Terms and Definitions

Importance of Shared Language

One of the challenges in talking about person-centered and family-centered practices is that these and similar terms are not consistently accepted or understood. For the purposes of this work, we will start with the definitions as listed in the Person-Centered Informed Choice and Transition Protocols. We expect that the following terms will change as we learn from you what makes sense for the mental health and behavioral health community.  

Terms and Definitions

(Working Definitions from the PCICTP -January, 2017)

Competitive, Integrated Employment: Work that is: (1) performed on a full-time or part-time basis, with or without supports, including self-employment; (2) paying at least minimum wage, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability; (3) paid by an employer who is not the individual’s service provider; (4) performed in an integrated setting typically found in the competitive labor market where people with disabilities have the opportunity to interact with non-disabled co-workers during the course of performing their work duties to the same extent that non-disabled co-workers have to interact with each other when performing the same work; and (5) provides the employee with a disability with the same opportunities for advancement as employees without disabilities in similar positions. (https://mn.gov/dhs/partners-and-providers/news-initiatives-reports-workgroups/long-term-services-and-supports/employment-first/)

Discovery: An organized but flexible person-centered process for learning more about a person for the purpose of creating custom, strength-based supports to be used in many areas, including employment, housing, health care, community engagement, etc. It is a process to identify a person’s strengths, what’s important to and for them, and how to best support them to maintain a person-centered to/for balance. This information is often organized in a one-page description or a plan that is person-centered that guides services and supports. It is a holistic approach that frames potential support needs within the greater context of a person’s strengths, assets, interests, expectations, culture, and goals.

Dreams and Aspirations: Strong desires, aims or ambitions. Dreams and aspirations are what inspires and motivates a person. They are the things that people reach for to bring greater meaning, satisfaction or happiness to their lives.

Important For: Fulfillment of basics needs and protections related to health and safety such as the following: prevention of illness, treatment of illnesses or medical conditions, promotion of wellness, issues of safety, environment and well-being. This also includes things that others define as important for a person to be valued, such as grooming.

Important To: Those things in life which help a person be satisfied, content, comforted, fulfilled, and happy such as: people to be with (relationships), status and control, things to do and places to go, familiar rituals or routines, rhythm or pace of life and things to have.

Informed choice: Informed choice includes: (a) informing individuals through appropriate modes of communication, about the opportunities to exercise informed choice, including the availability of support services for individuals who require assistance in exercising informed choice; (b) assisting individuals in exercising informed choice in making decisions; (c) providing or assisting individuals in acquiring information that enables them to exercise informed choice in the development of their individualized plans with respect to the selection of outcomes, supports and services, service providers, the most integrated settings in which the supports and services will be provided, and methods for procuring services; (d) developing and implementing flexible policies and methods that facilitate the provision of supports and services and afford individuals meaningful choices; and (e) ensuring that the availability and scope of informed choice is consistent with the obligations of the respective agencies. [Source: Based on 1998 Amendments to the Rehabilitation Act]

Most Integrated Setting: A setting that enables individuals with disabilities to interact with non-disabled persons to the fullest extent possible.” [Source: US Department of Justice, Statement of the Department of Justice on Enforcement of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C., Retrieved from http://www.ada.gov/olmstead/q&a_olmstead.pdf]

Natural Supports: Relationships that occur in everyday life. Natural supports usually involve family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances.

Person-Centered Outcomes: Achievement of what is most important to the person, in ways that work for him or her and build on his or her strengths. These supports help the person connect to opportunities in the community as well as build relationships he or she cares about. Person-centered services and supports make it possible for a person to enhance his or her ability to achieve his or her goals and are measured through the person's quality of life.

Person-Centered Plan: Planning, based upon a set of core concepts and principles, is an on-going process of assisting someone to plan their life and supports. There is no one clearly defined process of person-centered planning, but many processes that share the same general philosophical background.

Person-Centered Practices: Efforts, particularly of the professionals involved in a person's life, that share power with individuals and recognize each person as a whole individual with unique strengths, assets, interests, expectations, cultures, and goals. Person-centered practices are structured in ways to support individuals’ comfort and his or her ability to express choice, control, and direction in all aspects of services and supports.

Person-Centered Services: Services that are aligned with the goals and preferences identified in a person-centered plan or planning process.

Positive Support: Professional strategies for preventing and responding to the occurrence of problem behavior using person-centered practices along a continuum of intensity and using effective and humane responses that meet the needs of each person. Positive support strategies demonstrate respect for human dignity, are trauma-informed, and allow the person choice, direction and control in his or her services.

Self-determination: The person makes decisions independently, plans for his or her own future, and takes responsibility for making these decisions. If a person has a legal representative, the legal representative's decision-making authority is limited to the scope of authority granted by the court or allowed in the document authorizing the legal representative to act.

To/For Balance: Living a life within a personally defined balance that attends to life basics on one’s own terms and in context of those things that fulfill, comfort, enrich, and interest the person.