April 2017  |  Written by Michael W. Smull

We seek to have a system where people who use long term services and supports have lives of their own choosing within their own communities. We want a system where support is offered to develop and maintain the web of relationships that defines “community.” For adults, we want employment to be

the norm and not the exception.

July 2013  |  Written by Michael W. Smull

We cannot eliminate risk but we can manage it. But how we manage risk is determined by how we think about it. This paper explores some of the key concepts and approaches in risk assessment and risk management

July 1994 | Written by Michael W. Smull & Gary Smith

The first article to describe support brokerage.

A system of support requires first learning how people want to live and then providing resources necessary to make these wants a reality. It requires empowerment of people, shared control, and flexibility to change, adapt and grow. To maintain a system of support, continual learning is spread and shared internal and external to the system.

Supporting People with Severe Reputations in the Community
September 1992 | Michael Smull and Susan Burke Harrison
Making a Quality Habit
March 2020 | Bill Allen & Tina Calderaro-Mendoza
Nor Cal Newsletter 

Importance of Language—Part 1
January 2012 | Written by Michael W. Smull

Person Centered Planning, Should we do it with everyone?

November 1996

Person Centered Planning and Perversion Prevention

Michael W. Smull & Susan Burke Harrison

Volviendo a Visitar La Opción Parta 1  Parta 2

July 2000

“La opción” él la palabra más poderosa y el la mayoría abusó la palabra en el léxico actual del sistema de servicio de incapacidades.

A Crisis is Not An Excuse

In a crisis culture there is no time for thought about real solutions, and the cycle of having today’s temporary solutions adding to tomorrow’s crises is maintained.

Listen, Learn, Act

January 2000 | Selected Writings by Michael W. Smull on Essential Lifestyle Planning, Self-Determination, and Organizational Change


Includes the following articles:

  • Person Centered Planning: Should We Do It With Everyone?

  • The Importance of Partnerships

  • Before You Plan

  • The Structure of the Plan

  • A Plan Is Not An Outcome

  • After the Plan

  • Changing from Programs to Supports

  • Thinking About the Roles of the Support Broker

  • Some Characteristics of a System of Support

  • Some Thoughts from the Field: Invited Commentary on Articles on Self-Determination

May 2019  |  Written by Michael W. Smull

 We all want to have purpose and meaning in our lives. When it is present we feel fulfilled. Where we find it varies widely and when we don’t have it we say we are “adrift”. It can be found in our faith, in a cause, in relationships (esp. family), in our work, or even politics. We see it (feel it) in our lives and in the lives of those we admire. 

May 2012  |  Written by Michael W. Smull & Mary Lou Bourne

This article describes a simple but powerful framework that helps us think about the environments in which people live. Using the continuum – from toxic to healing – helps us see where we need to address issues in the environment and how to better support people.

April 1993

We give daily rituals and habit scant conscious attention as they ease us through our days. Perhaps it is the absence of conscious attention that has led us to neglect the role of ritual in the quality of life of people with disabilities.

February 1989

Burgeoning waiting lists, rising service costs, growing concerns about the quality of services, tight state budgets, high community worker turnover. These problems are surfacing in a growing number of state developmental disabilities service delivery systems.

Crisis in the Community

Revisiting Choice, Parts 1 and 2 

August 1995

Choice is the most powerful word and the most abused word in the current lexicon of the disabilities services system. For some people choice means that how they want to live has been discovered and carefully supported. For others choice is an excuse or the basis of a bizarre rationalization.


Thinking About Support Broker Roles

Article from Impact newsletter, 1999


The Applications of Person Centered Planning in the Communication of End-Of-Life Wishes With People Who Have Developmental Disabilities

March 2003 | Written by Leigh Ann Kingsbury.

As more and more people with developmental disabilities are living to old age, the need to think about end-of-life planning, including wishes about extraordinary treatment, advanced directives and health care agents/proxies increases.

Becoming a Person-Centered System

April 2009

A brief overview