ProWorks embraces the concepts of “Person-Centered Planning” and “Person-Centered Practices” in providing its services to individuals.
Person-Centered Practices are not a new concept; it refers to the “deinstitutionalization” of persons living in large “state hospitals” and moving back to their communities. Person-Centered Practices are getting a big push from the Federal and State governments. Governmental entities are better at defining these practices and requiring their implementation by all service providers.
Person-Centered Practices strive to ensure that everyone who receives long-term services and support can live, learn, work, and enjoy life in the most “integrated” setting possible. The goal is for people to lead lives that they find enjoyable and meaningful, allowing them to build and maintain relationships with their families and friends, participate in activities within their community, and live as independently as possible.
ProWorks complies with Minnesota state law that requires licensed service providers to use “positive supports” instead of more restrictive behavioral interventions, such as restraint and seclusion. The “positive supports rule,” commonly referred to, became effective on August 31, 2015. The rule aims to improve the quality of life for people who receive services licensed by the MN Department of Human Services. The “positive supports rule” requires licensed service providers to use positive support strategies and person-centered principles with all persons receiving services.
The “positive supports” rule encourages practices that:
- Promote community participation, person-centered practices, and inclusion in the most integrated setting.
- Focus on creating high-quality environments.
- Ensure collaborative development of positive support strategies.
- Increase skills and self-determination of people who receive services.
- Improve the quality of life of people who receive services.
- Ensure people are free from humiliating and demeaning procedures.
- Eliminate the use of aversive and deprivation procedures.
- Create a consistent set of standards for providers across service settings.
People First Language
The people-first language emphasizes the individuality, equality, and dignity of people with disabilities. Rather than defining people primarily by their disability, people-first language conveys respect by emphasizing that people with disabilities are, first and foremost, just people. Employers should use people-first language when communicating about disability issues, whether verbally or in writing.
ProWorks encourages the use of “people-first” language. People-first language is choosing words about persons with disabilities that define the person first, not the disability. It is important to define who the person “is” before defining what disability that person may have. Language is powerful, and our words impact how others are viewed. It is also important to note, however, that some people with disabilities, particularly younger people, are choosing to use “identity-first” language such as “autistic” or “disabled.” How a person self-identifies should be their choice and should not be corrected or admonished if they choose not to use identify-first language.
When we refer to “a student who receives special education services” in preference to “a special education student,” we emphasize the value of the student while minimizing, yet still recognizing their disability. When we say a “person who uses a wheelchair,” instead of saying “wheelchair bound,” we place a greater value on the person and less on their assistive device.
There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more – Robert M. Hensel