New Developments in the Participant Reference Group (PRG) Initiative at OC Connections

30 May 2023

OC Connections has made significant developments to its Participant Reference Group (PRG) initiative. The PRG serves as a platform for participants to provide valuable feedback directly to the OC Connections Board, ensuring continuous improvement in the way supports are delivered. At the beginning of 2023, the PRG underwent a refresh to enhance its effectiveness and responsiveness.

The PRG consists of participant members representing various support areas within OC Connections. Chaired by Tricia Malowney OAM, an independent disability and human rights advocate with lived experience, the PRG holds five meetings per year. Tricia’s role as an independent chair brings invaluable expertise and guidance to the PRG, as she has been supporting and advising OC Connections for many years.

Sara Brentnall, the OCC Board Deputy Chair, also serves as a member of the PRG. Her presence at each meeting enables participants to directly communicate with the Board on matters of interest and importance, fostering a collaborative relationship between participants and decision-makers.

The refreshed agenda of the PRG now places greater emphasis on obtaining feedback about OC Connections’ services. In addition, updates from each of the business areas and PRG sub-groups have been incorporated throughout the year. The PRG sub-groups, which focus on specific support areas such as Day Support, Community Living, and OCCE (OC Connections Enterprises), meet regularly and are chaired by staff members. These sub-groups allow participants to discuss services pertinent to their respective areas, enabling a two-way flow of ideas, recommendations, and opportunities based solely on participant feedback.

As part of the refresh, the PRG and sub-groups have received updated agenda and minutes templates in Easy Read format. Some new members have also joined these groups, bringing fresh perspectives and insights. The OC Connections Board and Executive team rely on the feedback provided by the PRG to implement appropriate actions, responses, and initiatives that facilitate continuous quality improvement across all service areas.

OC Connections expresses its gratitude to each member of the PRG and PRG sub-groups, Tricia Malowney, and the staff who chair the sub-group meetings, assist with attendance, minutes, and presentations. The active involvement of all participants and stakeholders in this valuable initiative plays a crucial role in OC Connections’ ongoing commitment to providing high-quality support to individuals with disabilities.

The refreshed PRG initiative reflects OC Connections’ dedication to inclusivity, transparency, and collaboration. By actively seeking participant feedback and involving them in the decision-making process, OC Connections strives to create an environment that truly meets the needs and aspirations of the individuals it serves.