Welcome to Support Development Associates, LLC (SDA); a specialized consultation and training organization designed to promote the abilities and talents of every individual and every agency with whom we engage. Along with customized consultation, training and technical assistance designed specifically for your organization; here are the highlights of the universal services we offer:

Person-Centered Thinking, Planning & Practices

The implementation of person centered thinking, planning, and practices are the core of what must be present so that systems providing support to people assure the person and their loved ones have control over their own lives. Regardless of the nature of the disability or the focus of the system (DD/ID, Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and Addictions, or Seniors and Long Term Supports) these skills and practices help individuals direct their own lives and support the service systems in establishing more effective and efficient methods of using available resources.

Person-Centered Thinking

Person-Centered Thinking Training, two days of instructor led training, focused on changing perspectives from caring for people to providing balanced support between what is important to a person and what is important for a person. The two interactive days help participants change their thinking from a priority of fixing what is wrong with a person to supporting each person’s opportunities to share their gifts and live an everyday life. Eight specific tools for creating the structure of person centered thinking are taught across the two days. The first day’s focus is on exposure to the concepts; the second day provides experience in applied learning, intended to begin skill development.

Person-Centered Practices

One day of Building Community Connections training provides tools and skills needed for service and support agencies to establish and sustain connections between people and the communities in which they live. This training focuses on how each of us connects to our own communities, and how to replicate that approach for people who are supported by your organization.

Person-Centered Planning

Using Person Centered Practices to Facilitate Individual Planning consists of two days, focused on how to incorporate the use of person centered tools into the requirements of Individual Plan development. These two days demonstrate how person centered practice can be used within the system requirements to accomplish a more satisfying planning process that builds partnership between the person who is supported and the people who provide support. Prerequisite: participation in Person Centered Thinking Training.

Planning in Partnership uses the same approaches as Using Person Centered Practices to Facilitate Individual Planning but works with multiple teams to demonstrate how to develop individual plans using person centered tools. As the instructor is working with larger numbers there is less individual attention for a larger numbers of participants.

One day of Developing Person Centered Outcomes presents a clear process that can be used to move from person centered thinking to establishing goals and outcomes that are meaningful to the person and respectful of their preferences and desires.

People Planning Together: Training and support for self-advocates with intellectual or developmental disabilities in writing their own plans (2 days).

People Planning for Themselves: Training and support for people who use mental health services in writing their own person centered descriptions (1 day).

Person Centered Descriptions with a Picture of a Life teaches those who are helping people move complete a process for describing how each person would want to live and what a good life in the community would look like. (1 day for those who have attended person centered thinking training.)

Person-Centered Organizations

This combination of training and consultation addresses how to become a person centered organization for agencies wanting to transform from a traditional human service agency to one with a strong foundation of person centered supports. For some agencies already experienced with person centered services, the consultation and training provides in depth knowledge and skill development in applying the practices to their management teams and beyond. This includes redesign of how employees of the organization interact with the people they support, AND how managers interact with their employees. This consultation focuses on establishing day-to-day management practices which support the transition to an organizational culture focused on ongoing learning. Emphasis is placed on the development of Person Centered Thinking Coaches and establishes methods for leaders of the organization to learn from the coaches’ experience. The end result is the delivery of person centered services designed to support both employees and individuals in having satisfying lives within their communities.

Organizations Supporting Seniors and / or Providing Long-Term Care

Although the system requirements in long term care, home care and day services for seniors may differ from those in traditional DD/ID, Behavioral Health and Addiction service systems, experience has shown that the skills and tools of person-centered thinking, planning and organizational development are equally applicable. Traditional supports for seniors have been built around a medical model that was focused on “care”; but that notion is changing to one of person-centered supports; with an emphasis on what is meaningful for each person whether that person lives in his/her own home or a congregate setting, balanced with the need for being healthy, safe and valued.

Person Centered approaches have been used by organizations providing facility based long-term care and supports (traditional “nursing homes”); organizations providing less structured assisted living; organizations whose main focus is supporting people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; organizations providing home healthcare; and organizations providing adult day care. Additionally, SDA has trained employees at several Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC).

All of the services, training and consultation identified on our website are available to organizations providing support to seniors.

Developing Local Capacity

Local and state system agencies interested in developing their own capacity to deliver ongoing training can choose to develop trainers who are then credentialed by The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (see links page). All training is delivered by “mentor trainers” credentialed by The Learning Community. The specialized areas of trainer development include:

Organizational Assessments

Organizational Assessments are available for agencies interested in determining how to establish their approach toward ongoing performance improvements in person centered practices. Effective consultation begins with assessing the current status of the organization through focus group interviews, individual interviews and data collection across the full breadth of the organization. This information is used to assist the organization in understanding its best next steps. Organizational assessments focus on identifying the current organizational culture, compared with the desired or espoused culture. From this comparison, the gaps and opportunities for changes are revealed. Your agency will then be supported in developing operational plans for moving forward with the desired and necessary changes.

Leadership Team Development

Consultation, training and coaching for Executive Leadership team members is designed to:

  • ​Increase each leadership team members self-awareness of their characteristics, talents and opportunities to improve their skills
  • Strengthen the ability of the team to contribute to the organization’s performance
  • Help teams work together to align the many functions of their organization to best meet their mission and move forward on their vision

Transitions From Large Facilities

Training and consultation for systems to help people move from congregate facilities is also available. Focus is presented on creating alignment across all involved segments of the system, including: facility administrative staff, clinical staff, social workers, community based providers, support coordinators and others who must be involved to assure successful system accountability. Creating progress markers for the system and early identification of barriers is key to successfully helping people move from large settings to smaller homes in the community. Consultation can include demonstration of process mapping, project management, and materials development, facilitation of focus groups and education opportunities for community members.

  • Person Centered Descriptions Training provides knowledge and basic skill development in how to discover, document and communicate things which are important to someone currently living in a congregate setting, and how to balance these with what is important for the person. This training is typically delivered by working with teams of people in large facilities. Capacity can be built by teaching staff members to facilitate the process of discovery and documentation about how the person wants to live when they move to another setting which best fits their desired lifestyle while also providing the supports they need.
    PCD Facilitation Training Description – PDF
  • How to Choose a Provider Training– one day training focused on helping family members understand what they should know, what they should ask, and how to identify a service provider that will best meet their loved ones preferences and needs when living in community.
    How To Choose a Provider Training – PDF