Dignity of Risk: What’s your role?

  • Support individuals to choose attractive/fashionable, well-fitting clothing that is appropriate to the person’s age and social setting.

You are shopping with Joseph, who is drawn to a particular t-shirt with ‘dicey’ graphics. You know that if he buys it, it will upset others. What do you do? First, explain what others may think or do if he wears it in public. Next, show him 2 or 3 shirts in the same color or style that are not offensive and explain why these are more appropriate. Ask him if he would rather pick one of these or another one on the rack and compliment wise choices. But the bottom line is, once he’s informed (understands the consequences), if Joseph still wants to buy the shirt, he can buy the shirt. It is his right to buy and wear the shirt of his choice. You follow-up by following your agency’s documentation requirements in describing the support you provided and the choice Joseph made.

  • Openly discuss options a person may have when they are faced with making a decision.
  • Often making an informed choice takes many conversations to understand the risk involved. Take time for this.
  • Be clear about your role: what is your core responsibility? How will you use creativity and judgment? What is not your paid responsibility? This means removing your own personal values and beliefs about the person’s situations and choices.

In her meeting, Sandra announced she’d love to be an airplane pilot. She has poor eyesight and cannot read. How do you help support her in finding a job? Maybe she’d like to work at an airport. She could learn more about what airplane pilots have to do in their job. You may need to role play the conversations she might have at the airport when looking for a job. Talk about job possibilities before going to the airport. It might be a good idea to talk with the airport staff prior to going with Sandra to prepare them for the interviews. Your role is to create win-win situations.