re all well aware that our field is full of jargon; jargon that unfortunately makes it harder to communicate and to be understood, and often confuses people who do not live in our everyday work.

So let’s translate our expectations for the people we support! Let’s talk that way in meetings, and let’s write and describe the goals that are set to help people achieve their dreams that way too. Let’s start a movement!

Here is your first exercise, define the outcomes of the people we support in everyday language. We will pursue two groups of people― children and adults― and compare them to ourselves. Here we go…remember no jargon!

As it relates to you, how do you define the quality of your life?

Here is one possible example: I live with someone I love very much.

What is true for you: __________________________________________

As it relates to the home and life of a child, how do we define quality of life?

Here is one possible statement: The child happily shares new things they learned.

Add some more: ____________________________________________

As it relates to the home and life of an adult, how can we define quality of life?

Here is one possible example: [NAME] has friends outside the home with whom they enjoy their free time with.

Add some more: _____________________________________________

How difficult is it to stop using jargon and start using everyday language? Share your thoughts with me, and look for the reflections in the next blog.