October 14, 2021 was a very special day for IDDSI as it brought together IRG Leaders from around the globe and members of the IDDSI Board of Directors, for the first time. The meeting was attended by 54 participants from various regions of the world.
This meeting was incredibly exciting for all those attending as the leaders came together to meet one another and hear how IDDSI is being implemented around the world and in different practice areas.
IDDSI Co-Chair Peter Lam started the meeting by sharing the IDDSI and IRG commitment to foster inclusive and collaborative environment free from discrimination of any type.
Peter also outlined the top 3 priorities for the IDDSI Board of Directors 2022-2023 which includes:
- Foster and support International Reference Groups
- Facilitate translations of IDDSI materials
- Educate through webinars, education materials, conferences and IDDSI congress
The IRG Mission and function was also reviewed: IDDSI Reference Groups will act as informational and instructional bodies to guide, foster, advocate, facilitate, support implementation of IDDSI.
Following introductions from all participants, representatives from each IRG gave a brief presentation outlining the work their groups have been carrying out. Some IRG’s are just starting out and working on awareness and recruitment while others have been organized for longer and now have strong membership, subcommittees and have made significant steps forward with implementation. Leaders shared many exciting ideas about how they are moving forward with implementation.
Environmental scans/surveys: Several groups started their implementation process with surveys to gather data from key stakeholders regarding:
- Knowledge and awareness of IDDSI
- Use and implementation of IDDSI at local levels
- Facilitators and barriers to implementation
- Needs for implementation
Increasing awareness: Various ideas were shared from the leaders about increasing awareness. Some groups used professional organizations to get the word out, others have set up and presented webinars in their local language. Leaders shared how they have been using social media platforms with great success.
Resources: Many groups are making use of the IDDSI resources on our website or have gone on to develop their own resources for specific needs and contexts.
Translations: Several groups outlined their work in translating not only the IDDSI framework and testing methods documents but also translation of other IDDSI resources such as the patient handouts.
Education: A number of groups outlined their work in developing and providing education to target the needs of different stakeholders. For example, education for post-secondary programs that train health professionals, training programs for food service providers. Delivery methods included direct presentations, webinars, resource packages and quizzes.
Advocacy: Increasing awareness of administrators, government departments and other influential decision makers was identified and described by a number of groups.
Research: Several groups have identified subcommittees to look at research related to IDDSI such as reviewing current research and identifying opportunities for further IDDSI related research.
As ideas were shared, the “chat” function was being well used as participants connected and made plans for reconnecting and sharing ideas.
The meeting ended with a great sense of achievement and even more energy as plans were made for future meetings and opportunities to stay connected and continue sharing ideas and successes.
The IDDSI Board would like to extend their gratitude to not only the IRG leaders who attended the 1st International IRG Meeting but also to all those who have volunteered their time and support to move forward with IDDSI implementation.