Skip to content

PATH, MAPs and Training on Person Centred Planning

Facilitator Shelley Nessman (Left) Amanda (Centre) and Geri Briggs (Right)

Facilitator Shelley Nessman (Left) Amanda (Centre) and Geri Briggs (Right)

PATH and MAPS are two of our favourite tools for planning, because they are flexible to the current needs of the person and their team; incorporate bright drawings and pictures, ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the focal person is expressing themselves.

We regularly host training sessions every spring and autumn in Vancouver or Burnaby, but are also able to come to your community and do training there.   We have developed a three day “primer” curriculum that looks at the ideas behind the concept person centredness, augmentative and alternative communication methods that involve everyone in the room, of every ability, graphic facilitation and facilitation.   We make sure that everyone in our training gets at least a taste of being the focal person in planning, facilitation and graphic facilitation.   As much as possible, we try to ensure that David Wetherow is available to Skype in for an hour and present on some of his most recent thinking about the process.

Shelley and Aaron were recently trying to figure out how many PATHs and other planning sessions for individuals they’ve done and got up to a guestimate of more than a thousand over the last twenty years.   We also mentor new facilitators and have connected with local folks who are available to facilitate PATHs and MAPs.

Both of us received training early on from Jack Pearpoint and Marsha Forrest, and then Shelley trained with David and Faye Wetherow, and Aaron trained more with Joanne Proctor of HOMES Society.   Shelley went on to a certificate in civic dialogue, and Aaron went on to a Master’s in Integrated Studies (Equity and Education), focusing on disability and leadership.   We have gone on to work closely with David Wetherow on three projects, with more on the horizon.   This year we decided to spend a week in Toronto with Jack, Lynda Kahn and Cathy Hollands, updating our skills using the new MAPS and PATH training book – it was a really amazing week.   We were hosted by Inclusion Press and Potluck Consulting to do a workshop called, “‘You had me at hello!’ The fine art and craft of invitation and introduction.”

From Left to Right: Val Beaman (Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation), Aaron, Shelley Nessman, Shelley Gerber (Community Living B.C.) - a project PATH

From Left to Right: Val Beaman (Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation), Aaron, Shelley Nessman, Shelley Gerber (Community Living B.C.) – a project PATH

We have presented about person centred planning in many places, including TASH conferences and Inclusion B.C., webinars for Cornell University and TASH Education Series, agencies and conferences.   Here is a presentation we did in Illinois.   The Inclusion B.C. “On My Way” project interviewed us about person centred planning and PATH facilitation.   What we LOVE is to bring diverse groups of people who care about the focal person, or are part of a team working towards a set of goals, or are working on a project, and have them figure out how to share strengths and plan for accomplishment.

The gift of person centred planning for the focal person is that it’s an opportunity to do things differently – to have hospitality, to be surrounded by friends, to be heard, to dream big dreams.    The gift for those in their networks of support is the opportunity to come together and sign up for what makes your heart sing and to finally voice that thing you’ve always wanted to offer, and to get a sense of the person’s whole life.   The gift for facilitators is that we can help people prepare for invitation and welcoming, and we can learn to listen ever better, and to support people to dream big and plan effectively.   We can think deeply about planning, and social justice, quality of life and connections.   We can support agencies, staff, families, teachers and others to take these big bright visual plans and turn them into shareable documents, like I.E.P.s.

our friend Cheryl after her first PATH

our friend Cheryl after her first PATH

We do all kinds of projects and are always glad to talk about any ideas you might have about bringing people together, in which we might be helpful, either in planning, facilitation or graphic recording/facilitation.   Please contact us or

More to come!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: