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  1. David Slone

    David Slone

    10/03/2017
    Always up for a new challenge, I will be jumping off of a building for Waikato youth (well abseiling anyway)
    David Slone
    Falling for a good cause
    theoptimisticcynic.co.nz On the 8th of April I will be joining 50 other brave souls abseiling down the Deloitte Building in Hamilton. Abseiling is something I’ve never done before but it’s for a great cause...
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  2. David Slone

    David Slone

    09/02/2017
    It's election year so the opposition parties are reviewing aged support - always a popular move to buy votes.

    What about disability?

    The support provided to some of our most vulnerable citizens isn’t flash, in fact a lot of it borders on the disgraceful. Some of the extremes hit the media but aren’t followed through. People get all excited by marches happening on the other side of the world yet we continue to exclude people from our communities. The neglect and indifference we show is real.

    There are no votes in disability and very few headlines. That’s no excuse to ignore the issues
    David Slone
    It’s Election Year
    opticynic.wordpress.com I’ve just heard on the news that a range of opposition political parties and Aged Concern are launching an investigation into the support received by our elderly. The cynic in me says it must be...
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  3. David Slone

    David Slone

    25/01/2017
    I keep hearing that paediatricians have been advising parents to keep clear of family groups and associations as they’re not helpful due to their collective ‘oh woe is me’ focus. I have also heard that some parents feel the same way based on their personal experiences.

    Personally I don’t know what other groups are like but I need to shout out that the Williams Syndrome Associations are definitely not like that.

    Friendships, peer support and information sharing occurs for people with Williams, their parents and their siblings. The Association camps are full of joy and laughter, no one could possibly stay down and sad when so many people are smiling at you, offering hugs and setting an awesome example.

    Read More
    David Slone
    The Good Association
    opticynic.wordpress.com I keep hearing that paediatricians have been advising parents to keep clear of family groups and associations as they’re not helpful due to their collective ‘oh woe is me’ focus. I have also heard...
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  4. Veronica Martinez
    Hello! I am working on a yelp-like review application called the Better Beehive Project, that gathers consumer reviews through the lens of Accessibility, Empowerment and Inclusion of the Special Needs Community. Veronica Martinez
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    Comments

    David Slone
    15/01/2017 #1 David Slone
    Sounds like an interesting project Veronica. Good luck with it and please sing out if you ever want to bounce some ideas around.......
  5. David Slone

    David Slone

    10/01/2017
    At least it's not William's Syndrome
    David Slone
    At least it’s not Williams Syndrome……….
    opticynic.wordpress.com We had never heard of Williams Syndrome before and as we were still quite shocked to hear the diagnosis that our son had Noonan’s Syndrome, the comparison to something else was just a red herring....
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  6. David Slone

    David Slone

    21/12/2016
    No one ever said walking the talk was easy and straight forward but living by your values can make decisions easier.
    Simply put, I made the decisions to hasten my departure from a movement that I still love but one that conflicts with the change I so desperately want to see.
    David Slone
    Practice what you preach!
    opticynic.wordpress.com If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you will be aware that I’m a huge fan of Special Olympics.  It’s a wonderful organisation that contributes so much more than sport to thousands of...
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  7. David Slone

    David Slone

    08/12/2016
    Why aren't disability organisations making more use of the wonderful resource right at hand - the people they support
    David Slone
    Come to the party NZ
    opticynic.wordpress.com This is awesome! Have a read of the article below where the Australian aged care sector is looking to make more use of people with an intellectual disability. One of my pet peeves is how the...
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  8. David Slone

    David Slone

    02/11/2016
    We need to trust more and give opportunities! Please help to open the doors…….
    David Slone
    Trust and Opportunity
    opticynic.wordpress.com Once again I witnessed how much leadership and employment potential there is within the group often referred to as “clients” While away with a Special Olympics team, I asked one of the...
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  9. David Slone

    David Slone

    26/10/2016
    Seclusion rooms in adult services, ‘time out’ rooms in schools and a review of special education are all active discussions at the moment.

    Sometimes the discussions aren’t pretty and sometimes they’re about awful things but I have to say, at least we’re talking about them!

    Facebook groups and a reporter who is spending some time on disability issues, whatever the medium, we need things out in the open and we need robust debate about the way forward.

    Personally I feel that for too long, external feedback and commentary has just been paid lip service. Providers, long established groups and policy makers have become too good at being the ‘experts’, driving our conversations.

    We need new voices, new ideas and new debates!!!
    David Slone
    At last we’re talking
    opticynic.wordpress.com Seclusion rooms in adult services, ‘time out’ rooms in schools and a review of special education are all active discussions at the moment. Sometimes the discussions aren’t pretty...
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  10. David Slone

    David Slone

    17/10/2016
    My views on the so called time out rooms that are surprisingly being used in a few schools in NZ
    David Slone
    Those rooms….
    opticynic.wordpress.com With attention mounting on ‘time out’ rooms in schools, I thought I’d add my two cents worth. It’s easy to be critical about what schools do and how funding is prioritised. In fact it’s extremely...
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  11. David Slone

    David Slone

    12/10/2016
    Us 'oldies' often bemoan the loss of values in the young - but we're wrong. Very wrong. I love to share stories of young people who have amazing values .......
    David Slone
    An Incredible Young Lady
    opticynic.wordpress.com “Every single person I encountered shaped my year to be the way it was and I am eternally grateful to the gorgeous Rainbow Nation and all of its people for giving me the best year of my...
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  12. David Slone

    David Slone

    13/09/2016
    "My Aspiration is the Demise of your Organisation – a challenge to disability support organisations in New Zealand" is a short publication that sets out to disrupt some current thinking. We need to question what we do and how we do it. I don’t provide any answers but what we have now isn’t good enough so we need to accept that and start looking for new solutions. I’m hoping that a new world may begin with two little questions ……..
    https://opticynic.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/challenging-disability-support-organisations-in-nz.pdf
    David Slone
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  13. ProducerDavid Slone

    David Slone

    25/08/2016
    Having the hard discussions
    Having the hard discussionsI feel that the current debate in New Zealand around the changes in special education highlights a problem we seem to have when it comes to difficult conversations.Our default position is that the pie needs to be bigger and this point of view over...
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  14. David Slone

    David Slone

    01/08/2016
    People often ask parents of children with disabilities ‘how do you cope?’ Well the answer is quite simply ‘you just do’.

    You cope.......

    Unless......
    David Slone
    How do you cope?
    opticynic.wordpress.com People often ask parents of children with disabilities ‘how do you cope?’ Well the answer is quite simply ‘you just do’. I’m sure this is the same for parents of kids with health issues, mental...
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  15. David Slone

    David Slone

    21/07/2016
    Yes we have much more to do - but everyone involved in Special Olympics (coaches, athletes, volunteers and supporters) should be really proud of the difference they have made to our world
    David Slone
    Be Proud Special Olympics
    opticynic.wordpress.com 20 July marks the anniversary of the first-ever Special Olympics Games held 48 years ago in Chicago, USA.  On that day, then Mayor Daley turned to the Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and said,...
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  16. David Slone

    David Slone

    13/05/2016
    First off – let be clear. This is not a comment about a specific service provider. I don’t intend this blog to be a vehicle for me to whine about services I’m personally involved with – but what I see across varies organistions is 100% mirrored nationwide so I see things more as case studies

    The sector still talks about qualifications as a significant way to increase the quality of support and to attract and retain great staff.

    Sorry – this is bollocks!

    What qualification teaches staff that turning up on time is actually quite important?

    If you leave your shift early and don’t consider the fact that the people you support are thus left without support to cook their dinner, which paper will make you more aware?

    If a client goes on regular holidays and you don’t get paid when they’re away, which course do you take to make your finances balance?

    If, even after 10 years, you can see your school leaver daughter earn $2.00 an hour more than you as an untrained person in a retail shop, do you think the qualification will make you feel truly valued?

    Yes professional staff are important, yes their value needs to be recognized and yes it will help if they’re seen to be qualified – but come on guys, there’s some very fundamental problems happening and we need a braver approach than just introducing academic papers.
    David Slone
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    Comments

    David Slone
    13/05/2016 #1 David Slone
    First off – let be clear. This is not a comment about a specific service provider. I don’t intend this blog to be a vehicle for me to whine about services I’m personally involved with – but what I see across varies organistions is 100% mirrored nationwide so I see things more as case studies.

    The sector still talks about qualifications as a significant way to increase the quality of support and to attract and retain great staff.

    Sorry – this is bollocks!

    What qualification teaches staff that turning up on time is actually quite important?

    If you leave your shift early and don’t consider the fact that the people you support are thus left without support to cook their dinner, which paper will make you more aware?

    If a client goes on regular holidays and you don’t get paid when they’re away, which course do you take to make your finances balance?

    If, even after 10 years, you can see your school leaver daughter earn $2.00 an hour more than you as an untrained person in a retail shop, do you think the qualification will make you feel truly valued?

    Yes professional staff are important, yes their value needs to be recognized and yes it will help if they’re seen to be qualified – but come on guys, there’s some very fundamental problems happening and we need a braver approach than just introducing academic papers.
  17. David Slone

    David Slone

    19/04/2016
    Action and commitment is where we need to step things up. We try and collaborate, we talk, we share, we have joint committees but these don’t work unless you take bold action and your commitment is verging on extreme passion.
    David Slone
    I like the sound of this guy ….
    opticynic.wordpress.com Paul Gibson, Disability Rights Commissioner (Human Rights Commission) has come out with some bold and assertive statements around the CYF review. This is what we need – leaders who aren’t afraid...
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