Person-Centered Planning Resource Library

Consumer Advocacy
Developmental Disabilities

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What you need to know

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Charting the LifeCourse

Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) makes a participant's planning process​ more person-centered.

​Dive into Charting the LifeCourse

​DHHS has a monthly discussion on the first Tuesday of each month Zoom at 3:00 PM, CT, led by Amy Callendar-Taft, a Service Coordinator and CTLC Ambassador.

Anyone can attend, whether you struggle with CTLC or use the tools regularly. We want to engage participants, guardians, independent providers, and agency staff. We mainly talk about the three tools available in Therap: The Integrated Star, Life Domains, and Trajectory. We may also look at other tools in the Nexus library that you can use to plan your good life.

Sessions are open discussions about how CtLC tools work and any problems people have.

  • We share ideas, show examples, talk about resources, problem solve, and explore the tools.
  • We talk about how teams can use CtLC tools to create goals, supports, and improve the lives of those they were created for and by.
  • We will discuss different community resources, habilitative ideas, technology, and relationships.
  • Most importantly, we open essential dialog between participants, Service Coordinators, families, and providers about the value of CTLC tools when fully prepared and used.

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Meeting ID: 810 9273 1717

Passcode: Champions

Foundational Series - February 2023

Each session in this series was for a different audience. Sessions introduced Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC), the roles team members play in a person's life, and included real life examples. 

Life Experience Series - Quick Guides for Using CtLC at Different Ages

Each four-page Quick Guide contains a few questions from each life domain for that specific life stage. These can be used by anyone to work toward their vision for a good life.

  • Focus on Early Childhood​ - Early childhood is the time in a child's life before they begin school full time.
  • Focus on School Age - School age is the years from kindergarten through middle school.
  • Focus on Transition to Adulthood - Transition means that you are moving from childhood to young adulthood and from school to adult life.
  • Focus on Adulthood - Adulthood is the period from the time after we transition from school and childhood years through the time when we enter our golden years.
  • Focus on Aging - Aging is the period of life when we begin to slow down and experience many age-related changes.

Stakeholder Question & Answer Sessions - May 2022

HCBS staff held a series of stakeholder question and answer sessions on Charting the LifeCourse. 

Recorded Webinars on Person-Centered Planning

The following webinars were provided by national experts as part of Nebraska's Person-Centered Planning Initiative. This series of trainings was lead by Dr. Mark Friedman. 

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Dr. Mark Friedman

​Dr. Mark Friedman teaches Disability Studies as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the City University of New York. He serves as a Subject Matter Expert in participant engagement to the National Center on Advancing Person-centered Practices and Systems. Dr. Friedman's primary work has been helping people with disabilities gain a voice in their lives through self-advocacy and policy making and helping people move from large state institutions into community programs. He is currently working with the Georgia Advocacy Office, Nebraska and Michigan DD Councils, the Administration on Community Living, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the National Museum on Disability Rights.

He received his Ph.D. degree in Organizational Leadership from the Union Institute and University. He has presented to audiences in 22 states, provided advocacy training in Ecuador and Kosovo, and authored 13 publications. His work was highlighted in the New York Times

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

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Danyetta Najoli

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​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 consider the connections people make and how those ties make a better community. We 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 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.

Build Your Circle of Support in Four Weeks - David Wetherow

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David Wetherow

Video links and handouts below description

​Most of us have heard about 'circles of support' and we sense that a strong circle might help us make progress towards a good life. We wonder if a circle could begin to answer the question, "Who will look after my loved one after I'm gone?" But it may feel like we're too isolated, that it could be a lot of work, and that we don't have a clear method for inviting, organizing and strengthening a circle. The Star Raft is an easy-to-follow method for building and sustaining personal support circles, one small step at a time. 

Each session focuses on a different topic and contains specific action steps for building a resilient action circle. These are: 1) Gathering Your Circle, 2) Setting a Good Direction, 3) Taking the Helm and 4) Staying the Course. If you do just a little homework between sessions, you can get your own circle started in 28 days!

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, which facilitate direct funding. The Microboard model is 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. David and Faye 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.

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

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Beth Mount

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​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.

Discovery and Customized Employment - Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

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Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

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​Person-Centered Planning and the use of the Discovery Process together can help anyone who is seeking meaningful, valued employment in ordinary community settings based on one's unique skills, capacities and interests. This advanced training provides interactive opportunities to expand expectations of who can work and strategies for supporting individuals with disabilities in Supported and Customized Employment

Dr. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith is the former Executive Director of TASH and has helped people with disabilities find employment and create microbusinesses in ten states across the United States.

Discovery and Customized Employment: Connecting Who People Are with the Work they do - Michael Callahan

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Michael Callahan

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​This webinar discusses 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 is 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.​

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

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Jack Pearpoint

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Lynda Kahn

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​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 explores 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.

Facebook Live 2021 Event - Jennifer Perkins and Curtis Walters

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Learn about DDD's 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 Kickoff Event - Director Tony Green and Kristen Larsen

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

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Tony Green, Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities

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Kristen Larsen, Executive Director, NE Council on Developmental Disabilities

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

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David Wetherow

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​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.

Now is the Time for Vision - Darcy Elks

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Darcy Elks

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​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.

Person-Centered Planning with Children and Families - Kathy Brill

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Kathy Brill

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Handouts below description

​Person-Centered Planning often sounds daunting or confusing to families who have young children with disabilities and/or additional support needs. However, it is vitally important to understand how today's actions and decisions can impact our current plans and the future lives of our children and families.  

This session discusses the unique challenges and obstacles facing families who have young children and want to know how to successfully move toward identified goals and visions. How can families successfully overcome the multitude and diversity of challenges and obstacles they face on an everyday basis? How can we clarify the problems facing us and create strategies necessary to help us continue toward a future vision that seems to continually be impacted by naysayers, and make us feel like we're on a battlefield? This session helps families who have young children with disabilities and/or additional support needs to clarify the person-centered planning and post-planning processes to achieve a life of self-determination, inclusion, and community living.

Kathy Brill is mom to three daughters, the youngest, age 32, using numerous personal and technology supports throughout her life to achieve full community inclusion. She now lives in her own home, has a job she loves, and is a full part of her community. The process of working toward living independently started from the moment her daughter was born. Kathy and her family are firm believers in the need to think about the future when kids are young, and then envision, plan for, and problem-solve for those real and potential barriers before they occur. 

Kathy was a co-founder and first director for Parent to Parent USA, and also the first director for Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania. She recently launched Brill Consulting LLC, with the mission to strengthen and support the goals of full inclusion, community living, and self-determination in early childhood, school, and adulthood.

Kathy currently serves on the National Advisory Board on Improving Health Care Services for Seniors and People with Disabilities (NAB) and as Board President to MCIE (Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education). Prior board memberships include Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, PA TASH, and National Coalition on Self-Determination. She also chaired PA's State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention, served on the Planning and Advisory Council for PA's Department of Public Welfare, and held additional disability and healthcare related positions, including special education teacher, adjunct professor, and consultant. Kathy received the National Council on Disability 2006 Leadership Award in appreciation of outstanding contributions to the improvement of disability policy in the US.  Ms. Brill holds a master's degree in education, and a master's degree in political management, with a concentration in grassroots advocacy.

Person-Centered Planning with Older Adults - Pearl Barnett

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Pearl Barnett

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​The way we interact with and engage older adults in our community is deep-rooted in our cultures. Person-centered practices give us another chance to honor the experiences, beliefs, relationships, options, and decisions made by older adults. We see how conversations on goals may be different with people who are "post-retirement" age, but the importance of their goals still remains core to person-centered practices. 

Ms. Pearl Barnett has been the Director of Operations at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) since 2018. She has been working, tracking, and improving in person-centered planning, coordination, and service delivery for a decade. She previously worked nine years at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (Oklahoma DHS). At Oklahoma DHS, she served as the Administrator for the Advantage 1915(c) HCBS Medicaid Waiver and Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Programs. As a state waiver administrator, Ms. Barnett implemented statewide training programs in person-centered thinking, planning, and practices through service planning and service delivery, training state staff, providers, and advocates. She now helps states develop systems of person-centered practices for older adults and people with disabilities.

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

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Sheli Reynolds

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​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.

Self Advocates: Leading Your Own Meeting - Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Erin Phillips, and Jennifer James

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Ruthie-Marie Beckwith
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Erin Phillips

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Jennifer James

Video links below description.

​This four week set of sessions teaches self-advocates how to lead their own person-centered planning meeting. Sessions focus on preparing for the meeting, leading the meeting, and following up with your circle of support. It helps you think about what a good life means for you.

Dr. Ruthie-Marie Beckwith is the former Executive Director of TASH, Inc. and a national consultant who helps people with disabilities develop and implement strategies for greater autonomy in their daily lives. She is the founder and principal partner of Blue Fire Consulting and provides consulting services across the United States in areas of self-determination, community organizing, leadership development, and self-employment. Committed to grassroots approaches to empowerment and resource mobilization, she has served as the founder and Executive Director of the two statewide non-profit organizations dedicated to helping people with disabilities; The Tennessee Association of Microboards and Cooperatives, Inc. (TAMC) and People First of Tennessee, Inc. As the founder and director of TAMC, she conducted person-centered planning sessions and trained PCP facilitators across the country. She teaches advocacy and disability history at CUNY as Adjunct Faculty and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Special Education from George Peabody College and her B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Erin Phillips has been a lifelong self advocate, beginning at an early age.  She was born with Cerebellum Palsy, which affects physical and intellectual abilities. She participated in Girl Scouts, 4-H, volunteered with her high school and city library, and has been involved in many other activities.  Erin has served on the Nebraska Council on Developmental Disabilities, People First of Lincoln, and The Arc of Lincoln Board. She has given presentations on living a rich and full life at many conferences across the state. Now 33 years of age, Erin lives in an extended family home and has worked at a bakery in Super Saver for over 12 years. She is a proud aunt of 3 nephews and 2 nieces, and has a supportive family to assist her when needed.

Jennifer James is a person who has had a disability for all her life. Jennifer's disability is an unusual type of Muscular Dystrophy that has both physical and intellectual components. She is 34 years old, and has worked for the Nebraska Statewide Independent Living Council for a little over a year as a Receptionist and Clerk. Jennifer lives in her own apartment and has two cats for emotional support.

Supported Decision-Making as a Preferred Alternative to Guardianship - Michael Kendrick

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Michael Kendrick

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​Guardianship has long been seen as a “protective" safeguard, when in fact it may neither protect nor safeguard vulnerable people. Rather, it deprives them of their rights and personal autonomy when much less restrictive alternatives such as supported decision making actually preserves and strengthens people's rights and autonomy. This session will clarify why this is so.

Michael Kendrick has been involved in various forms of values-based leadership in multiple countries over the last half-century.

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

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John O'Brien

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​​​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.

Working for Humanity: Nebraska Person-Centered Planning Training Project Testimonials

Recorded at the end of the PCP Training phase, this eight-minute video celebrates those who participated in trainings.

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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. 


Additional Resources for Person-Centered Planning

​Organization Websites

  • ​​​The National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS). NCAPPS is an initiative from the Administration for Community Living and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that helps States, Tribes, and Territories implement person-centered thinking, planning, and practice in line with US Department of Health and Human Services policy. The goal of NCAPPS is to promote systems change that makes person-centered principles not just an aspiration but a reality in the lives of people who require services and supports across the lifespan. 
  • The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices created by Michael Smull provides training events, a community of practice for learning and certification for prospective trainers.  ​


Written Resources & Documents