Moving on up – using RIX and Multi Me software to support smooth transitions
This is a free online event for education, health and social care professionals, and families and carers, with opportunities to ask questions and share best practice.
Thursday 16 June 2022
11am – 12.30pm
Online via Teams
Transitions can be exciting moments of change in our lives. They can also be times of great anxiety and turbulence, which can have a negative impact on wellbeing and confidence. This event explores a range of real-life transitions and demonstrates how the RIX and Multi Me tools have been used to support people through these challenges and help make transitions successful. Delegates will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain expert advice from professionals and carers who are already using these innovative tools to help navigate through periods of change in the lives of the people they support.
Outcomes of our event
Learn from practitioners, families and carers who use RIX software to manage successful transitions
Find out how the RIX Multi Me toolkit can support transitions for the people you support
Network with experienced professionals working in the education, health and social care sectors
Connect with carers and service users to hear how they use the RIX software effectively
Special offers for attendees including free software advice slot and free trials of our software
Please see below for the full agenda.
You can book a place at this free event via Eventbrite.
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We met with Kayla Milner, Payton Wemert and Letty Thym to find out about their experience as RIX interns on the CAPA programme.
What were you doing before you came over to London as RIX interns?
I was on track to be a double major in marketing and economics and I was also interning for a nonprofit. I’m profoundly deaf and I have two cochlear implants. Growing up I’ve always been integrated into what we would call mainstream society. I went to mainstream schools, did very well, but I’ve always had a heart for the disabled, a heart for the people that have a lack of communication. I feel like there’s a lack of awareness and a lack of understanding around disability and I’ve always wanted to bridge that gap.
I’m a second year student at Samford University and I’m currently studying psychology and neuroscience. I’ve loved having this experience here just to help me figure out where I want to specialise in the future.
I go to Hollins University, which is an all women’s liberal arts school in Virginia and I am majoring in psychology. I’m very interested in child development and I’m playing with the idea of maybe doing research or maybe going through down the counselling for adolescents and children route. I really enjoyed this internship because I myself have a mild learning disability. I have slow processing speed, my brain does work differently than other people and I take more time to do things.
What it was like for you when you first sat down and worked with and communicated with people with learning disabilities?
For me, I immediately went into that role when I’m with children, where I’m excited to be with them and to see their unique traits and get to know them. When I sat down with Danny, it just felt very natural for me and I really admired the different ways he communicated – I was excited to get to know him so it was enjoyable for me.
I don’t particularly remember my first one, but I think my favourite one was when Payton and I had lunch with Kieran, one of the co-researchers. She’s so much fun and she’s a lovely person and I just really enjoyed getting to know her a little bit more on a personal level.
Did you find that you had to modify your communication to make sure that there was understanding between you?
I think I’m always adjusting for conversations for anybody who I talk to, in terms of the level of conversation that we’re having, the different tones of conversation. But when talking to a person with learning disabilities I always take care to be aware of context, contextual clues and asking them questions about themselves first so that they feel comfortable to share, but I try to treat it like any other conversation and I think that’s the most important part. With the RIX Centre, my first experience was actually working with Ajay on the RIX Wiki. I didn’t realise that we also employed people with learning disabilities and I think that’s a true reflection of the RIX Centre in terms of how we want to include them and work with them.
What will you do next and what is the biggest take away for you?
Hopefully I’ll be doing an internship this summer and then I’ll probably also be working. My biggest take away is that I learned so much about how neglected people with learning disabilities are in America. It’s given me a bit of a spark to do more research on what the initiatives are in terms of accommodations for individuals and maybe trying to see if there are any nonprofit organisations working on changing these issues, and what the picture is state to state. But yeah, that’s my take away, how important it is what y’all are doing and how important it is to see if it’s being done in America.
So this summer, I’m working as a camp director at a camp so I think that’s kind of like my next plan. I’ve loved working here because I’ve been involved in such a broad range of activities and projects. My biggest take away is learning how to work in a team, work with different interns and also work with the co-researchers. We’ve done a lot of analysis and I’ve really enjoyed that and I’ve enjoyed being creative and getting to work at Charlton Park – I feel like I’ve learned so much over the past few months .
When I get back home I’ll be hanging out with family, doing courses and then I’ll be back up at Samford University in the fall. This internship has given me a renewed interest in what I wanted to do. This is the type of work I want to be doing and I’ve gotten a lot of business opportunities through Craig with the SWAT analysis and building the social media platforms and it’s renewed that spark of marketing, promoting, including and spreading awareness.
Can you tell us about your first experience working with or observing the children with profound and multiple disabilities that you met at Charlton Park Academy?
I was very impressed with how quick they are. Once you give them the tools to succeed, they can go figure out the next step. I sat in on a data class and they learned how to code. They were making things above my level and I felt very honoured to be in the room with them.
One of my favourite experiences was when they were playing Red Light Green Light and whether they were in a wheelchair or could walk or were using a walker, they all participated in that game and I’ve just never seen anything like that. I caught myself thinking, this is really what community inclusion is, including them all in the game and not leaving anyone out.
My main impression of the technology was that this stuff needs to be more available to people. Using Eyegaze, one student could use his eyes to communicate and he was able to do everything they were asking the class to do. In America, you see these children who don’t have access to that and aren’t able to be included in the same way.
Why would you recommend having a placement at the RIX Centre?
Interning at the RIX Centre provides you with support and encouragement to reach out and communicate with people with all levels of learning disability, as well as with co-workers. I’ve had Letty and Kayla throughout this semester and we’ve been able to really reflect and kind of walk with each other and learn from each other. I think it’s very important to have this experience because it helps you adjust your expectations for community conversations later on in life, whether that’s with a stranger or family or a lifelong friend.
I think the biggest thing that I achieved here was learning to communicate and learning truly what inclusion is because I feel like you guys do inclusion so well. Having the co-research team and having people with learning disabilities on the team here, it’s like a microcosm of what the world should look like. I had never really been exposed to too much of this before. Usually people with special needs or learning disabilities are separated from the mainstream schools and I think, with the right technology and the right resources, we can truly achieve a fully inclusive community. Interning at Rix teaches you how to work in a team, communicate with others, develop new skills in research and database analysis and learn about inclusion and people with learning disabilities.
I think it’s really important to intern here so that you’re more informed and you will be inspired to take what you’ve learned back to America because people need to know about this.
At RIX, we see interns and students as little seeds. What would be that little seed that you will plant?
In my perfect world there would be someone with a learning disability speaking at every level of government, maybe starting in school councils in the US. I would like to start promoting that, including them in every level of life.
We had a conversation about diversity at the very beginning of the internship and I think it goes for more than just learning disabled people, but also just increasing awareness and just keep talking and sharing about it. Also, photography is one of my hobbies and working at RIX has inspired me to do more with that and use it to share stories of people and as an outlet for people to express their feelings.
I’m interested to see what America is doing because I don’t think they’re doing enough. And you know, I’ve been through that – I’ve seen it in the school system. I see myself doing policy work and trying to create change for everyone at a federal level because it’s so hard at the state level because states do not communicate with each other. And I’m interested in seeing what technology is available in America as well.
A big thank you and all the best for the future to Kayla, Peyton and Letty
We spoke to Ajay Choksi, member of the RIX team and peer support champion, about his work at The RIX Centre and his interest in research
Ajay, please tell us a bit about yourself
I have an intellectual disability and I’m passionate about digital inclusion, accessibility and design. I’m really interested in using different devices like my iPad, smartphone and laptop.
What do you use those devices for?
I make photo collages and do graphics work and video editing. I take photos and video on my iPad and use these to tell my story. I add them to my Wiki to inspire people.
What is a Wiki?
A Wiki is an easy-build website. You can add photos, video and sound to tell people about yourself, your hopes and dreams and anything else you want to share with others.
Who can see the Wiki?
You can invite people to view your Wiki by using the Invite button. I share my Wiki with other staff, social workers, service users and others by sending them an invite from the Wiki software. I also share my Wiki on screen during meetings and presentations and when I’m teaching other people how to build their own Wiki.
How does it feel to share your story with other people?
It’s important to share my Wiki, it makes me feel proud and confident because I am speaking up and working on my advocacy and leadership skills.
Why is that important?
So that other people can see how they can speak up for themselves with their stories. It’s an easier way for people with learning disabilities to be heard and to have a voice.
How many Wikis do you have?
I’ve built lots of Wikis. Ajay Advice 3 is about me and has advice about being independent.
I use my Research Wiki to help me learn how to be a researcher – it has lots of information about the different RIX Research projects I’ve worked on.
I use my Advocacy and Leadership Wiki to keep a record of my learning and skills development in these areas.
We also have project Wikis like MYS (Me and Your Stories), Aspire (Zoom training) and purpleSTARS (Museum of London).
Where can we see examples of your Wiki work?
There’s a link to Ajay Advice 3 below and you can also check out the Me and Your Stories (MYS) Wiki. Me and Your Stories is a European partnership project all about storytelling and how we can use digital devices and special software in the classroom to capture and share our stories.
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