Person-Centered Organizations

group photo of adults with disabilities who participated in the person-centered practices trainingA major priority for the Council has been promoting person-centered organizations and systems in Tennessee that support implementation of person-centered plans by creating effective administrative policies and processes. We all know that often regulations and policies actually get in the way of carrying out the service plan that individuals want. From 2006-2013, the Council launched an intensive initiative that utilized person centered communication tools to guide decision-making within local and state agencies.

The communication tools, developed by national expert Michael Smull, facilitate decision-making that change existing policies and practices that are barriers to goals that are important to and important for people served by the Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.  Staff of the Department have become certified as trainers in using person centered tools and continue training provider agencies today.

A person-centered organization goes beyond using “person-centered practices” on an individual client basis by using management tools to promote organizational policies and daily decision-making that support these values throughout every level of the organization, from direct support staff to top management.

Project outcomes:

  • 20 credentialed Person Centered Thinking Trainers.
  • Four credentialed Mentor Trainers.
  • Over 300 Coaches trained and working at provider agencies across the state.
  • Annual community of practice conference held called “The Tennessee Gathering”.
  • Established Person Centered Planning Units at each DIDD regional office.
  • The Individual Support Plan template was rewritten and simplified to reflect person-centered thinking values.
  • Provider documentation requirements reviewed and rewritten.