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Thinking Ahead: Betty & Connie Talk About Their Choices

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Published on Mar 7, 2008

Thinking Ahead: My Way, My Choice, My Life at the End is a personal account of two women with developmental disabilities, Betty and Connie, who each chose to take greater control over their end of life planning, after each experienced life changing events. Through one-on-one conversations, Betty and Connie each explore end of life issues important to them.
Persons with developmental disabilities are more likely today than ever before to know someone - a family member, a support person, or another individual with disabilities - who has died. They are increasingly outliving family members and needing to know the importance of making informed decisions. Decisions about treatment, burial, who will inherit their belongings, and expressing their final wishes, are just some of the issues discussed in this 10-minute informative and educational video. Thinking Ahead is a testimony to the benefits of using encouragement, peer mentoring, and responsive coaching to approach this important conversation.
The key strategy used was Think (what is important to you, Plan (what steps do you need to accomplish), and Do (taking action). This strategy has been tested throughout California by self-advocates. The DVD and companion workbook are available online at www.brcenter.org.
Find More Board Resource Center videos: (8) CAC DVDs online at www.youtube.com search: cac leadership board resource center. As well, Guide to Healthy Living - a self-advocacy group's efforts to improve their health and wellness - can also be found online at www.youtube.com search: cac leadership board resource center.

See how Lori took charge of her team meeting. "I was prepared and had a good team meeting." Lori was frustrated that other people ran her team meetings. Watch Lori use Think-Plan-Do to find out how she could take more control over her meetings, have a plan, and be respected. Today, Lori explains her expectations for how she wants her meetings to happen, and they now focus on her plan.
The California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) created a series of 15 videos and corresponding PDF self-help guides called Leadership Through Personal Change. These videos and guides reflect the CAC mission, "My Life, My Way". The CAC provides advocacy and strategies that increase community inclusion, professional development, employment and business development opportunities for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The CAC uses THINK-PLAN-DO as a method for decision making and goal realization. All CAC videos and guides are researched and field tested throughout California. Results include authentic outcomes, useful work plans and actions that lead to success. Produced and facilitated in partnership with the Board Resource Center, all materials are created to make complex ideas simple, and provide strategies for people to customize person-centered plans.

The CAC has sponsored or co-produced additional videos viewable on YouTube using search word: cac leadership. Additional advocacy tools and publications that provide insight on legal rights and strategies are available on the CA DDS Consumer Corner website: www.dds.ca.gov/consumercorner/publications.cfm

Board Resource Center is about Making Complex Ideas Simple. We take hard to use and understand ideas and develop meaningful training, facilitation, publications and new media that create avenues for people to live quality lives in their chosen communities as they define them. Strategies include plain language, graphic design, community involvement and testing. Focus areas include government agencies, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups and service providers internationally. Purpose is to develop leadership, accessible media and tools that reflect the interest, need and will of those they serve. For more information, contact BRC Director Mark Starford at mark@brcenter.org, or visit our website at www.brcenter.org.

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