Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Person-Centered Planning

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Person-Centered Planning

Article excerpt

People with disabilities no longer have to rely on assistance from total strangers. Person-center planning helps individuals with disabilities direct their own lives. Individuals with disabilities and their families now have more options to plan housing, work, finances and more. The military supports these efforts. Here are some questions and answers that can help you better understand person-centered planning, how it can help and how you might fit into the process.


* Brings the individual together with a team of family, friends, neighbors, employers, community members and healthcare professionals to find out what is important to the person with the disability, now and in the future

* Matches the wants and needs of a person with a disability to existing services, adapts existing services to better suit the person or creates new services if required

* Gives people with disabilities and their families more control over services and the direction of their lives

* Helps people with disabilities accomplish their goals and fit in and contribute to society in a personalized way, rather than passively accepting services based solely on their diagnosis and condition

* Finds ways for the person with the disability to develop the skills and abilities needed to work toward achieving his or her goals and having more control in his or her life


* Focuses on the person with the disabilities, not the planner

* Focuses on the person's strengths, not deficits

* Helps alleviate isolation, stigmatizing labels, loss of opportunity and loss of hope


Person-centered planning aims to help the person with disabilities do the following:

* Live in the community

* Choose his or her own services and housing

* Develop his or her own skills and interests

* Be treated with respect

* Find a valued social role

* Find meaningful independent relationships


* An unbiased facilitator: Facilitators encourage brainstorming during the meeting and help identify friends, family or professionals that can help keep the plan on track.

* Advocates: Disability service advocates can help get resources, talk about options, help with evaluating plans and services, and help the person with the disability become a self-advocate. …

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