Research

Lived experience of Microboards E. Dickenson (jaquiemills@gmail.com)* & B.-A. Robertson *Blazing Condor Soul Explosions Inc., AUSTRALIA

Aim: Microboards are a model of support that can effectively assist people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) to secure their rights as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). This presentation illustrates, through stories of lived experience, how Microboards have been used to do this.

Method: Three participants who have Microboards from Australia and Canada use a narrative approach with a thematic analysis to identify how community inclusion has been facilitated while respecting their needs and preferences. Results: The stories show how Microboards have been used: to enhance the capacity for the person to self-determine; and to advocate for and mobilise available resources for the person to live inclusively in their community.

Conclusions: Microboards have changed the projected life course of the presenters. Microboards can provide an effective framework through which to support people with PIMD to secure and enact their rights as laid out in the UNCRPD.

Microboards and the realisation of the UNCRPD T. Stainton (timothy.stainton@ubc.ca)* *University of British Columbia, CANADA

Aim: The paper will highlight specific articles of the UNCRPD and how Microboards can contribute to their realisation.

Method: Comparative analysis of the UNCRPD and the Microboard model in theory and practice using current Microboard practice in British Columbia, Canada. The analysis involved comparing the principles of the UNCRPD to those of Microboards and research and grey literature on Microboard practice.

Results: The Microboard model can indirectly and directly support the realisation of key
articles of the convention, notably: Article 12 – Equal recognition before the law, Article 19 – Living independently and being included in the community, Article 20 – Personal mobility, Article 21 – Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information, Article 22 – Respect for privacy , Article 23 – Respect for home and the family, Article 24 – Education, Article 25 – Health, Article 26 – Habilitation and rehabilitation, Article 27 – Work and employment, and Article 30 Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport.

Conclusions: Microboards are an effective means of supporting individuals in line with the UNCRPD

Microboard research and significance to disability reform in Australia E. Walker (ellen.walker@postgrad.curtin.edu.au)* & M. Walker *Curtin University, AUSTRALIA

Aim: Even with disability reform, people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) struggle to find effective supports to claim full citizenship and live a good life. Microboards, legally recognised small groups of unpaid people with a close and trusted relationship to a person with PIMD, show promise. This study describes how Microboards are used in Canada and Australia for this purpose, and highlights the relevance of Microboards to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia.

Method: Qualitative inquiry involving 6 Microboards in British Columbia and Western Australia developed around people with PIMD was undertaken. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the information.

Results: Microboards develop social capital providing a source of advocacy and political power for people with PIMD to facilitate access to appropriate supports. Microboards acknowledge the natural authority of individuals and their parent carers by supporting selfdetermination and shifting power into their hands. Outcomes include community participation, independent living, and respect.

Conclusions: Microboards are a model worthy of attention for people with PIMD to engage with disability reform to secure and enact full citizenship.

What if Microboard associations didn’t exist? S. Stanford (susan@microboard.org.au)* & L. Perry *Microboards Australia & Dan the Man’s Clan Inc., AUSTRALIA

Aim: Microboard associations are integral to establishing effective, sustainable Microboards. Vela Canada has been doing this for 25 years. The aim of this presentation is to outline the work of Microboard associations in Australia and Canada.

Method: Qualitative inquiry of two Microboard associations in Canada and Australia contributed to a comparative analysis of the types of support provided and the implications of that support.

Results: Microboard associations provide foundational information and learning opportunities to develop individual Microboards and skilled Microboard members. Embedded in this work is role-modelling and support to uphold Microboard principles – choice, control, and friends. Additionally, Microboard associations are a conduit for information related to evidence-based practice and systemic change. There are impacts for the effectiveness of Microboard associations and individual Microboards in relation to their specific political contexts.

Conclusions: Microboard associations have a key role in facilitating the uptake of Microboards, promoting the application of foundational principles, and building their capacity for effective practice, consistent with the UNCRPD. The long-term availability of a Microboard association provides a safeguard for the individual, the family, the Microboard, and government funding.