I have enjoyed working with Peter Leidy for the past few years. He has spent much of his professional life working with and listening to people who provide direct support. His insights about what our system can do to better support them are illuminating and direct.
And he sings! It is hard for me to imagine anyone better able to sing about the foibles of our service system than Peter Leidy. That’s right — to sing about our historical wrong doings, our professional arrogance, the funny ways we waste our time. And to do it in a way that makes me laugh over and over again.
But that’s not the half of it. In every stanza, in every song, I hear hope about this profession and helping professionals. Peter believes in the likes of you and me. He knows we are capable of helping people to live real lives in ordinary, everyday places. He sings about our potential. He sings about our possibility!
This process disrupts some of the negative calcifications we can create in our work that block us from participating with our full energy. I left feeling very energized. Lots of good takeaways about idea-generation skills and communication!
Alison Craig, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician and Chief of Staff
Group Health Cooperative of South-Central Wisconsin
Your Friends at Goodman Center
Goodman Community Center
Here at Blue Water Center for Independent Living, we believe that organizational communication and strategic thinking are keys to effective program development and dynamic consumer service delivery. Peter introduced the “Yes, And” and other improv principles to our staff. While there was some initial skepticism, we have used these ideas to complete tasks such as event planning, team building, the revision of publications — and most importantly, significant attitude change.
Jim WhalenExecutive Director
Blue Water Center for Independent Living
Port Huron, MI
I’m going to promote this training to my employer and try to get Peter back here. Everyone should experience this.
This is going to help my staff work better together, with more contributions from people who are usually quiet. I love it! I wish we had more time with this today.
At first it seemed overly simple. Then when I saw it modeled and started to participate, it was mind-blowing!
“Innovation Through Improvisation” Workshop Attendees
Omaha and Kearney, NE
Peter presented a workshop for direct support staff in Concord, NH recently. What impressed me the most was the creative and fun way that he started with a relatively simple idea (labeling people) and then went on to reveal more subtle variations and implications of that idea. And all the while, he invited the listener into the perspective of an individual with a disability, either by stories or understandings that were fundamental to the broader human experience. I found myself feeling entertained, educated, and inspired to think more deeply all in one fell swoop! Not since the days of listening to Herb Lovett had I experienced such an intelligence so embedded in compassion and humor. I think the best examples of this are in his songs, which are full of wit and humor but also cut deep into “uncomfortable” issues that rarely get talked about.
Monadnock Developmental Services,
Thank you Peter for the awesome conference in Portland! It is great to know that someone who has been in this field for 25+ years still remembers and understands what it’s like to be a direct care worker. Often times I feel that my opinions and thoughts are swept under the rug, but during your keynote and sessions I didn’t feel that way at all. Jeez, I even got to have some fun — I could be myself and still be taken seriously!
Direct Support Professional
Lutheran Social Service of MN has long believed that a person is a person, regardless of their disability. Through your conference, many of our staff were reenergized by the honest and open look at supports.
Your humor and outlook on what can be a difficult job at times for staff was wonderful. Thank you for being the voice for people that often do not have a voice and advocating that all of us can do the same.
LSS of Minnesota
I used your DVD at a two-day forum with support workers from various regions of Western Australia.
I anticipated a good response, however the message was received with a huge level of enthusiasm.
I enjoyed the event very much – I found it very uplifting, interesting and mind blowing. In fact it was the best learning event I have ever experienced, and I feel very fortunate that we were given the opportunity to attend (although in all honesty I was not looking forward to it). It has enabled me to have this new passion, which hopefully I can transfer to others. Thank you all.
Just to say once again, a BIG THANK YOU for hosting this event. We are going to do our best to bring these issues to the forefront of our thinking as an organisation, both in an individual way and collectively, for how we think in our planning, and how we support people in their lives.
Thanks for organising an excellent 3 days. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was great to be with so many like minded people.
I just wanted to say I really enjoyed the course last week. The speakers were excellent! There were a lot of interesting discussions and I think everyone who was there really wanted to make a difference. I am already looking forward to the next one.
Attendees of “Doing Our Best Work”
Jan 9-11, 2013
Peter was great! I wish I could bring in all my providers to attend this training. I would attend this training again because it is productive with ideas.
…wonderful combination of fun and practical information.
Peter is great at getting us to think about our intentions as providers; whose interests are we serving? Thank you Peter, for showing me what’s important.
Attendees of Full Lives Conference
I have found your DVDs and CDs to be thought provoking & great conversation starters!
Perth, Western Australia
Peter is an excellent motivational speaker for caregivers! He knows how we feel and what we do, and he inspires us to do our best. Bring him back!
Direct support worker
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
I was fortunate enough to have attended a Peter Leidy workshop. I was a bit concerned when I noticed that this consultant, trainer and speaker on human services arrived with only a GUITAR (and what turned out to be a fabulous sense of humor), but after five hours of listening to Peter engage, educate and thoroughly entertain an audience of Direct Support Professionals, consumer/clients and administrators, I became a Peter Leidy follower!
Although I haven’t learned to sing my way through modules, there isn’t one of Peter Leidy’s DVD’s or CD’s that I don’t own or that doesn’t contribute to, educate or lighten up any presentation, including ITP’s, Trauma, Crisis, Behavior, Principles of Instruction, Working in the Home and especially Community Resources.
Lyn J. Dowler, Instructor
Ptooey’s Educational Services
Wells Beach, Maine
Peter, thanks again for the conference you presented. It was truly one of the most inspiring conferences I’ve attended.
Nebraska Association of Community Professionals
Peter Leidy uniquely combines humor, wisdom, experience, and an occasional song to help us learn ways to strengthen the connections and needed support among people with disabilities and the families, friends, and paid caregivers in their lives. You may borrow him from Wisconsin, but we want him back!
A Simpler Way
I first met Peter at our annual New Hampshire Direct Support Professional Conference. As the chairperson of the Planning Committee I recommended that we have Peter back for a second year as our keynote speaker because he masterfully validates our work and really ‘walks the talk.’ Peter truly understands what it takes to support people on a daily basis in a meaningful way –and the joyful spirit necessary to do the work well. Peter is an inspirational, insightful and entertaining speaker. Our Direct Support Professionals in NH gave him excellent ratings!
Proud DSP of 22 years
Peter Leidy is a wise guy. In the true sense of the words. Oh, he’s funny enough. He’s got a good voice and can make great music. But the fact he understands the first responsibility of helping professionals is to treat the people they support like fellow human beings, not to get the progress sheets recorded, makes him a rare and wise guy in the world I know.
Thanks for the inspiration, Peter!
Poet and author of You Can Still Go to Hell and Other Truths About Being a Helping Professional
Peter’s singing keynote address at our annual Supported Life Conference received rave reviews from attendees. He’s a great presenter and performer, and his songs are right on target. Peter is also wonderful to work with — organized, professional, and easy-going.
Supported Life Institute
Peter’s many years of experience with individualized supports, and talents as a story teller, inspire staff to look at people with disabilities they support in a whole new light. He helps staff understand new ways of contributing to people’s success as community members.
Arc of Midland, M