Active Support Disability: A Guide
Active Support is a care model that helps people with disabilities live the lives they want by enabling them to be more independent and in control of their support. It is a person-centered approach that focuses on the strengths and abilities of the individual rather than their limitations.
What is Active Support Disability?
Active Support is a way of providing support to people with disabilities that empowers them to be as independent as possible and to have control over their own lives. It is a person-centered approach that focuses on the strengths and abilities of the individual, rather than their limitations. Active Support can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, day centers, and community settings.
How does Active Support work?
Active Support is based on the principles of positive behavior support and person-centered planning. The approach involves a team of support workers who work together with the person with a disability to understand their needs and preferences, and to develop a support plan that is tailored to their individual needs and aspirations.
The support plan will include a range of activities and support strategies that are designed to help the person with a disability to be more independent, participate in community life, and achieve their goals. This might include things like developing life skills, accessing education and training, and pursuing hobbies and interests.
Benefits of Active Support Disability
Active Support has many benefits for people with disabilities, including:
• Increased independence and control over their support
• Improved quality of life and well-being
• Increased opportunities to participate in community life and achieve personal goals
• Improved relationships with support workers and others in their life
• Increased opportunities for personal growth and development
Active support examples when caring for someone with a disability include:
• Encouraging and facilitating participation in daily activities: This can include personal care, meal preparation, shopping, and other activities of daily living.
• Supporting communication: This can involve using assistive technology, sign language, or other forms of communication that help the individual express their needs and wants.
• Promoting independence: Encouraging the person to make choices and decisions, and providing support to carry out their chosen activities.
• Facilitating leisure and recreational activities: This can involve assisting with hobbies, sports, or other interests, or helping to arrange community events and activities.
• Encouraging socialization: Encouraging and facilitating social interactions, such as joining clubs or groups, and helping to maintain relationships with friends and family.
• Supporting personal growth and development: Encouraging and supporting education, training, and employment opportunities
• Fostering a positive and respectful relationship: Building a supportive, trusting, and respectful relationship between the care provider and the individual with a disability.
These are just a few examples of the many ways that Active Support can be used to help people with disabilities live fulfilling lives. It is important to tailor the approach to the individual's unique needs, preferences, and goals to ensure that it is effective and meaningful for them.
The opposite of active support when working as a disability support worker would be a passive support approach. This approach is characterized by a care provider taking control and making decisions for the individual with a disability, without involving or empowering them to have any agency or control over their own support.
Examples of passive support include:
• Doing things for the person rather than encouraging and facilitating their participation
• Making decisions and choices for the person without involving them in the process
• Limiting the person's opportunities for personal growth and development
• Failing to promote independence and self-determination
• Not respecting the person's preferences and desires
Passive support can result in a lack of empowerment and autonomy for the individual with a disability, and can negatively impact their quality of life and well-being. Active support, in contrast, seeks to empower and involve the individual, and promote their independence and control over their own support.
Active Support is a valuable approach for supporting people with disabilities to live the lives they want. By empowering them to be more independent and in control of their support, it can help to improve their quality of life and well-being, and provide them with increased opportunities to participate in community life and achieve their goals.