Person and Family Directed Planning

Person and Family Centered Program Design

Students should ideally be the center of attention in their transition planning process. Person and family directed program design allows youth and families to take a more active role in choosing programs, services, and activities to help the student reach their goals. This includes choosing the classes they want to take, the activities they are involved in, and the opportunities outside of the school that they pursue.

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Person and Family Centered Program Design

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Once students have communicated their interests, strengths, personality and preferences to their families and transition teams, it is time to choose programs that will help the students reach their goals for work, more education, and living independently after high school. Students should have a choice of programs in school and in the community that match their goals, strengths, and interests. When programs don’t work for students, they should have the right to speak up to the transition team about what may need to change. Teams should consider:

  • Have students been afforded the opportunity to tell their transition team about thesubjects, activities, or careers they are most interested in?
  • Have students participated in any school programs that will help them prepare for their dream career, more education after high school or livingindependently? What were the experiences like?
  • Have the students talked with their transition team about ways the programs could be improved to best match their strengths, goals, and needs?
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See how others have planned by exploring videos on the ARC’s website!

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What Does Person And Family Centered Program Design Include?

Transition stakeholders can assist students in making a person-centered program by...

  • Providing classes and programs inside and outside of school that align with students’ future goals, personal strengths and interests, and family values
  • Facilitate meetings with advocates and professionals outside of school to build relationships and networks with others who can help after high school
  • Set up internships, job shadowing or work experiences that align with students’ goals and interests
  • Provide students with options outside of school, such as hobbies and volunteering, to encourage community involvement
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What Can Person And Family Centered Program Design Do For You?

When a transition team supports a family, a student will have...

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Academic Options

Participating in programs in high school and after graduation that help build skills for future employment.

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Employment Options

Getting involved in different types of work experiences before graduation so students may determine which experiences align with their work styles and preferences and help them explore strengths they might not have known they had before.

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Living Options

Creating a plan that will help students define what “home” means to them by exploring various living options and knowing how to apply for them.

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Assisting students in learning about their strengths, needs, priorities and personality will allow them to continue to make choices where they will move towards their goals.

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The PA Community on Transition offers resources on a variety of topics, all focused on improving outcomes for students with disabilities.

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Want to Learn PA Secondary

Want to learn more?

Explore this resource created by the National Center for Secondary Education and Transition

This parent-focused resource contains resources for implementing a youth-centered planning process.