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Person Centered Practice in Action

August 01, 2017

By Jesse Albertson

I’d like to introduce everyone to Dolan. A man who embraces every challenge in life with a positive outlook and attitude. Dolan just turned 46. His ideal day includes sleeping in for a bit, waking up to good coffee, relaxing in his own condo, and watching Rachel Ray before going to work at Colorado State University (CSU) as everyone’s favorite mail specialist. These details are all included in his Person-Centered profile.  Dolan and friend smile for a photo outside of the Lory Student Center


What is Person Centered Thinking?

Person Centered Thinking (PCT) is a new and important part of discovering what individuals in services need to live their lives to the fullest. Each individual is unique and PCT helps highlight their complexities. A large part of PCT is creating and sharing individual one-page profiles, which give individuals the chance to list what is important to them, next to their basic needs, making it possible for staff and other supports to learn individual preferences and better support them in leading a happy and fulfilled life. One-page profiles are created for every individual and employee working with Foothills Gateway, meaning we have all done it and are capable of supporting people through the process of creating their own.

What does PCT mean for Dolan?

A few of Dolan’s expressed interests include; swimming, kayaking, camping, and working at the University. All of these activities are things Dolan has done, and he has the pictures to prove it. Being such an advocate for himself, he has no problem listing everything he wants to do and with a large grin dives right in. Being in a wheelchair hasn’t ever held him back!

Dolan went camping last summer with his father and co-workers from the Lory Student Center. The camping trip took place at CSU’s Mountain Campus and was intended to inspire comradery and team building. The group shared bonfires, s’mores, and great times. If the opportunity presents itself, he will jump at the chance to return.

When the weather is warm, Dolan has one thing constantly on his mind: swimming. He has been getting in the water as often as he can for years. Dolan loves to float in the pool with friends and family. He also takes part in Special Needs Swim (now called SLiCE Adaptive Swim.) Adaptive Swim is a program that provides the opportunity for individuals to enjoy some time in the water who may have difficulty doing it themselves. Swimming is something that Dolan will always enjoy.

Continuing with his love of water, Dolan had expressed an interest in kayaking, which he and his supports approached with a determined spirit. His providers and roommates have attended multiple kayaking excursions with him. He rests in the back of a two seat kayak and enjoys relaxing and taking in nature to its fullest. So far, he has only kayaked at Horsetooth Reservoir, but Dolan is always up for the next challenge.

Dolan’s place at CSU

Dolan has worked on campus at CSU for over 25 years. He is the Lory Student Center’s favorite mail specialist. His co-workers set up the mail on his tray for specified destinations, and then he gets to work. Everyone who works in the student center enjoys seeing his smiling face coming around the office corners accompanied by the dinging of his arrival bell. He enjoys doing his job, meeting new people, and conversing with his co-workers and peers.

These are just a few of Dolan’s many stories. His individual Person-Centered profile has and will continue to showcase his interests and help those who support Dolan to best meet his needs. He has always been someone who approaches life, people, and challenges with an optimistic attitude and smile. It’s a pleasure to know the guy. If you see him at work or in the community, make sure to say hi!

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