Strategies of Helping Physically Challenged People Live Well in the Society Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Person Centered Planning in People With Developmental Disabilities

Person centered planning has received much attention in the past as the effective method of meeting the diverse needs of people with disabilities. The person-centered planning takes into consideration the unique needs, choices, and preferences of individuals. The planning structure explores innovative ways applicable to improving the health and health outcomes of people living with disabilities. Features of the person centered approach like focusing on the partnership between society members; building shared commitment, developing learning activities, and providing support to facilitate the realization of the diverse needs of the disabled. The method uses flexible systems and approaches that accommodate the diverse priorities and interests of the disabled that are always under constant change (Holburn, 2002). The flexibility of the systems offers opportunities for partnership and support between the stakeholders involved in the provision of the person centered approach services. As such, person centered planning helps the disabled have a better-preferred future with the exploitation of their abilities, strengths, preferences, and elimination of their weaknesses and barriers that hinder effective provision of person centered planning services (Smith, Morgan, & Davidson, 2005).

Structure of the research paper

This research paper analyzes whether the person centered planning works in people with developmental disabilities. This aims at evaluating if the strategy helps those with a disability meet their unique and diverse needs of the society. In specific, the research will answer questions that include:

What impacts do person centered planning has on the life outcomes and experiences of people with developmental disabilities?

What are the benefits of the person centered planning for people with developmental disabilities?

What factors inhibit or facilitate the effectiveness of the person centered planning for people with developmental disabilities?

Cumulatively, the research paper will try to elucidate the impact of person-centered approach on the lives of the disabled alongside determining the factors affecting the approach.

Thematic review

Impacts of person centered planning on the life outcomes of people with a developmental disability

Person centered planning provides a means of assisting a person plan for the aspects of their lives. This enables them to become a key area of focus during the creation of plans to address issues affecting the disabled (Stankiewicz & Beaudet, 2007). Person centered planning uses different methods that help people with disability outline their needs, values, wishes, and goals. The approaches aim at empowering people to act in ways that support their challenge devaluation and social inclusion. The planning often targets inhuman social behaviors such as disempowerment, social exclusion, and devaluation that deprives the disadvantaged their fundamental rights (Sanderson, Thompson, & Kilbane, 2006).

Person centered planning uses processes that identify an individual's interest, strengths, goals, preferences, and desires. This influences the support services need to meet their health care, habilitation, and behavioral, strategic, and health care needs. The planning models combine a variety of skills, beliefs and knowledge that enables the disabled to engage in self-regulated and goal-oriented activities and contribute to their autonomy as evidenced by empirical research (Mansell, & Beadle-Brown, 2004). Traditionally, the disabled encounter the challenge of trying to fit into the existing services in the society. They played little role in designing and deciding on the nature of the services they received. The endorsement of the person-centered planning eliminated and reduced the efficiencies seen in the previous client-centered approaches.

According to the Council of Social Services in Australia, person centered approaches provide the disabled with choice and control over their life-related decisions. This promotes independent access to community/national resources, which translates to their diverse access to support systems within and outside the community (Arscott, Dagnan, & Kroese, 1999). A structured person centered approach improves and mainstreams life of those with developmental disabilities. The approaches focus on their inclusive participation, rights, and dignity in the community life. Holistic objectives set by the disabled serves as an effective tool for preventing premature institutionalization thereby resulting in social sustainability and participation (McMillan, 2004).

A longitudinal study conducted by Sanderson, Thompson, and Kilbane, (2006) sought to determine the costs and effectiveness of person centered planning on the lives of the disabled individuals. It found that the strategy increased social networking; contact with the family members, community-based activities performed by the disabled, and increased the number of hours each of the participants dedicated to social activities. Out of the ninety-three participants with developmental disabilities, fifty-two percent reported increased involvement in social work while forty percent reported the levels at which they contacted their friends. Besides, thirty percent reported an increase in social activity engagement while thirty-three percent reported an increased number of hours engaged in scheduled day activities. In addition to these, the study showed that the participants were perceived as at risk 1.5 times at home or places of work. However, the study found out that person-centered approach did not have any significant impact on the number of health problems facing the disabled. Therefore, the study concluded that person centered planning improves the social well-being of the disabled, but had little effect on the health status and consequences of the individuals.

The study also aimed at determining the effect of the costs associated with the introduction of the person centered planning on the life outcomes of those with developmental disabilities. The study found out that; most participants found costs associated with the provision of person centered services to be relatively neutral. As such, they found the person centered planning as being effective and efficacious in improving the lives of people living with developmental disabilities. From the study, eighty-seven percent of the participants perceived personal centered planning approaches as effective in improving their life outcomes. Essentially, therefore, this study supported the fact that person centered planning improves the life outcomes of people with developmental disabilities (Thompson & Kilbane, 2006).

Person centered planning uses approaches that have three key distinctions that influence the learning and lives of the disabled. It strives to consider capacities and aspirations expressed by those consuming the services. This emphasis helps pinpoint the perceived contribution of the members of society in influencing the goals and objectives of the plan. Secondly, the person centered approach attempts to recognize the need for the inclusion of the disabled family and the wider social network in mobilizing and utilizing the allocated resources. This premise partly shows that taking into consideration the roles of the family and the larger social network results in an enhanced system of social services care to the disadvantaged. Thirdly, person centered planning aims at facilitating the realization of the needs of the disabled rather than limiting the goals, thereby influencing the life outcomes of the disadvantaged. This implies that the provision of adequate support to the disabled increases their capabilities to execute activities that contribute positively to their lives (Cambridge, & Carnaby, 2005).

Holburn and Vietze, (2002) identified that person centered planning plays a role in delivering states key principles that include independence, inclusion, choice, and rights. The scenario often results in the prioritization of attention and the management of the allocated resources. A study conducted on a residential area for the disabled by Bradshaw (2001) found out that people with intellectual disabilities face severe problems that impede their establishment and maintenance of social relationship. This results in poor realization of the goals and objectives of the person centered approach and their overall well-being. Out of the 102 participants who took part in the study, sixty-three percent had impaired social interaction, forty-three percent had significant communication challenges, thirty-five percent with severe challenging behavior.

These factors present severe challenges to both the service providers and the community. Of the participants, forty-six percent reported incidences of staff misconception of their feelings and ideas due to their inability to interpret their needs. Seventy eight percent of the staff involved in the provision of care to these individuals reported difficulties in understanding the needs of their clients since most of them relied on verbal communication. However, introduction of person centered planning reversed the trend as seventy-five percent of the adult patients reported reduced incidences of the information misinterpretation while eighty-two percent of the caregivers reported improved ability to understand the needs of their clients. The remaining four percent of those who felt no change because of the person centered planning represented a negligible population.

Surprisingly, many people with developmental disabilities experience social isolation despite the introduction of the person centered planning (Sanderson, & Lewis, 2012). Empirical research conducted on disadvantaged people living in residential areas often showed extremely low levels of their meeting with other people, especially with similar profound developmental disabilities. Social networks of such individuals are extremely restricted by the family members and staff. Prolonged isolation of people with developmental disabilities results in poor socialization and poor maintenance of relationships among them Gates & Atherton, 2007).

Person centered planning uses language of reciprocity, community, and mutual benefits. However, in the sense of close-knit, establishing a mutually supportive environment in the community is far from reality than in rhetoric as shown by sociological studies. There is almost lack of evidence…

Sources Used in Document:


Arscott, K., Dagnan, D., & Kroese, B.S. (1999). Assessing the ability of people with a learning disability to give informed consent to treatment. Psychological Medicine, 29 (7):1367 -- 1375

Bakken, T.L., Eilertsen, D.E., Smeby, N.A., & Martinsen, H. (2008). Observing communication skills in staff interacting with adults suffering from intellectual disability, autism and schizophrenia. Nordic Journal of Nursing Research Clinical Studies Vard I Norden, 28(3): p. 30 -- 36.

Bradshaw, J. (2001). Complexity of staff communication and reported level of understanding skills in adults with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research?: 45 (3). pp. 233-243

Cambridge, P., & Carnaby, S. (2005). Person centered planning and care management with people with learning disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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