Safeguarding the future conference - Canberra, 23-24 May 2024

Registrations close at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 16 May

Jo Massarelli

Jo Massarelli and Cathy Ludlum will present the second pre-conference webinar on Wednesday, 8 May 2024. Their presentation is called Medical Safeguarding: Addressing vulnerability in medical settings.

Portrait of Jo Massarelli

Jo Massarelli is a director of the SRV Implementation Project, which is a human service training and consultation concern located in Worcester, Massachusetts (USA). Her work involves teaching Social Role Valorisation-based workshops and working with families, human service staff, and people with impairments to bring about positive change, one person at a time.

Jo has extensive experience teaching at workshops and lecturing at conferences across the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. She has worked with a wide range of human service workers serving people devalued due to intellectual impairment, mental disorder, physical impairment, age (elders), and poverty. Additionally, she has evaluated numerous human service programs for children, adults, and elders, including residential, day, and work programs, schools, hospices, prisons, and homeless shelters.

Jo is particularly interested in advocacy in medical settings and teaches various workshops on protecting vulnerable people in the hospital and on medical decision-making. She has co-written a manual based on these workshops. She is also a member of the Medical Safeguards Project, a group of nurses and doctors in Massachusetts who are committed to safeguarding the health and lives of mentally impaired people with significant medical needs.

Jo serves as a consultant for Family Lives, a program for children with multiple impairments who require twenty-four-hour nursing care. Family Lives is committed to providing the medical support necessary for the children to live at home. Jo works to assist families and nurses alike in envisioning and realising more than just the “patient” role for those served.

Medical safeguarding: Addressing vulnerability in medical settings

It seems at odds to think that safeguarding is necessary in healthcare settings such as hospitals. After all, all medical settings, especially hospitals, are places filled with talented health professionals whose edict is to do no harm. Yet the experience of many people with disability (and other marginalised groups, including the elderly and people with poor mental health) is that whenever they are hospitalised, they are exposed to grave dangers that jeopardise their health and safety.

In this powerful session, Jo Massarelli and Cathy Ludlum will explore what needs to be done to safeguard vulnerable people in a healthcare setting. From the perspective of an advocate and a person who manages her own practical care, they will offer practical information about how to ensure good outcomes during hospital stays.

About this session

  • This is the second webinar in our pre-conference webinar series
  • Wednesday, 8 May 2024
  • 9:30 am to 12:00 pm AEST
  • You can attend this webinar independently of the conference by registering for a Pre-conference webinar only ticket (flexible pricing available)
  • All three pre-conference webinars are included in the main conference tickets

Register to attend the conference and/or the pre-conference webinars


Learn about the other conference speakers and their presentations

Pre-conference webinars

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About the Safeguarding the Future conference

  • Thursday-Friday, 23-24 May 2024
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm both days
  • Hotel Realm in Canberra
  • Optional networking event on Thursday evening
  • Three pre-conference webinars included in the main conference ticket
  • Pre-conference webinar-only tickets are also available if you can’t attend the main event
  • Flexible pricing is available for people with disability and their families from $0.00 to $225.00
  • People with disability, their families, friends, and allies, support workers, education professionals, health professionals, and everyone interested in safeguarding the future of people with disability are welcome to attend.
  • Registrations close at 5:00 pm AEST on Thursday, 16 May

Register to attend the conference and/or the pre-conference webinars

Safeguarding the future conference

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