The PATH to success

If your dreams were written down on paper what would they look like? Would they contain phrases like “inclusion,” “people will…

If your dreams were written down on paper what would they look like?

Would they contain phrases like “inclusion,” “people will phone me,” “accepting each other’s differences and gifts” and “having sufficient money to have a good quality of life?”

Would they be written in bright colours and illustrated with pictures of friends standing together in a circle?

For a group of people living with intellectual disabilities in Whitehorse, that is exactly what their dreams look like.

This group conjures a world where a network of community friends helps them improve their quality of life.

With the help of Pat Golding, former national adviser with People First of Canada, and a tool called Planning Alternative Tomorrow with Hope, dubbed PATH, the group planned to realize their dreams.

PATH can be used for organizational and personal planning.

It resembles a giant mind-map or flow-chart. It’s topped by specific dream, which then flows to realistic and positive goals, which are then broken into the steps needed to achieve those goals.

The crew that gathered at the Yukon Inn on Wednesday had a PATH with a timeline.

Program funding, provided by Whitehorse’s Crime Prevention Victim Service Trust Fund, runs out April 1, 2008.

So the group decided that, by May 1, they would start a letter-writing campaign to government and community leaders to ask for help realizing their dreams.

For example, because they couldn’t drive, they decided they needed better bus service in Whitehorse to improve the quality of their lives.

To accomplish the goal, they will write requesting a meeting with mayor Bev Buckway.

The group wants to have meetings with community officials by August 1.

“We wanted to do something that would help reduce victimization and isolation for people with labels and intellectual disabilities, so we looked at what we could do and it seemed like PATH was a really good idea,” said Lisa Rawlings, organizer of the PATH workshop and a co-ordinator at Yukon Association for Community Living.

A diverse group of people turned up at the workshop, noted Rawlings.

“We’ve had a variety of service agencies and families and people with labels here today; it was absolutely wonderful,” she said.

Friendship is important, and, with luck, people attending left with a better understanding about this, said Rawlings.

“Friendship is so integral in our lives; if we have friends, we’re safer, we’re known, we’re out there – we have a life,” she said. “Hopefully they’ve got a taste of this PATH tool which can be used in all sorts of planning.

“It can be used in friendship planning that we used it in today, organizational planning, future hopes and dreams for after school — all kinds of things — so hopefully they’ll have an idea of how that works and how they can apply it in their work and in their lives.”

Dreams, the things that start off any PATH, don’t necessarily have to be realistic, said Golding and Rawlings.

“They’ve described a world that’s euphoric and that’s not so bad,” said Golding. “We all dream, that’s what this is, it’s their dreams.”

Golding, who facilitated the workshop, and colleague Peter Park, a founding member of the PATH movement, were trained in the planning method through Creative Facilitation courses at colleges in Manitoba and Ontario.

PATH can be used for businesses, groups or individuals, they say.

To teach PATH, Golding and Park had to write up their own.

“I would say that everybody should have a PATH,” said Park.

 “I used to be one of these critics of PATH; I’d say, ‘Oh I don’t need it.’ And then I did one and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“That was about seven or eight years ago that I said, ‘Oh nuts, I’ll try it before I condemn it.’ Well, now I’m saying everybody ought to have one because it’s improved my whole life.

 “It’s made me a better person and it’s opened my eyes to other things that are possible.

“I used to say, ‘Oh wow, I don’t think that’s possible.’ Yes it is possible to do things now.”

Golding and Park have taught the PATH program across Canada.

Participants have a lot of fun doing it, they said.

The tables at the workshop were littered with stickers, toys and costumes that people could dress up in.

Every time a volunteer was needed to carry out a specific part of the group’s PATH, at least five hands shot up in the air.

Golding and Park said the group’s eagerness was certainly the engine that was going to help these people realize their dreams.

“They need to be passionate about it,” said Golding.

“And they are.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patti Balsillie will be running for the mayor’s seat in Whitehorse in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Submitted)
Balsillie aims to serve as city’s mayor

Says she has the time, skill set to serve in full-time role

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton sits on the opposition side of the legislative assembly on March 8 after announcing his resignation from the Liberal party earlier that day. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Don Hutton resigns from Liberal caucus; endorses NDP leadership

Hutton said his concerns about alcohol abuse and addictions have gone unaddressed

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read