Here at MFOFC, we are driven by the vision of empowerment for individual and family support that includes planning, choices and decision-making.
Person-centered planning is very much in line with this vision, as it puts the individual at the center, helping them develop a vision, plan for their future and foster an environment to help make that future possible.
“It is useful to recognize person-centeredness as something that begins within people and radiates outward to others,” says Dr. Michael Kendrick, an international consultant in values-based service design, in his article titled Person-centeredness: a characteristic of people, not systems.
Person-centered planning for individuals with disabilities therefore focuses on the individual’s abilities, hopes, needs and dreams for the future and building a support system to facilitate that future.
A person-centered plan is not static and will continue to evolve over a person’s lifetime. As Dr. Kendrick puts it, “A better approach is to recognize that what we think of as personal identity, while so seemingly fixed in many ways, is actually a “work in progress” and is always in a state of unfolding.”
Getting started with person-centered planning
This resource from PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment provides a detailed guide, including the steps and tools that will help your family get started on the person-centered planning process. The website includes a section on housing with videos that share personal stories of individuals who have transitioned to independent living.
Assessing your child’s readiness for independent living
Of course, an essential component of planning to live independently is to acquire life skills needed to manage different aspects such as personal safety, chores and finance – and this will take time, commitment and practice. If you are helping your child work toward this goal, the “Independent Living Preparation Guide” from Home of My Own WNY is a useful tool to gauge readiness for independent living.
Upcoming webinar on intentional communities
Learn how an intentional community can promote person-centered living for individuals with disabilities. Our next webinar will share the history of Deohaeko Support Network, a 30-year old intentional community based in Ontario, Canada. It’s happening on April 8 at 1 pm. Register to join us for the webinar here.
Do you have examples of person-centered planning or inclusive living arrangements you’d like to share with us? Would you like to give us your feedback? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.