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Michigan Institute on Developmental Disabilities, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Wayne State University Produce Independent Facilitation Video – Today@Wayne

(LR) Independent facilitator Trisha Fenby, support services recipient Tim Shute and case manager Renee Busby.
(LR) Independent facilitator Trisha Fenby, support services recipient Tim Shute and case manager Renee Busby.

DETROIT – The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and Wayne State University collaborated to produce a short article on independent facilitation for the focused planning process in the person. In the video, independent facilitators Trisha Fenby, Allison Hammond, and Michelle Driscoll, along with case manager Renee Busby, illustrate the impact independent facilitation has on those receiving services.

Independent facilitation is part of the person-centred planning process, which involves creating a plan and supporting people by helping them engage in their community while respecting their wishes, decisions and abilities. Independent facilitators respond directly to the individual’s personal dreams, desires and goals.

“Independent facilitation offers an opportunity to diversify ideas during a person-centered plan,” Fenby said. “We often think that a person-centered plan and an individual service plan are the same thing, and they are not… one person.” The centered plan is more about celebrating, ideating and coming up with some of the next steps – the goals and dreams that an individual has.”

During the person-centered planning process, independent facilitators get to know the individual and link them with local supports. They are independent and encourage the commitment of family members, friends and colleagues who participate in the process, organize information and coordinate with a support coordinator or case manager to ensure that the individual service plan meets the needs of the individual.

“It gives me a lot of benefits,” said Tim Shute, who has used independent facilitation. “It helps me learn things about the community, socialize with people and learn new things.”

Those receiving behavioral services have the freedom to select an independent facilitator or manage their own person-centered planning process. An independent facilitator can be anyone the person trusts, such as a family member or a trained professional. MI-DDI offers resources, training and support to prepare individuals to serve as independent facilitators.

“At the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute, we want to raise awareness about the opportunity to use an independent facilitator,” said Senior Associate Director Angela Martin. “We’re helping facilitators do the best they can, preparing them and helping them connect with people who want that support.”

The feature, which was produced by Wayne State University, was made possible by MDHHS funding provided to MI-DDI. The full feature is available to view below. To learn more about becoming an independent facilitator or finding one for your person-centered plan, visit ddi.wayne.edu/if.