El Centro para la Excelencia en Discapacidades de Desarrollo de la Universidad Sonoran Departamento de Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria de la Universidad de Arizona. 

A Person-Centered Culture and Practices Spanish manual for anyone interested in improving their knowledge about what person-centered services are.

Tools and Resources

"The Department has partnered with Public Consulting Group and Support Development Associates to conduct a series of trainings on the HCBS Final Rule as well as person-centered planning and practices."

Department of developmental services logo

Howard McBroom
Activist, Advocate and Public Speaker

Why are person-centered services so important?

Listen to Howard’s powerful statement in this video.

A Personal Perspective on
Person-Centered Fundamentals

Rights, respect and having control of one’s own life are key to person-centered practices and planning. Liz Grigsby describes how this starts with listening to each individual and shares a personal story of how assumptions about others’ disabilities can get in the way.

What is Duty of Care?
Duty of Care vs Dignity of Risk

Every day, workers in human services in Australia are faced with decisions where Duty of Care seems to apply. This video examines the vital differences between duty of care and dignity of risk. Emi Golding, Director of Psychology for the Workplace Mental Health Institute, explains when each applies and what to do about it. Enjoy!

Complete this checklist while supporting an individual during the planning process or use it as a self-review after the process is completed. Mark each item that reflects the CURRENT process used. Do not mark items that “should” be done or that the team “intends” to do.

Person-Centered Boot Camp Resources

Awareness is the first step to creating change. Begin to develop awareness of how disability

is spoken about at work and at home. Is disability spoken about as a positive, negative, or neutral factor in someone’s life? You can use this sheet to tally your observations.

Video discusses presuming competence of people with disabilities, which competence means believing people are capable and that they do understand you even if they don't outwardly show you that they do. 

Do you see a very limited austistic person?

Katie shares personal examples of internalized ableism, and how she works to overcome it. "Internalized ableism is very real, but by relentlessly choosing to believe in your inherent worth, you can overcome it."

Carrie shares experiences of overcoming internalized homophobia and ableism. "...as soon as I gave my queerness some air, I could settle into it. But it took almost a decade after that for me to treat my disability with the same care...Here’s what’s worked for me so far."

‘Taking pride in my personal disability is very much about radically loving myself in a world that wants me to not love myself’ — Here’s how activists and disabled people are celebrating Disability Pride Month.

"When I say “Strengths-Based” as an Autistic SLP, it means recognizing the Autistic strengths of your Autistic clients. It means studying your Autistic clients to see how they are interpreting words, ideas, and their environment, and then you, as a clinician, appreciating it."

This is the story of one parent’s desire to let his son define disability for himself, instead of letting the world define it for him. By focusing on a story involving a lack of childcare solely because of who the child is, the speaker provides a compelling argument against static processes that seek to reduce disabled people down to descriptors and categories, and instead envisions a world where people are defined for who they are instead of who they’re not.

Garrett Holeve (aka G Money) has always dreamt of being a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, and with the full support of his parents, prepares to fight another disabled opponent. But Florida authorities deemed the contest a health risk. Can G Money win the right to fight and challenge perceptions of what adaptive athletes can do?

What it is, what it looks like, and what we can do to to fix it

The Science of Character (8 mins) explores the neuroscience and social science that proves that we can shape who we are, and who we want to be in the world.

Everyone has varying degrees of these positive traits

“This is what happens when I'm asked to do a PSA...” -Zach Anner 

Seventeen negative/depersonalizing interactions were observed and identified in the late 1980s through the person-centered research of Thomas Kitwood. Negative/depersonalizing interactions (aka personal detractors) are behaviors that often create or reinforce negative self-image among the people using services. Even if they are not intentional, negative interactions are more common than we realize, and they are a barrier to person-centered culture change (Kitwood 1997). These interactions disempower the people we support and undermine their personhood.

How to AccessRegional Center Services for Your Child 

The Regional Center provides countless services and resources to families parenting children and adult children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, most of them free of charge and beginning soon after diagnosis.

Living Well in My Community


A guide to home and community based service standards and person-centered practices.

Green Mountain



GMSA is a strong organization because it is run by and for self-advocates. We have created resources and training materials that should only be presented by people with developmental disabilities. We encourage staff, teachers, parents, and allies to support self-advocates in teaching this material. However, our resources and trainings cannot be presented or used without self-advocates leading the way. If you have questions, contact us! We are happy to help you learn how to support people with developmental disabilities to use these resources.

Regional Center Services


Regional centers provide a wide array of services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Each center provides diagnosis and assessment of eligibility, and helps plan, access, coordinate and monitor services and supports.

Resources are available in different languages.

(English | Armenian | Farsi | Hmong | Russian | Simplified Chinese | Traditional Chinese | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese | Korean)

Differences between 

IEP and 504 Plans


Both Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans can offer formal help for K–12 students with disabilities.

Tools 4.PNG

Established in 2020, the Disability Thrive Initiative helps navigate changes in services and supports for Californians with developmental disabilities. In collaboration with people with disabilities, their families, and professionals who serve them, the Initiative facilitates education and explores new challenges and opportunities. The Initiative offers free webinars, live conversations, and an online resource library for the entire disability community.

Together, we can thrive!

The Disability Thrive Initiative is presented by California Disability Services Association and Easterseals of Southern California, in collaboration with the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Initiative is generously funded by the California Department of Developmental Services and San Diego Regional Center.

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post card image of Disability Thrive Initiative. Blue, orange and yellow wave design on top with a logo of a person sitting in a wheelchair and the translation logo. Translated Materials and Other Resources Available.  In the white space in orange letters it says,  a statewide resource collaborative that helps navigate changes to services and supports for Californians with developemnetal disabilities. In blue and orange letters it says, Together, we can thrive! Next to this writting it's the Disability Thrive Initiative logo

Statewide Transition Plan Toolkit For Alignment with the HCBS Regulation Requirements

This document from Medicaid.gov suggests alternative approaches for states as they prepare and submit their Statewide Transition Plans for people with disabilities.

How to Know

If Your Child Needs an IEP

If your child has been struggling in school, you may be wondering what you can do to support them to get back on track. If you have been exploring different options for struggling learners, an individualized education plan (IEP) or special education services may have come up. But how do you know when an IEP is the right thing to ask for to help your child in school?

First 5 California  

First 5 California promoverá, apoyará y optimizará el desarrollo temprano de la infancia para los niños de California y sus familias, desde antes de nacer hasta los 5 años de edad. 

Guide Dogs of America


Breeding, raising, and training guide dogs for individuals who are blind/visually impaired and service dogs for veterans and children with autism. Guide Dogs of America also place facility dogs with professionals in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms.