At all National Community Cooperative Pilot Project sites, we’re diving into the world of group Community Cooperative meetings, and it’s an exciting phase that many participants have eagerly anticipated.
In these meetings, all individuals who share onsite supports, known as ‘Cooperative members,’ come together along with their Independent Facilitator. Community Cooperative meetings inside the Pilot follow a planned activity-based structure, to meet learning objectives.
Purposeful Learning Objectives
In the Pilot Project, every meeting has a specific plan with learning outcomes, focusing on each participant’s journey toward understanding and exercising choice and control. The goal is to enhance members’ skills and capacity to actively engage in their lives. As participants work with their Independent Facilitator, the intended learning outcomes include:
- Strengthening their identity as consumers of supports
- Improving their understanding of choices and control in their lives
- Documenting a collective understanding of what’s important to them as a Cooperative (a document to share with providers)
- Boosting confidence and capacity to provide feedback to providers
- Exploring any desired changes in their supports and deciding how to make them happen
- Considering additional supports they can share the costs of
These ideas may be new to some and familiar to others, but the flexibility of our meetings is crucial for engagement and the program’s value to individuals.
Tailored for Meaningful Engagement
We adapt activities and agendas to meet each individual and Cooperative where they are – considering communication and learning styles, interest areas, and current understandings. This may involve contextualising activities to be relevant to the cohort and creating resources to support activity delivery and communication. This adaptation ensures all members can have input and participate meaningfully.
Meetings are led by the needs and priorities of the participants. While facilitators have an intended agenda, Cooperative members can suggest topics they’d like to focus on during shared time, as long as it aligns with shared supports. Ultimately, the Cooperative belongs to its members!