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A person-directed plan is about you and your life, now and in the future. It lets others know and understand what you want and what you need, how you want to do things, and who you want to help you. Person-directed plans can be short or long. They can have pictures, words, or both. You can do it yourself or get someone to help you. You can choose because the plan begins with you.

What is person-directed planning?

Person-directed planning is an ongoing process that helps you think about the future. When people need the support of their family, friends, and their community to be able to live the kind of life they want, it is especially important to consider planning for the days and years ahead.

"Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say."

Jordan's T-shirt

There are some steps you can go through with the help of family and friends to figure out what you want and need in your life. Person-directed planning isn't so new and it really isn't hard for you to do. It is about supporting the choices you make about your life, such as:

  • how to spend each day
  • who to spend time with
  • where to live
  • what are your hopes and dreams for the future.

There are many questions that are answered in a plan. Plans build on the history of the person, and their abilities and experiences today as a foundation upon which to create a future. Person-directed planning challenges all of us to build a life as citizens in our community.


It is hard for some people to say what they want with words. But when people whom you trust and love listen carefully, and take time to learn what you want, you can direct decisions about your life. You might need help from your family or your friends to communicate what you want. Sometimes, people may need to depend on their knowledge of you, their intuition, and their ability to understand your behaviour in order to interpret what you are saying. Everyone communicates in different ways and everyone needs a supportive environment in order to make good decisions.