Consumer Advocacy
Developmental Disabilities

What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know


Person-centered planning is a process-oriented approach empowering people to plan their life, find their voice, and work toward reaching their goals.

The goal of person-center planning is to support participants to be the center of planning their supports and goals.

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    Person-centered planning is really ensuring that the plan is developed with the person, for the person and by the person and so it really is a different way of thinking of how we create services and supports for people based on what the participant wants and not what the system has to offer.
    Tony Green, Facebook Live, April 2020

    Nebraska's Person-Centered Planning Initiative

    The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities are working together on a Person-Centered Planning initiative to reinvigorate person-centered supports for all Nebraska's Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Waivers.

    Person-centered planning is used to create service plans for all Medicaid HCBS Waivers: the Aged and Disabled Waiver, Developmental Disabilities Waivers, and the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver.

    Training on Person-Centered Planning

    Our training events provide tools to empower participants, their families, and guardians to expand their knowledge and acquire skills to participate effectively in developing self-directed, person-centered plans. HCBS waiver participants and their families will gain the skills to increase their choices and obtain greater independence and autonomy.

    Person-centered planning training is being provided for free.

    The training is sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities.

    Collaborators include: Nebraska DHHS, Statewide Independent Living Council, League of Human Dignity, Brain Injury Alliance, People First of Nebraska, The Arc of Nebraska, Disability Rights Nebraska, Munroe-Meyer Institute - UCEDD, Nebraska Association of Service Providers (NASP), Parent Training and Information (PTI) Nebraska, Nebraska VR, and Nebraska Brain Injury Advisory Council.

    Printable Fliers

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    Introduction to Person-Centered Planning - January 2022

    Introductory training is available for participants, families, and providers. It is a four-week training, which will be offered three times. 

    January is the second offering. Sessions are on Thursdays from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, central time. 

    The training covers:

    • Week 1, January 6: Intro to Person-Centered Planning
    • Week 2, January 13: Building a Lasting Support Circle
    • Week 3, January 20: Employment and Volunteering
    • Week 4, January 27: Reaching Your Dreams and Vision

    Participants who attend all four weeks will receive a certificate of achievement.

    Register for Training


    Watch Recorded Webinars on Person-Centered Planning​

    The following webinars were provided by national experts as part of Nebraska's Person-Centered Planning Initiative.​​

    ​Facebook Live 2021 Event

    Tuesday, August 24, 2020

    Learn about the Nebraska Division of Developmental Disabilities' goal to become a Person-Centered Organization,​ to ensure people who receive HCBS waiver services are living the lives they have chosen for themselves, in their communities with supportive relationships and with opportunities to contribute​.

    Watch on Facebook
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    Jennifer Perkins, Deputy Director of Quality and Policy, DDD

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    Curtis Walters, Deputy Director of Operations, DDD

    Facebook Live 2020 Kick-off Event

    Wednesday, September 9, 2020

    Learn about the Person-Centered Planning initiative and what it means for participants of Medicaid HCBS Waivers in Nebraska.

    Watch on Facebook

    Tony Green
    Tony Green, Director
    Division of Developmental Disabilities
    Kristen Larsen
    Kristen Larsen,
    Executive Director of NE Council on Developmental Disabilities

    Beth Mount: Core Elements of Person-Centered Practice; Exploring What More is Possible through Person-Centered Work

    ​Beth Mount has worked for more than 40 years toward the ideal that every person with a disability can be a valued member of community life. Dr. Mount is the originator of Personal Futures Planning, which increases the possibilities that people will work, volunteer, and contribute in civic life.

    Beth has collaborated on countless change initiatives particularly those that engage young people in transition from high school. For 18 years, Beth was a Person-Centered Planning consultant to New York State's Office of People with Developmental Disabilities. She developed initiatives to support innovation in individualized services including 30 learning institutes that strengthen innovative design teams. She is a Senior Practitioner affiliated with the Presencing Institute.

    Beth is a 2020 recipient of the National Historic Recognition Project and has received excellence awards from virtually every prominent national and New York State disability organization. She uses creativity and the arts as another way to help people express their dreams and tell stories.

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    Dr. Beth Mount

    Presentation September 22, 2020

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    John O'Brien: What Difference can Person-Centered Planning Make

    Person-centered planning is a collection of methods. Each can make a positive difference. None is magic. We'll think about the conditions that influence the benefits people can experience from good planning.

    John O'Brien is a leading thinker who has written widely in the field of disability. He is a pioneer and lifelong advocate of person-centered planning. He was co-developer of two models for person-centered planning: McGill Action Planning System (MAPS) and Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH).

    John's values-based approach emphasizes learning with each person about the direction their lives could take, challenging and overcoming practices, structures and values that lead to segregation and underestimation rather than inclusion. His thinking is based on Social Role Valorization and the Social model of disability

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    John O'Brien

    Presentation October 5, 2020

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    Darcy Elks: Now Is The Time For Vision

    Families, people with disabilities, service recipients, and supporters have learned that an essential tool in bringing about a full, meaningful, inclusive life is having a well-defined and articulated vision. A vision will focus, guide, and inspire action in the face of attitudinal obstacles and other set-backs. This webinar will help participants to clearly conceptualize a vision and to encourage everyone to "keep their eyes on the prize" and not acquiesce to prevailing standards of what is "realistic."

    Darcy Elks is an educator, parent and advocate on behalf of people who are societally devalued.  She is an international consultant and has traveled to many different countries to advocate for full meaningful inclusive lifestyles for marginalized people.

    The focus of Darcy's work is to encourage attitudes and structures, which promote social value and inclusion for people who have disabilities and other people who have been devalued and excluded.  Darcy's passion is to help create inclusive communities:  communities where we are all welcome and where we can each use our gifts for the good of one another.

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    Darcy Elks

    Presentation October 19, 2020

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    Danyetta Najoli: Born to Live in Community: When People We Support Become Members and Citizens Lean In

    Approaching our community-building practice with fluidity has a variety of outcomes and unexpected results leading the people we support into having a more fulfilled life.  In this webinar, we will consider the connections people make and how those ties make a better community.  We will deepen our understanding of having a growth mindset that expands the possibilities around community building and shapes the kind of culture we all would want to live in.

    Danyetta Najoli is a Senior Community Builder at Starfire Council. She has trained Direct Support Professionals and supervisors for 20 years while working directly with people with disabilities for three provider agencies, in TN and OH. 

    Danyetta has supported several people to attain long-term, valued roles in their community, engaging several approaches including person-centered, citizen advocacy, and asset-based community development.

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    Danyetta​ Najoli

    Presentation November 9, 2020

    David Wetherow: Families Building Connections and Commitments through Person-Centered Planning

    ​Person-Centered Planning is a great way to support someone's personal goals and objectives; but even more importantly, it is a powerful tool for generating commitments from families, friends and community partners and expanding companionships, connection, and contributions in ordinary community life.

    By 'following the threads' of a person's interests and dreams towards the community spaces where their interests are 'mirrored', we can encourage the person and the family to think expansively about whom they might want to invite, including people who have standing in places where those interests are reflected. 

    Micro-inquiries can be built into the Person-Centered Planning conversation that give participants opportunities to make commitments 'on the spot' and keep those commitments going forward.  We will share a number of real-life examples where these strategies worked and are still working in people's lives even decades later.

    David Wetherow has been involved in the evaluation, design and development of innovative human services for over forty years, having worked in the fields of mental health, substance abuse recovery, child welfare, and developmental disabilities.  He served as Director of Program Evaluation in Manitoba's Mental Health and Child Welfare directorates before becoming the Executive Director of the Association for Community Living in Winnipeg.  He created the Star Raft circle-building method and now serves a US-based nonprofit whose mission to give people with disabilities and families the tools and supports they need to build their own circles 'for free, forever'.

    David and his wife Faye created the Microboard model – small, incorporated circles that facilitate direct funding that are now working for nearly 1,500 people worldwide. They developed the first inclusive housing cooperative and the first person- and family-directed service cooperative in North America. They are seasoned trainers in qualitative program evaluation and person-centered planning.  They shared their lives with a beloved adopted daughter who lived with significant health, mobility and communication challenges until her passing in 2004. David joins us from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

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    David Wetherow

    Presentation November 16, 2020

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    Sheli Reynolds: Putting it All Together: Using Charting the LifeCourse to Support Individuals and Families in their Journey to a Good Life

    How do we put the important concepts of person centered thinking and planning into practice to support people to move toward their vision of a good life? How can integrating supports within the context of a person's family, friends, and community enhance life experiences that will impact a person's goals and outcomes? Learn about the Charting the LifeCourse framework that unites and complements the best practices of person centered planning, and provides strategies and tools that can help a person and their supporters to collaboratively explore, plan, and problem solve.

    Michelle Sheli" Reynolds, PhD is the Associate Director at UMKC Institute for Human Development, where she has worked for over 20 years focusing on research, demonstrations and implementation of evidence-based practices that enhance person- and family-centered organizational, policy and systems change. She is the key developer of the Charting the LifeCourse framework and tools and provides overall direction to LifeCourse Nexus. Her passion, knowledge, and experience are enhanced by growing up as a sibling of a brother with developmental disabilities.

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    Sheli Reynolds
                                 Presentation December 7, 2020


    Michael Callahan: Discovery and Customized Employment: Connecting who People are with the Work they do

    Michael's picture
    Michael Callahan

    Presentation January 12, 2021

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    This webinar will discuss the connection between the Discovery process and the concept of Customized Employment.  Too often, employment for people with disabilities is comprised of job seekers settling for the most basic and tedious jobs available in the workforce.  Customized Employment provides an effective option in that it seeks to have employment fit with the job seeker's conditions for success, intrinsic interests and best contributions while meeting specific needs of employers.  The relationship of Discovery of the individual and the concept of Customized Employment will be provided in this webinar along with examples of successful outcomes for job seekers.

    Michael Callahan has consulted throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand in the areas of employment and transition for over four decades.

    Originally trained as a special educator, he has worked with Marc Gold & Associates (MG&A) for 40 years and has served as president of the organization since Marc Gold's death in 1982. MG&A is a network of consultants that provides training, technical assistance and content certification to systems, agencies and families interested in insuring the complete community participation of persons with significant disabilities.

    He is a co-author of two "how-to" books on employment for persons with significant disabilities, Getting Employed, Staying Employed and Keys to the Work Place. He has written numerous articles, chapters, manuals and curriculums pertaining to employment. He is a former national board member for TASH and was a founding board member of APSE. 

    Michael's current work focuses on Customized Employment and Discovery as an extension of the concept of supported employment for persons with significant disabilities.  He has provided training and technical assistance to Source America's Pathways to Careers Initiative since 2011. MG&A is now offering certification in Discovery, Job Development and Systematic Instruction for Customized, Supported Employment.

    Jack Pearpoint and Lynda Kahn: Engaging in Person Centered Work: Conversations that Could Matter!

    ​Perhaps because of the Pandemic, we are more aware than ever that we are indeed social beings - and that none of us can do this alone. Even more dramatic, with physical distancing, and the new world of Zoom, we are being forced to rediscover the power of conversation.  In fact, conversation is a revolutionary act - and it is the beginning of every change - every possibility. Our time together will be exploring how to initiate and sustain conversations that matter - that can make a difference - for people you love and care about - and for yourself.

    Jack Pearpoint is an independent Canadian publisher and catalyst for inclusion, diversity, teamwork, and change.

    Jointly with his wife and partner, Lynda Kahn, Jack conducts workshops and consults with organizations and collaborates with people with disabilities and their families, to engage in positive change that honors the gifts and contributions of all. Earlier, Jack, his late wife Marsha Forest and John O'Brien, collaborated to create several person-centered approaches such as PATH, MAPS and Circles of Friends. The collaboration continues now with John and Lynda.

    Jack's 50 years of organization experience include seven years in Africa implementing post-war reconstruction; sixteen years as President of Canada's oldest literacy organization, Frontier College; and three decades as the creator of Inclusion Press - and a full-time publisher and presenter.

    Jack is the founding director of the Marsha Forest Centre: Inclusion, Family and Community and remains its Executive Director. Jack and Lynda Kahn work internationally and have expanded their network beyond Canada and the United States to include people in Australia, England, India, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, and Uganda.

    Lynda Kahn is a co-leader with Inclusion Press International, Toronto, working with individuals, families, organizations and governments interested in positive change. Lynda, together with her partner and husband, Jack Pearpoint, works with individuals, families, organizations and governments interested in positive change through facilitating conversations, planning sessions and offering training workshops. She is a member of the board of the Marsha Forest Center on Inclusion, Family and Community.

    Lynda served in the public sector for 24 years as the State of Rhode Island's Executive Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities from 1996 to 2005. Her work included assisting in the closure of the state's institution, The Ladd Center in 1993; collaborating on an individualized funding and budgeting approach for persons served by Rhode Island's Division of Developmental Disabilities; and serving as President of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS 2001-03), and on the Association's Board for eight years.

    Her 40+ years experience has taken her from institution to community settings, involving values-based person-centered planning as a means to facilitate individual and organizational change. She is passionate about leadership, change and personal engagement to realize a more just world where everyone's voice and gifts are welcome. She helped found Rhode Island's Service Quality Network, and later was instrumental in creating the Rhode Island Facilitator's Forum.

    Lynda continues to serve as Steward for the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network (OIFN) since 2013, and served on the Ontario Developmental Services Housing Task Force 2014-2018, and as its Vice Chair from 2016-18. Lynda is a member of the Board of Neighbours Inc., an innovative organization based in New Jersey which assists people in living full lives, directing their own supports.

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    Jack Pearpoint

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    Lynda Kahn

    Presentation January 25, 2021

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    This project was supported in part by grant funds provided to the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities through Grant #2001SCDDNE, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.