Planning for the Future
Person-centered planning is not just a tool for individuals, it is also a way of thinking that can and should be implemented system-wide and within individual organizations. Every day, we work to make Disability Rights Center – NH a more person-centered organization; a process that requires sustained and consistent effort.
Here are some real ways we are using person-centered thinking in our work:
- Centering the voices and perspectives of disabled people instead of speaking for them or letting others do so.
- Offering members of the media opportunities to speak to people with disabilities directly.
- Expanding the opportunities for disabled people to serve on our Board of Directors.
- Valuing, encouraging, and paying people with disabilities for their expertise.
- Encouraging disabled people to get involved on committees and councils and holding ourselves and our colleagues accountable to make sure their perspectives are valued.
- Changing our language based on what disabled people tell us they prefer:
- Shifting to a mix of both identity-first and person-first language
- Shifting away from the term ‘special’: a word that is increasingly considered condescending and offensive.
- Supporting projects led by people with disabilities:
- The Communication Corner Blog by writer and disability advocate Sophie Kellam drcnh.org/know-your-rights/the-communication-corner/
- Know Your Employment Rights video series with Emmy winning film maker and disability advocate Samuel Habib drcnh.org/video-topics/employment/
- “504 in the 603” by Zoey Piccolo, Miss Lake Sunapee Region’s Outstanding Teen and our ambassador drcnh.org/policy-and-advocacy/504-in-the-603/
- We will continue to incorporate person-centeredness into our work by providing on-going training opportunities for our staff and Board and by examining our internal systems using a person-centered framework. Systems we will examine include how we assist and work with people who need our services, how we identify our public policy priorities, and how we prioritize individual representation; and expanding opportunities for people with disabilities to tell us what we can do better.
We are learning, growing, and improving and we welcome feedback on our efforts. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (603) 228-0432 with suggestions. We hope other organizations and agencies will join us in becoming more person-centered.
DRC-NH, in collaboration with the UNH Institute on Disability and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities, distribute a quarterly RAP sheet to educate community members and policy makers about the latest research, policy, practice, and advocacy issues affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.