What Is Personal Futures Planning?

Question: What is personal futures planning?

Answer: Personal futures planning is a method for all of the people involved with this student during the transition years to actually sit down and make some decisions about this student and what they will be doing as an adult. At this meeting the student them self will be there, the parents should be there, the teachers, the vocational rehabilitation counselor, any community people like supported employment personnel, agencies or assisted living counselors, anyone that might have any information that can contribute to that body of knowledge that they're going to be discussing in this meeting.

This is a meeting that it's time to really get down to the realities of what the students' abilities are, what their interests are, what is the person going to be doing in the adult years. So this person -- this student -- should make known where they want to live, who do they want to live with, what resources in the community can be accessed, what resources are actually in the community to be accessed. And if they find that if the student has all these interests in these areas for participating in a lot of activities in the community but there are not those activities out there in the community, then they need to find out and figure out, really, what can we do to bridge this gap. Maybe they should be all working together to create activities, and so it's a coordination effort between actually the school, the student, and the family, and the community, where they really all come together and make some decisions and some very realistic plans, plus identify what are their wishes for this student, what are the parents' wishes for this student, what are their fears for this student. And of course, asking the individual with this disability those same questions and getting some very real answers at this time. It's a crucial, crucial meeting that should be done especially in the high school years in order to orchestrate those final years of education planning.

However, that kind of person center planning, although it should be done in the high school years, it can be done at any point in their life of this individual. Not just in the educational years, but that can be done also during the adult years as well. It can be done at any point when decisions need to be made about an individual with this disability or any disability, and make some good hard decisions that can be carried through and then who will be reasonable for making sure that the decisions that are made are carried out and they do become a reality.