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Person-Centered Planning

Person-centered planning is an ongoing problem-solving process used to help people with disabilities plan for their future. A group meeting focuses on an individual and that person’s vision for the future. It’s a structured way of organizing planning that focuses on the unique values, strengths, preferences, capacities, needs, and desired outcomes or goals of the student.


A one-page overview:

Operating principles for person-centered planning from the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, PDF, 1 page, 2011.

A comprehensive introduction to all elements of person-centered planning, from the University of Arizona, PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING: Pathways to Your Future, PDF, 116 pages, 2011.

Online tool to build a person-centered plan

Look Back, Plan Forward  is a website created by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire to capture the personal stories of individuals with disabilities. The tool is designed to help the individual and their family caregivers and service providers capture life stories in a way that helps others to better understand the individual’s history, values, preferences and support needs. Operating principles for person-centered planning. PDF, 1 page, 2011.

Online course on person-centered planning

Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute offers free online courses on the basic concepts of person-centered work: Person-centered Planning Education website. The courses each consist of an overview and a short quiz, an activity, in-depth reading, and a resources page.

Facilitator resource

Elements of Design: Frameworks for Facilitating Person-Centered Planning by Patty Cotton of the NH Institute on Disability is a manual for people interested in facilitating the person-centered planning process. It includes an overview of person-centered planning, as well as step-by-step methods, tools, and process examples.