Tulsa County News

ODDC Person-Centered Thinking Project

The Oklahoma Person-Centered Thinking Project is a collaborative effort to increase knowledge and skills in person- centered practices throughout Oklahoma. The project partners are the Center for Learning and Leadership, the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council, the Oklahoma Disability Law Center and Bios, A Better Life Homecare, Inc.

The project has a long-term goal of improving the lives of people with intellectual and other disabilities by changing the thinking and practices of the people who support them.  The person-centered approach means that the people who know the person best come together to identify what is important to the person as well as what is important for the person.

Training in person-centered planning is training in a way of thinking in as much as it is in developing a plan. Too often plans are written but not used because the people responsible for implementing the plan were not part of writing it. Therefore the plan has no meaning for them. The person-centered thinking approach ensures that the plan includes not only considerations of health and safety, but also personal preferences, communication, rituals and daily routines. Working together with the person and his/her supporters, the plan becomes more than a paper requirement. It is a document about the best ways to support and respect the person to have the best life possible.  

The Person-Centered Thinking project has five main objectives:

  • Develop and implement a plan for at least eight trainers in Oklahoma to receive and maintain credentials as trainers endorsed by Support Development Associates and the Essential Lifestyle Planning Learning Community.
  • Provide training to faculty, students, service providers, families and people with disabilities in tools and methods of the person-centered thinking approach.
  • Provide services and technical assistance in individual plan development to support people with disabilities in the state. 
  • Develop and implement an evaluation plan to assess the impact of the project.
  • Work with project partners to identify a plan for addressing statewide systems change that is based on the person-centered thinking approach.

We believe this approach is critically important for a person who is not able to communicate with words. The tools help us listen differently and hear how the person communicates with his or her behavior.

For more information, please contact:
Mary Katherine Long
Special Programs Coordinator
405) 271-4500, Ext. 41012
e-mail: Mary-Long@ouhsc.edu