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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Applications of a lifestyle planning process for persons with severe disabilities Malette, Paul Hector


This study investigated the efficacy of a "lifestyle" planning process for persons with severe disabilities. The planning process involved five steps: (a) description of a desired integrated lifestyle (pre- test), (b) identification of attitudinal, knowledge, and opportunity barriers present in an individual's service delivery system, (c) development of weekly schedules and plans that are based on an individual's personal preferences (mid- test), (d) implementation of valid teaching technologies and assessments if needed to achieve greater community participation, and (e) application of evaluative measures to monitor success (post-test). The planning process was implemented by means of a consultant model. The process involved planning meetings, on-site visits, in-service training, problem solving, written program planning, and demonstration of instructional techniques. Planning and implementation spanned approximately 12-14 months. The consulting teams were composed of education and behaviour consultants. Four persons with severe disabilities and challenging behaviour served as subjects. These individuals resided in four communities in the Province of British Columbia, and received consultative services from 1989-1991. Data were collected on three dependent measures at the beginning, midpoint, and end of intervention periods. The measures were type and frequency of integrated activities performed, program quality, and mastery of core steps of priority instructional goals in areas such as behaviour management and augmentative communication. All four persons engaged in a greater number of preferred integrated activities at the mid- and post- test than at the pre- test. The social networks of all four individuals were higher at the mid- and post- test than at the pre- test. Program quality scores were collected at the pre- and post- test only. All scores were higher at the post- test than at the pre- test. Behavioral problems reported at the referral stage were substantially reduced at the post-test for all individuals. These results are discussed in relation to previous research done in this area. Limitations of the study are identified, such as sample size, sample bias, and programmatic change that occurred outside of the planning process. Problems in implementing the process by means of a consultant model are discussed and areas for future research are suggested.

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