Frontline Initiative Person-Centered Practices

Person-Centered assessments for community access


Melody Moore is an assistant at Townand Country School in Tulsa, OK. Melody can be reached at mmoore@ The mission of Town and Country School is to improve the lives of students with learning differences by providing a nurturing environment for academic, social, and personal growth.

My name is Melody Moore. I am an assistant at Town and Country School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Town and Country School serves students with learning and developmental disabilities. I also am a student at Tulsa Community College. I am pursuing my Direct Support Professional Certificate and a degree in Human Services with a focus on individuals with developmental disabilities. Last semester I completed my internship at Town and Country School.

It is very important to me to use the “person-centered” value-based approach for thinking about, communicating with, assessing, planning for, and supporting people with disabilities. It is their future.

During my internship, I worked in the Transitional Careers program. This program is offered through the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. It provides people with social skills, job training, and life and budget skills. I was asked to interview and assess the needs of people transitioning from school to work. I used three types of assessments, two of which I created. By administering these assessments, I was able to get a more accurate result for each individual. I conducted the interviews and assessments in an empty room sitting in the same types of chairs as the clients. I ensured that the clients were aware of issues related to confidentiality, and who would see their results. I informed them that I would not be prompting their answers and that I would be writing their responses verbatim. I utilized respectful and constructive comments that was encouraging and built self-esteem. After I wrote their answers, I read it back to them to make certain it was what they wanted to say. I used basic counselling skills, such as listening, observing, maintaining confidentiality, and building trust and rapport. By the third interview, clients usually opened up and added more to their answers.

When I administered the self-determination assessment, I determined the need for transportation service and training. I also assessed the need for the transportation services based on the client’s functional level. I assisted them in applying for transportation services. I also designed a Tulsa Transit and Lift training so that clients could practice and reach their goal of independent transportation.

I got to know clients while conducting the assessments. The values in the person-centered approach includes dreaming about the future. It must be driven by the individual, their family, and friends. It focuses on strengths DSP perspective Person-Centered assessments for community access and capacities, is future-oriented, dependent upon community membership/commitment, and emphasizes supports/connections. This person-centered approach made transition plans individual to the client, their interests and goals. I am excited to see their involvement in the community as they graduate