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Oklahoma Person Centered Thinking Project

The Person Centered Thinking Training Project has a long-term goal of improving the lives of people with intellectual and other disabilities by changing the thinking and practices of the people who support them. The person-centered approach means that the people who know the person best come together to identify what is "important to" the person as well as what is "important for" the person.

Oklahoma Person Centered Thinking trainers group photo

Oklahoma Person Centered
Thinking Trainers

From left to right: Jenifer Randle (Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council), Mary Katherine Long (Center for Learning and Leadership), Lori Hauge (Bios, A Better Life Homecare, Inc.), and Tara Ford (Center for Learning and Leadership).

Training in person-centered planning is training in a way of thinking as much as it is in a way of developing a plan. Too often plans are written but not used because the people responsible for using the plan were not part of writing the plan, therefore, the plan has no meaning for them.

The person-centered thinking approach ensures that the plan includes not only considerations of health and safety, but also person preferences, communication, rituals and daily routines. Working together with the person and his/her supporters, the plan becomes more than a paper requirement; it is a document about the best way to support and respect the person so that they have the best life possible.

Five main objectives of the Person Centered Thinking Project:

  • Develop and implement a plan for at least 8 trainers in Oklahoma to receive and maintain credentials as trainers endorsed by Support Development Associates and the Essential Lifestyle Planning Learning Community.
  • Provide training to faculty, students, service providers, families and people with disabilities in tools and methods of the person-centered thinking approach.
  • Provide services and technical assistance in individual plan development to support people with disabilities in the state.
  • Develop and implement an evaluation plan to assess the impact of the project.
  • Work with project partners to identify a plan for addressing statewide systems change that is based on the person-centered thinking approach.

We believe this approach is critically important for a person who is not able to communicate with words. The tools help us listen differently and hear how the person communicates with his/her behavior.


For more information, please contact:


The Oklahoma Person Centered Thinking Project is a collaborative effort to increase knowledge and skills in person centered practices throughout Oklahoma. Project partners include the Center for Learning and Leadership, the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council, the Oklahoma Disability Law Center, and Bios, A Better Life Homecare, Inc.

Page Last Updated: November 13, 2015