Conference and Keynote Speaking
Peter regularly speaks at conferences. His keynotes and workshops cover a variety of topics, including:
- Designing person-centered supports
- Supported Living Workshop description
- Recruiting and supporting staff
- Staff retention
- Staff appreciation events
- Motivating direct support staff
- Organizational development
- Values training
- Developing/building community relationships
- Crisis prevention training
- Power and control
- Songs from Human Serviceland
Peter has written articles on some of these topics which you can download.
Session and Workshop Descriptions
Note: Some of these are ideal for keynote addresses; others for training and conversation. Many can work as ½, full day, or multi-day workshops, and many work well as conference breakout sessions.
Need a print version of these topics? Download them here: Presentation Descriptions .pdf
Innovation Through Improvisation: Unlocking Creativity, Getting Results, and Having Fun
Risk-takers, Rule-breakers, Troublemakers
In this interactive session, we will look at situations where to do the right thing means taking a risk, breaking a rule, or being considered a troublemaker. We will ask “From whose point of view is this the right or wrong thing to do?” What if the plan that a supporter is supposed to enforce seems unethical or harmful? Is a person being supported “non-compliant” – or assertive when s/he breaks a rule? Who created the rule in the first place? When have you risked being called a troublemaker?
Doing Our Best Work: 10 Ingredients of Quality Support
What do we really mean by commonly used phrases such as “best practice” and “quality supports”? What do these mean when we consider people with disabilities and those who do the important work of supporting them? Through real experiences and stories, this conversation examines 10 important ingredients of excellent direct support, taking a good look at how we can measure when we are at our best, and helping to remind us what matters most about our work.Related Article (.pdf)and Related DVD
We’re All In This Together: Staying Focused on the PERSON in Challenging Times
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by pressures that come with challenging work, confusing bureaucracies, and ever-shrinking funding. In this entertaining and motivating presentation, Peter will share some ideas to help us keep people we serve first, celebrate the important work we do, and engage others to work with us on the journey to promote connections and quality in people’s lives.
Supporting Each Other to Discover Our Best Work
In my 30 years of getting to know, work with, and learn from people with disabilities, I have seen again and again how important it is to have well-supported supporters. (Say that 3 times fast!) The right match matters. People in direct support roles and those who supervise them need to be heard and respected in their work environment – or else the quality of support declines. Good teams lead to good support. This is a conversation about staying person-centered while recognizing the gifts that paid supporters bring to their work, and how everyone benefits when we listen, collaborate, and celebrate with each other.
7 Ways to Prevent a Crisis
Many people labeled with “challenging behavior” spiral into crisis through actions and events that could have been avoided. Many crises are caused – unintentionally – by the system, the team or the behavior plan. When people are lonely and disconnected, when life is dull, when a “home” does not feel like home, when a place where someone spends the day is not a good match – the likelihood of unwanted behavior increases. This is not a session about techniques, but rather about how paying attention to quality of life relates to crisis prevention.
When Are You Going To Get a REAL Job?
Has anyone ever asked you this question, or raised the issue with a similar tone? Questions like this pop up from time to time in conversations some of us have with our families and friends. Supporting people with disabilities to have good lives IS a real job! This interactive session is a chance to have a conversation about how we honor and value the work we do.
Shoulder to Shoulder: Honoring the Direct Support Role
In a field with low pay, low status, and high turnover, we need to recognize the importance of truly valuing and honoring the people providing day-to-day support. Direct Support Professionals have a lot to say about what’s necessary to keep them committed to, and engaged in, their work. Are we listening? What is important to YOU in order to feel supported and valued?Related Artilce (.pdf)
Wellbeing: What Makes Life Worthwhile -- And How We Can Support Each Other ...
This interactive, thought-provoking, and fun workshop is an opportunity to learn, think, and work together around ways to enhance the wellbeing of ourselves and people we care about. Many people think wellbeing is about being happy, but it is much more than that. It goes beyond health, wealth, and being successful. In fact, the Gallup organization’s research in 150 countries — conducted over 50 years — will likely surprise you. We will look at how 5 elements of wellbeing (career, social, physical, financial, and community) interact with each other and contribute to our overall wellbeing.
There’s No Place Like (A Real) Home: Thinking Beyond “Residential Services”
We all desire a home that truly feels like a home — a home that is ours, that is a good fit. And most of us would agree that home is more than just the building. It is our own personal headquarters for living our lives as community members. In this session, we will discuss innovative, creative ways to support people who may have significant physical or behavioral challenges to experience not just a real home, but real community belonging. We will look at the importance of relationships, personalized support, staff roles, and more.
Making Connections: Building Bridges to Community Life
Paying attention to a person’s community life is a fundamental part of our work. Many people served in our system are lonely or disconnected. Through real stories this session explores strategies for making connections and building relationships, the barriers to community connecting, and how we can make and keep a commitment to the important work of community building when there are so many other issues that seem urgent.
Whose Life Is It, Anyway?
In this session we will look at power and control in support relationships. Many people being supported feel that others are too often telling them what to do. Many supporters feel that guiding and deciding are expectations of their job or supervisor. We talk about choice all the time, but what does choice really mean? And does it differ from person to person?Related Article (.pdf)
10 Things I’d Like to Tell My Employer
Often, people who work in direct support roles do not feel heard. This is an opportunity to think together about some common themes, questions, and concerns of direct support workers. It is also a chance to view and discuss a new video on the subject.Related Article (.pdf)
Bringing Who We Are to What We Do
Quality support often reflects what support workers bring into the job (and relationship) that is not part of the job description. The work is relational. The match means a lot. Who shows up makes a huge difference. When we hire “good” staff, we should think about how their life experience, networks, and interests may benefit the person being supported.Related Article (.pdf)
In addition to the above presentation descriptions, Peter can provide (or create with you) detailed session descriptions upon request. Call or email Peter to discuss how he can put his skills to work for you.
Peter is passionate about the work we do and it comes through in his presentation.””I appreciated his relevant examples, humorous songs, and ways we can support one another better.'” “This has been the most meaningful conference I have been to in a long time!” “I am very impressed with Peter and his workshop. It was interesting, informative, and I learned so much — and he makes me even more motivated than I already am. He has a great sense of humor and kept our attention very well. So glad I got the opportunity to come today!!”