Jan Alcoe, Hilary Brown

Person-centred Lifestyles for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Training pack

Transforming attitudes, services and practice

Person-centred Lifestyles for People with Intellectual Disabilities is a simple but powerful staff and service development exercise that provides a vital stimulus to exploring and evaluating attitudes, services and practice in relation to people with intellectual disabilities and the quality of lives they are enabled to lead.



This simple but powerful staff and service development exercise provides a vital stimulus to exploring and evaluating attitudes, services and practice in relation to people with intellectual disability and the quality of lives they are enabled to lead. It can be used with any group of stakeholders, in any kind of service – whether public, private or voluntary – and in any country of the world.

Whatever the nature of the organisation and the cultural context, the exercise offers a way of holding existing attitudes, practices, systems and structures ‘up to the light’, in order to ensure that they meet the values we would espouse for our own lives and those of our families and loved ones.

The aim is not only to guard against the violation of human rights and to meet minimum standards imposed by regulatory bodies, but also to make genuine progress towards creating consistent person-centred responses – individualised, flexible, and self-directed, and clearly based on human values of dignity, respect and equality. The exercises can be used for a wide range of purposes, including developing a vision for a new service and/or values statement, designing or changing services, including environments, systems and staffing, changing problematic cultures, preparing for inspection, introducing more person-centred ways of thinking and planning, meeting and monitoring quality standards and codes of practice, staff induction and development.

This pack contains an A4 manual with full instructions and examples for running the exercises; DVD containing slides and clips of filmed training sessions and slides, 132 discussion cards and 12 header cards.

Find out more about the historical background to the exercise by watching the video clip below, which is an excerpt from the training pack.
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The exercise can be used with a range of people, including: policy-makers and commissioners of services leaders and senior managers of organisations; service managers and line managers; front-line staff advocates, family members, volunteers and community representatives; staff teams and cross-service groups; professional groups supporting individuals or services eg. general practitioners, psychologists, nurses; multi-professional groups or teams students of social work, nursing, psychology and other relevant disciplines.


ISBN: 978-1-910366-01-1
Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media
Publication: 07 July 2014
The main work book: Introduction; Background to the Lifestyles approach; Running the exercise, including step-by-step instructions to run the exercise.

The DVD contains video clips of an exercise being run by the authors.
The 132 prompt cards list the various scenarios and situations that are explored during the exercise.

The heading cards are used to group these prompt cards into different areas: Things we find acceptable for people with intellectual disability, but which we would not accept for ourselves; Things we find acceptable for people intellectual disability that we would also accept for ourselves; A third category where people are unsure or where there is disagreement in the group.


Hilary Brown is professor of social care at Canterbury Christ Church University and a specialist in safeguarding issues. She has written extensively on issues of disability and safeguarding and has conducted research, serious case reviews and worked to develop policy and practice in relation to abuse over the last 20 years. This work has included contributing to the original publications of No Secrets and In Safe Hands, policy development for the Council of Europe on abuse of disabled people, work on financial abuse and complex cases for the Office of the Public Guardian, and more recently chairing a safeguarding adults board in London and leading the serious case review panel of a large local authority. In addition to her academic work, she is an accredited psychotherapist and works for the NHS with people with learning disabilities, many of whom have been abused. Hilary is also the author of Drawing the Line: Setting professional boundaries (Pavilion, 2010) and Post-abuse Training for Staff Working with Adults at Risk (Pavilion, 2012).


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