A while ago I received in the mail a fat and heavy package of papers from the Alberta Government agency known as “PDD”. Thinking this had something to do with our recent encouragingly positive experience with “ICE”, I opened it quickly only to disappointingly discover that in fact the package was an invitation to share my thoughts on “SIS”.
After a few days’ thought, I RSVPed that I would not be attending and shared a few of my thoughts.
Herewith, I make that email an open letter to PDD.
I received in the mail an invitation to attend a “community conversation” (I think that means “meeting”) about my experience with SIS and the PDD program. I’ll have to decline that invitation as the Ellerslie Rugby club is a quite remarkable distance away and I have an almost 21 year old developmentally delayed daughter to care for. I did begin my “conversation” with PDD when my daughter turned 18 but we have yet to receive any actual “supports”. Perhaps such supports might have freed me up for the “community conversation”, but, frankly, I don’t suspect I would then want to be bothered getting to Ellerslie for the meeting rather than just having a bit of a quiet time with a good book.
More recently there seems to have been a little progress on my daughter’s file, coincidentally, perhaps, with my going public with our absolutely depressing experience with PDD. Please have a look: “One Family’s Experience”
Since (finally) being connected with ICE (love the acronyms, by the way. They really get the obfuscation to a high level) I’ve been feeling a little better. They not only return phone calls, they phone frequently (weekly) with updates.
As for my “experience” with SIS, I’m not sure when I’ve actually encountered it, except that it seems to have been a way to keep PDD workers well away from PDD clients for a number of years. I’m sure that this time spent training for and instituting SIS rather than, for example, responding to client phone calls in a timely manner, being in the office at any time over a six month period, or handing a client’s file off to a worker who will actually be around — I’m sure all this has encouraged more than one family to shuffle their adult children off to group homes in absolute frustration. Whatever the good intentions of importing some package of American-made questionnaires, from what I can tell, the effect of the implementation of SIS has been to divert PDD’s “Human Resources” away from clients. The workers at this point are serving the system, not the *people* they were intended to serve.
I feel very fortunate that our family is in a financial situation which allows us to manage without the “supports” PDD offers (but, as yet, has largely failed to provide). I worry very much for families who have to cope with developmental disabilities without the private resources we enjoy, both financially and in our unusually close neighbourhood community. It must be simply hell for them, and trying to deal with PDD in that situation must be impossible.
Again, I don’t really know what SIS is, I really don’t understand why SIS is so important that it has apparently diverted resources from the clients of PDD, and I really don’t think I would have anything to contribute to the “community conversation” in the deep south of the city. And, while I have been comfortable with my dealings with ICE so far, if I win the lottery one day, I’ll just cut through the PDD crap and privately hire whatever “supports” I feel necessary or simply convenient. If I hit a big enough jackpot, maybe I’ll help a few other families out of the PDD mess.
On a final note: that was a very pretty, glossy, heavy package of (limited) information PDD mailed out about the upcoming “community conversation”. I wonder how much the whole shindig is costing. Certainly the mailout could have been produced at much less expense to the people of Alberta.
Best wishes, etc.
A bit of AE (Acronym Elucidation):
“SIS” = “Supports Intensity Scale” – not much clearer than the acronym.
“PDD” = “Persons with Developmental Disabilities” – the Alberta Government agency mandated to disburse funding to provide for the special needs of adult Albertans with developmental disabilities.
“ICE” = “Independent Counselling Enterprises Inc. – One of many private businesses who are paid by the government to do the work of providing for the special needs of adult Albertans with developmental disabilities.