There is no “us and them” at All Aboard. We treat and respect each other as equals, all with something valuable to contribute.
The individual participant is our client. We work to support them to achieve their goals. They are entitled to our respect for their abilities, qualities, or achievements. They are the reason we choose to work in this field and they are our priority.
We encourage everyone to use “people first” language. People HAVE a disability, they ARE NOT the disability. Please do not refer to an individual as a “Downs” or an “ASD” or any other acronym. What seems a minor shift in speech has enormous impact on how people with disabilities are viewed and treated.
Every single person is an individual with a name, a unique personality and a unique experience. Even within their diagnosis, there will be variations so just because you know someone with a specific diagnosis of disability, do not make the assumption that you ‘know them all’.
Sometimes it takes time to support each participant to achieve their goals. We must work with them at a pace they are comfortable with. Small steps can be achieved with patient, consistent support. We monitor each participant and encourage you to acknowledge and document each achievement, however small. Often, we can capitalise on a slow pace to introduce new learning opportunities such as noticing their surroundings or working on conversational skills.
For some of our participants, physical affection is important in communicating and connecting with others. If one of our participants instigates a brief hug or asks to hold your hand, and as long as you feel comfortable with this physical contact, please feel free to return in kind.
We acknowledge that at times all our lives can be complicated and distracting. However, we ask that wherever possible, you leave your troubles at the door when you start your work day with our participants.
During those times when your personal life is distressing, please feel free to speak with one of our senior staff. You are important to us and your confidentiality is assured.
We also ask that you refrain from personal use of your phone, unless absolutely necessary.
All Aboard require everyone in the service understands the importance of confidentiality and adhere to the Policy of Confidentiality. You will no doubt at times hear and see things that would be considered very confidential and things that under no circumstances are to be shared with anyone other than a senior staff member of All Aboard. If you need to speak to someone about it please approach a staff member. You will be required to sign an Agreement stating you will treat information about our participants, their families and their situation with the utmost confidence prior to starting your employment/volunteer role. A breach of confidentiality will in most cases lead to instant dismissal from the service, so please take this Agreement seriously.
If you see or experience something which bothers/disturbs/upsets you with either a participant or a colleague, please speak to one of the senior staff. We appreciate transparency and would prefer to be able to address and resolve issues rather than allow them to cause a toxic environment.
As we have a team approach, we want you as a colleague to feel appreciated and respected. If you have any feedback, we value your opinion. Everyone brings a new perspective to a role and we welcome a revision of how best to achieve our goals.
We appreciate how challenging and how rewarding this can be and we endeavour to support you as best we can.