NCAPPS Shorts: Culture and Person-Centered Practices

Acknowledging and understanding a person’s racial and cultural identities is essential for providing person-centered supports. In a new series of short videos, NCAPPS community members share their thoughts on how their racial and cultural identities shape their expectations and views of support systems.

Reshaping Person-Centered Planning to What It Should Be

    “The advice I would give is to remember that people with disabilities are human, and we have dreams and goals too.”


    Ketrina (“Trina”) Hazell (she, her) is the former Ms. Wheelchair NY 2018. She resides in Brooklyn, NY. Hazell’s platform is to bring self-advocacy into schools and make them more inclusive. A strong self-advocate, motivational speaker, blogger and college student, Hazell graduated from Partners in Policymaking in 2014. Hazell is the founder of her own advocacy group called Voices of Power and recently founded the Disability Champions Mentoring Network. She is affiliated with many disability-related organizations. Hazell serves on many disability related councils and works at the Regional Center for Workforce Transformation (RCWT).

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Learning About the "B" in LGBT Person-Centered Care Planning

    “Being able to discuss one’s sexual orientation and gender identity with providers increases the availability of support, which is crucial to mental health and well-being and successful aging overall.”


    Terri Clark is an accomplished public health advocate, trainer, program planner, and facilitator with nearly 30 years of experience. Her areas of focus include human sexuality, with a specialty in LGBTQ issues, HIV prevention, sexual health, and older adult sexual expression. Terri manages a portfolio of projects that aim to improve understanding of these topics among diverse community members to bridge the knowledge gap and ensure inclusivity.

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Culture in Person-Centered Planning

    “I think that it's extremely important for us to embrace diversity and celebrate different cultures and that comes with centering cultural diversity in person-centered planning.”


    Deanna Yadollahi hopes to enact institutional change and radical reimagination that will lead to more supportive and just realities. Deanna's work includes community-building, resource-creating, presenting, writing, and Deanna's creative access consulting practice. Deanna is pursuing a Master's degree in Disability Studies at CUNY School of Professional Studies.

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Challenging Assumptions

    “As a bi-racial person, I've woven this path of being both in and outside of groups and of other people telling me where I fit and who I am.”


    Bex Mui (she/her) is a biracial, queer, cis femme organizer and consultant committed to the work of LGBTQ+ affirmation at the intersections of education, spirituality, and sexual and mental wellness. A spiritual organizer and founder of House Of Our Queer, a QTBIPOC-Centered spiritual playspace where Bex shares affirmations for the queer and trans community. Bex created the online class, Decolonizing Gender, for the Institute for Anti-Racist Education, and has experience consulting for the K-12 school system on the local, state, and national level.

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Insular Identities

    “My identities are very meaningful to me. They reflect how I see the world - not always in ways that people outside of them would anticipate.”


    Sara Liss is a multiply disabled queer Jewish attorney barred in New York. She is the chair of the PAIMI Advisory Council at Disability Rights Connecticut and spends her spare time communing with her cats, who are her kindred spirits.

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Providers Must Honor and Welcome Culture

    “I cannot separate our culture when planning for medical concerns, agency assistance, or community interactions, because we don’t separate ourselves or who we are when we want to receive care or participate in community”


    Maria Martinez holds degrees in art education and English as a second language from the University of Northern Colorado. She has worked in the fields of domestic violence and corrections. Maria is a survivor of a stroke and a brain injury. Maria is a support group leader, peer mentor, brain injury advocate, and the director of a nonprofit. She is a board member of the Colorado Advisory Board, an advisory board member for the TBI Technical Assistance and Research Center, and a Professional & Lived Experience Contributor to the NCAPPS Learning Collaborative.

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Person-Centered Practices Help Immigrants Find Support, Belonging and Community

    “For me, person-centered practice would mean the ability to be my whole, complete self while I navigate the world, ask for, and receive, my access needs.”


    Dr. Sarmistha Talukdar is a queer, multiply disabled South Asian immigrant, visual and sound artist, a botanist, a cancer research instructor, an activist and a community organizer.

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Notes from a Native Son on Person-Centered Services

    “A critical element of person-centered care is genuine communication informed by empathy on the part of a caregiver, based, in this case, on a historically accurate understanding of the experiences of others like me.”


    Al Cunningham has worked as a reporter, urban planner, communication/media specialist, writer and producer for radio syndication, public information officer, sexual health educator, and multimedia creator. His career has taken him from his native Chicago to Atlanta, Alabama, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Washington, DC, San Francisco, New Jersey/New York, and currently, Detroit. Al is in the process of creating 2bFREE.com, an "oasis of Black American ourstory"– celebrating, demonstrating, disseminating, and invigorating positive Black American non-fiction narratives.

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Person-Centered Practices Help Immigrants Find Support, Belonging and Community

    “Person-centered care to me is trying to hear the other person’s story and not make assumptions about that person…to quiet my judgmental mind and to really listen hard, it’s difficult to do. But it’s vital to be able to be allowed into a person’s life. To provide care, you have to develop a relationship.”


    Patsy Starke is a transgender woman and a registered nurse. Her life's story and her experience have led her to love her community and advocate for any marginalized persons and communities as this story continues.

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A Pueblo Perspective on Person-Centered Practices

    “We, as people, need to come together and remember these principles of what person-centered practices are. Again, it’s me and you as human beings relating and remembering the Golden Rule: To treat each other with respect.”


    Joseph Ray was born in Gallup, New Mexico. Joseph is Laguna/Zuni Pueblo and Maidu from California. He has been an advocate for disability services in tribal communities for 10 plus years; specifically, for Independent Living Services, elder care services, and Vocational Rehabilitation. He currently serves as the National Congress of American Indians disabilities subcommittee chair. Established in 1947, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest American Indian and Alaska Native advocacy organization. Joseph currently resides in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico.

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NCAPPS Shorts: Wisdom During the Pandemic

NCAPPS has asked its subject matter experts to reflect on the importance of person-centered practices in times of crisis. Check out the videos below to hear members of our Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group and other NCAPPS experts on:

  • What do person-centered thinking, planning, and practice look like in time of crisis?
  • How do we hold on to - and even promote – person-centered thinking, planning, and practice at this time?
  • How do we balance collective, public health with person-centered, individual well-being?
  • What lessons we can apply from person-centered thinking, planning, and practice to get through this time of pandemic?

Person-Centered Practice as Anchor and Beacon: Pandemic Wisdom from the NCAPPS Community

    The NCAPPS team and partners collaborated on a publication exploring the themes from this video series, Person-Centered Practice as Anchor and Beacon: Pandemic Wisdom from the NCAPPS Community. Read the article in the open source Developmental Disabilities Network Journal.



I Became the Person Who Needed Support

    “The importance of feeling connected, the importance of being able to figure out you know, what's next. How can we have some kind of consistency? That is what person-centered practices did for my family. As I laid in the hospital, those are the concepts that it helped me.”


    NCAPPS PAL group member Anntionete McNutt-Morgan shares her personal experience of how person-centered principles helped her and her family.

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Concerned About the Trauma of Isolation

    “I am concerned about what we are doing to help people connect in ways that will soften the effects of the trauma of COVID.”


    NCAPPS collaborator Karyn Harvey calls us to an action to soften the effects of trauma as we navigate the pandemic.

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Problem Solving During A Pandemic

    “Person-centered planning is an ongoing problem-solving process”


    NCAPPS PAL Group Member Kelly Lang shares how person-centered planning has been helping her family to problem-solve.

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We’re Sacrificing the Person to Save the Body

    “There are people with advanced stages of dementia living in nursing homes and memory care units right now, that are being denied their basic human rights, in order to keep them alive. But while we're trying so desperately to keep these people alive, we are depriving them of their choice, of their autonomy.”


    In this video, an NCAPPS PAL group member Diana Blackwelder reminds us that giving choice and autonomy to people is an important element of person-centered practice.

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Being Person-Centered is Not Always Comfortable

    "If you’re culturally uncomfortable to have certain conversations, can you truly be person-centered?”


    NCAPPS collaborator Eric Washington encourages us to stay together and have uncomfortable conversations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice.

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Planning Can Be A Beacon

    “… when I focused on how do I meet the needs that I have, and what can I control, then I felt better… I can use person-centered planning strategies to look at the important things to me in my life, and how do I get those needs met.”


    Carole Starr, an NCAPPS collaborator and a brain injury survivor, shares how person-centered planning strategies have been helpful for her in navigating the time of pandemic.

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Falling Back on Person-Centeredness

    “A lot of times people think a person-centered plan is something that we would just do if we had enough time, or something that we would do if we just want to think about the future. But the reality is that [person-centered planning] helps ground us in the day-to-day problem solving we can make about anything that's happening in our lives.”


    Sheli Reynolds, who directs the LifeCourse Nexus at the University of Missouri Kansas City Institute for Human Development reminds us to fall back on the person-centeredness as we navigate through the pandemic.

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If Not Now, Then When?

    “This opportunity must become the mandate to shift the system.”


    Marian Frattarola-Saulino, who is the CEO and co-founder of Values Into Action, and a co-founder and chair of The Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports, urges everyone to take the pandemic as an opportunity to embrace and adopt person-directed, family-centered supports.

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Person-Centeredness is About Empathy

    "… empathy that comes with person-centered thinking really puts us in a position to develop strategies for each person that provide the kind of sustenance and reassurance that they need during this period”


    “person-centered practices aren't "one-and-done"; people needs are going to change. We don't know how long this isolation is going to continue, but I'm convinced that people needs are going to change as well as time goes on. So, person-centered planning, thinking, practice is even more crucial …”


    Bevin Croft, co-director of NCAPPS, interviews Valerie Bradley, co-founder and president emerita of Human Services Research Institute, to learn more about what coronavirus might mean for person-centered supports now and into the future.
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COVID-19 and Behaviorial Health

    "… COVID-19 can actually serve as a catalyst to move people forward in their recovery as they connect with people in new ways and discover internal resources"


    Janis Tondora from the Yale University School of Medicine talks about what Behavioral Health professionals are seeing and thinking about right now. While she acknowledges the difficulties of the time, she sees an opportunity for people struggling with behavioral health issues to discover their internal resources and strategies.

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A Provider's Perspective

    "I would encourage anyone to really, really look at that person-centered planning process."


    Having practiced person-centered approach for decades has better equipped Minds Matter to navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic. Watch the video to learn from its founder Janet Williams’ experience.

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Why We Need Self-Direction

    "“In this period, and this pandemic, self-direction may be the answer we're looking for."


    Kevin Mahoney, a professor emeritus at the Boston College School of Social Work, explains benefits of self-direction.

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Caregivers and the Collective

    "... what it makes me think of is how we can all take taking care of each other to be a collective and shared responsibility, because it's only through taking on that as a collective responsibility that we can actually attend to people's individual needs, whether the needs of our care workers and our support workers and our aides and our attendants, or the needs of those who are receiving those services and that care."


    NCAPPS PAL group member Lydia X. Z. Brown shares the importance of collective responsibility and why it is critical to meet individual needs.

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We are the Collective

    "It would be a mistake to pretend like collective care and person-centered care are a big dichotomy or somehow in opposition to one another because the collective is made out of all of us. The collective loses something when it loses any one of its members, so we can't be forgetting right now that every one of those members matters."


    Shain Neumeier, attorney and disability rights advocate, reframes the idea of the collective and reminds us that every individual is valuable and worthy of care.

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The Pandemic is an Opportunity to Improve Person-Centered Supports

    "I see this public health crisis as an opportunity to move away from segregated settings, to smaller, more individualized services and supports."


    Alixe Bonardi, co-director of NCAPPS, speaks with Nicole Leblanc, the coordinator for NCAPPS Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership group, to learn more about what she thinks this pandemic means for people with disabilities and person-centered practices.

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Stay Connected and Stay Healthy

    "We don't have to always offer a quick solution when we can sit and listen. Listen to the fears. Listen to the frustration and listen to the heartache of separation. And also listen to the joy of connection. Stay well and stay connected."


    NCAPPS PAL group member Martha Barbone offers us some practical tips and encouragements on how we can exercise person-centeredness when we share information and support one another. Most importantly, she encourages us to listen, so we can stay well and stay connected.

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