Person Centered Organization: A brief description of Person Centeredness at Envision

Watch Envision’s PCT 123 Video:

“Person Centeredness is a philosophy; it is a belief that all people have the right and ability to make informed choices and direct what they want for their life.”  Celeste Ewert, Executive Director, Envision, Creative Support for People with Developmental Disabilities

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Envision is a nonprofit organization that serves as Weld County’s Community Centered Board (CCB). As a CCB, Envision supports children and adults who are determined to have an intellectual or developmental delay or disability (IDD). People with IDD have historically been marginalized and often were not permitted to live a life of their own design. For the past several decades, a movement known as “Person Centeredness” has been gaining traction across the globe in order to assume people with IDD  have choices in their lives.

In recent years, Envision has worked diligently to foster positive impacts in the lives of people through sharing Person Centered skills, tools and practices with people we support, families, employees, community partners, and all of Weld County!

A Person Centered Organization (PCO), like Envision, utilizes Person Centered Thinking (PCT) skills to gain a better understanding of a person’s perspective on what is important to and for them with the goal of empowering people to live, love, work and play their way. PCT underlies and guides respectful listening which leads to actions, resulting in people who have positive control over the life they desire and find satisfying; are recognized and valued for their contributions (current and potential) to their communities; and are supported in a web of relationships, both natural and paid.

To become a PCO, Envision completed 3 years of specialized training with organizational-wide involvement. Upon completion of that training in November of 2016, Envision became an official PCO, and is self-sustaining to continue that endeavor.

To reach our goals of implementing Person Centeredness into all areas of our organization, Envision:

  • Initiated an entire organizational culture shift starting from the top down that promotes PCO philosophies in all areas of our work including a change of language, policies, procedures, and vision.
  • Developed three qualified PCT Trainers within the organization.
  • Mandated that all employees complete an introductory 2-day Person Centered Thinking training and demonstrate these skills in daily work activities.
  • Trained over 30 employees to become Person Centered Coaches. Coaches work to act as catalysts for change and maintain the momentum of Person Centeredness within the organizational culture.
  • Launched a Leaders Team comprised of members of the community, people supported by Envision, Envision management, and representatives from other entities. Leaders address Envision’s highest level policy changes, seek community engagement opportunities, provides support in decision-making to Coaches, and stays involved in governmental activities related to Person Centeredness or Person Centered Planning.
  • Offers free monthly Lunch and Learn sessions to promote and share information to anyone interested.
  • Created “Planning with Me, Nothing About Me Without Me”; a course specifically designed to empower individuals with IDD to advocate for the life they choose using Person Centered tools and skills.
  • Designed a visual map of our journey and a large collection of Success Stories in which we have seen positive impacts among the people we support, their families or caregivers, our employees, and the community as a whole.

Envision continues to uphold the values and principals of Person Centeredness and is excited to see even more people with IDD take control of their lives and have freedom of choice, just like anyone else would.

Traditional Planning:

  • Decisions are made by “consensus” of a planning team that typically consists primarily of staff and professionals and are driven by medical needs.
  • Professionals conduct an assessment and determine needs of the individual.
  • Focus of planning is primarily defined by a menu of service options that are offered under a particular Medicaid Waiver or other program.
  • Planning occurs periodically during annual meetings or isolated problem solving events.
  • Attention is focused on problems and “fixing” them .
  • People are at times declined options in effort to “keep them safe”.


Person Centered Planning:

  • The person supported drives decisions and invites people who they feel have important contributions to make, often including family, friends, community members and trusted allies from the services system.
  • Focus of planning is defined by the desired outcomes of the person.
  • Informal and community supports are identified first. Programmatic supports are used to augment natural supports.
  • Planning occurs as a process that evolves over time.
  • Attention is focused on strengths and “building”.
  • People have the right to make informed choices that professionals do not agree with.
  • People have the innate right to take risks, “fail” and to keep trying.


Learn more about our available trainings by calling (970) 339-5360.

1050 37th Street | P.O. Box 200069 Evans, Colorado 80620

Monday through Thursday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM

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