Since its setting up in the late Seventies, Tricentenaire Group has been growing and developing its activities. Tricentenaire daily welcomes and assists people with disabilities in structures (living spaces, temporary accommodation, day centre, professional education day centre, sheltered workshops, etc.) where participation and social inclusion are their guiding stars, providing daily assistance and care, psychosocial and therapeutic support, training and working activities, as well as organising sport and leisure activities.
Tricentenaire group nowadays employs 350 people and welcomes some 400 users in its facilities. It counts five accommodation structures, one temporary accommodation, two day centres, one professional education centre, one specialised travel and leisure agency, four sheltered workshops that offer diverse and innovative jobs opportunities for people with disabilities, and one “Bar à chocolat”, where you can find the chocolate and the products produced in its workshops. These structures, services, and workshops have the legal form of non-profit association or co-operatives and are all guided by the principles of auto-determination, co-production, equity, inter-responsibility, and respect of the human dignity and of the environment.
As a part of its continuous development and innovation, in the last 5 years Tricentenaire has been involved in a unique adventure aimed at obtaining the “Milieu Novateur” certification awarded by the Quebec Council for Accreditation (CQA).
Tricentenaire Team with the Jury of the Quebec Council for Accreditation
For almost 20 years, the Quebec Council for Accreditation has publicly recognized the efforts and achievements related to the quality of services provided by providers. The “Milieu Novateur” programme fits perfectly into this vision as it aims at recognising the innovativeness and expertise of the participant organisations involved. The Certification process lasts four years and it is organised in two parts: phase one assesses to what extent a culture of innovation is present in the organization, in order to assess, in phase 2, the implementation of innovative projects through five criteria: novelty, creation of values, efficiency, measurability, transferability.
The first phase of certification was validated in 2015 after two years of preparation, while the second phase was finalised in Montreal in October 2019, on the occasion of the presentation of their innovative project before the CQA expert jury: “expression and participation of users in Tricentenaire: optimization and development of co-production”. Tricentenaire obtained score of 89.2%, reaching 100% on five criteria and for the presentation to the Jury.
In Montreal, Tricentenaire objective was to show how the culture of innovation was born, fostered, maintained, and developed in its activities dedicated to people with disabilities in a multidimensional and multicultural context. Tricentenaire approach is based on co-production: ensure that each stakeholder – users, professionals, family members, and educators – is part of the decision and organisation, following an approach based on co-decision, co-construction and co-production of projects and services. Different tools are used to reach this goal and to make sure the co-productive approach is done following the principles of equality and participation.
It is a complete change in the approach and management of disability services. Every idea is discussed together and together the decisions taken. The approach is innovative as it stimulates users to participate, express themselves, and make their voice heard. To make it possible Tricentenaire crated a new position connected to the main management, the Delegate for User Expression (DUE), which is a unicum in Europe, and is in charge of coordinating and monitoring the various actions related to users’ participation.
However, the co-productive approach touches as well the role of professionals and educators involved, who are no longer just users’ megaphone, but real facilitator who support users in sharing their experiences and favouring their participation.
The co-productive approach that guides Tricentenaire activity is not just a concept or a project, but a way of living and working, a veritable revolution in mentalities, which is taking place before our eyes, and is a veritable surge of hope.
The original article was published in French on the 10/10/2019 on the online newspaper infogreen.lu