Module 4: Picture My Future – a guide

Meeting 1: Explaining how Picture My Future works

In preparation for the first meeting, the Support Person should download the following resources:

Meeting 1

During the first meeting the Support Person meets with the person to explain the Picture My Future process:

1. Getting to know the person.

  • If the Support Person is not familiar with the participant, it may be necessary to spend some time becoming acquainted.

2. The Support Person explains Picture My Future to the person and how the approach works.

3. Talking about likes and dislikes, important things, things they want to do and hopes and dreams.

Before explaining Picture My Future, it is important to introduce the participant to thinking about his or her future goals. Refer to the Guide to asking questions when exploring goals to view examples of questions that might help to get the conversation going. The Picture Me resource is also a useful tool to help people focus.

The information gained will be helpful both when explaining the picture collection part of the process and also in ensuring that all information about the person has been collected, including abstract ideas.

4. Introduce Picture My Future

For many people with intellectual disability it will be easier to understand instructions and language that is concrete rather than abstract or conceptual (see Module 2). When giving instructions, it may help to:

Use the Easy English What is Picture My Future?. You can point to the relevant image and instructions on this sheet to help the person understand the instruction.

Use tangible, self-explanatory examples, such as the Sample Picture My Future Resource to show the person what you hope to achieve.

Show the person and read aloud some or all of the topics or life areas they might like to think about (e.g. your job, your hobbies, your home, friends.) Give the person a copy of the Easy English How to Collect Pictures handout.

Let the person know that they can take photos or collect pictures or objects.

Refer to the Guide to Collecting Pictures for more information.

Reinforce that they can also collect and present pictures from family albums, newspapers, magazines or from the internet. They can also provide drawings or paintings. For example, they might use images/photos taken previously (for example of a holiday or absent friend). Or they might search for other images related to the item (e.g. printing an image from the internet, magazine etc, drawing the image).

If the person indicates that they would like to take photos themselves, refer to the Technical guide.

Explain the kind of things the person should consider collecting pictures of.

Use the Picture Me booklet

Provide the person with the Picture Me booklet.  This will help the person to think about the things they would like to collect pictures of. Step through the booklet and ask the person to take photos of:

  • things they like
  • things they don’t like
  • things they want to do
  • People places and things that are important to them
  • Hopes and dreams for the future

Use examples the participant provided you with during the initial discussion. For example: remember you talked about having a dog when we first met. How would you take a picture of that?

Prompt participants to ask permission when they want to take a person’s photo, especially in group situations.

Remember that some people might find the approach challenging to begin with. Participants who are new to photography might want to experiment with the camera at first. Be patient and provide practical reminders of what could be in a photo.  Ask the person to take a couple of trial shots while you are present. You may have to provide some guidance and mentoring during the initial stages.

Check whether the person understands what they have been asked to do.  Asking them to describe it to you is a good way of checking.

Contact the person every 4 or 5 days to see how things are going.

Most participants will need to be reminded by phone or email of the tasks associated with Picture My Future. The Support Person needs to check how things are going, repeat instructions if required and address issues as they arise (make sure the battery is ok, the person remembers how to use camera, what to collect images of, etc.).

For some participants (even if they appear very capable), taking photos may be a difficult task. It might conjure up feelings of not succeeding/failing associated with previous experiences. Make sure that the participant knows that there is no wrong photo. Also, the person should be at liberty to say that they don’t want to take photos.