How We Work

Purpose

Umbo is committed to the recruitment and retention of clinicians who provide high quality services to our clients and contribute positively to the ongoing development of the organisation. Umbo appreciates that in order to do this, we need to provide clear guidelines that carry the vision and values of the organisation into every session that a clinician delivers. The practice principles have been developed to achieve this goal and to provide a level of standardisation for clinical service delivery, whilst also providing flexibility for clinicians with how they implement these principles. 

Umbo Values

The practice principles stem from the Umbo values which are:

Inclusion – Authenticity – Respect – Creativity – Open mindedness

Practice Principles

Umbo’s clinical services always aim to be:

Evidence based: we conduct assessment and therapy using current and proven methods and approaches that are suitable for the client, their family and their context 

Person-centred: we make the relationship with our client and their family the central focus and join them on their journey. We develop goals with our clients based on their identified needs and work together to achieve these goals

Meaningful: we work with clients and their families in a way that is meaningful for their everyday life and is focused on their access and participation, not just their impairment or differences

Respectful: we listen to our clients and their families and respect their requests and their aspirations. We engage authentically and with an open mind

Inclusive: we work with our clients and their families in innovative and flexible ways that include important people in their life and considers their context, culture and capacity

Accountable: we seek feedback and talk to our clients and their families to understand their changing needs and whether/how our service is meeting those needs. We constantly evaluate the effectiveness of our work

 

Neurodiversity-Affirming Practice - A Position Statement

At Umbo, we are committed to delivering services aligned with a neurodiversity-affirming practice that recognises and values the unique strengths and needs of all our clients. We believe in creating an inclusive and supportive environment where all individuals can feel respected for who they are and supported to be in this world in a way that is meaningful to them.

Why Neurodiversity-Affirming Practice?

We acknowledge the historical influence of the deficit model and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in shaping our understanding of neurodivergent conditions. However, we also recognise the limitations of these models in capturing and supporting the full spectrum of neurodiversity. A neurodiversity-affirming practice is essential to prioritise the valid capabilities, learning and communication styles of neurodivergent individuals, and support differences in how a person engages, participates, communicates, learns and plays in this world.

Embracing the Social Disability Model and Trauma Informed Care

In alignment with neurodiversity-affirming practice, we embrace the social disability model, which recognises that societal and other environmental factors play a significant role in shaping the experiences of neurodivergent individuals. By addressing societal barriers, approaching our clients with sensitivity and awareness, and fostering an inclusive and accommodating environment, we strive to create a safe and supportive space where neurodivergent individuals can participate and contribute.

How Umbo Supports Neurodiversity-Affirming Practice

  • We appreciate that our understanding and support of neurodiversity is an ongoing journey. As new research emerges and our collective knowledge evolves, we are committed to continuously improving our practices and moving beyond ableist ideas.
  • We value learning from individuals with lived experiences and invite an open dialogue with our clients to ensure our therapeutic approaches remain respectful, supportive, and relevant.
  • We understand and respect that our clients and their families are the experts of their own experiences.
  • We seek to create a safe space for clients to come as they are and work with us in a way that is consensual and meaningful to them. 
  • We accommodate sensory needs and encourage all modes of communication.
  • We advocate for our clients and their needs.
  • We welcome and support clients in self-advocating for their needs.
  • We use language to speak about neurodivergent clients in our sessions and report writing which is affirming, strengths-focused and aligns with their preferences.

 

At Umbo, we are proud to champion neurodiversity and advocate for a more inclusive, compassionate, and understanding world. Our commitment to embracing neurodiversity-affirming practice is not just a professional decision, it is a reflection of our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual we serve.