Active Support Is Person-Centred by Definition : A Response to Harman and Sanderson (2008)

Edwin Jones, Kathy Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents the authors' response to Harman and Sanderson (2008) who address the important question of how person-centred active support is. The authors' intention is not to disagree with Harman and Sanderson's general point that combining active support (AS) with person-centred planning (PCP) is better than either approach being implemented in isolation; rather, they intend to explore the issue further from the alternative perspective that when implemented correctly, AS is inherently person-centred. While Harman and Sanderson highlight the important contribution of AS in challenging disability services to achieve a person-centred approach, they argue that AS cannot be considered to be fully person-centred unless it "is explicitly based on a person-centred plan, and the focus is on implementing that plan." They suggest that AS without PCP disempowers clients, because it fails to focus on choice or control, with staff effectively making many decisions for clients who have communication difficulties. The authors contend that active support is person-centred by definition because if is not, then it cannot be active support. They assert that person-centred thinking and planning tools can work well in conjunction with AS, and are useful additions to the tool kit. Together with active support, these approaches provide high quality support to individuals with intellectual disability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274 - 277
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008


  • mental retardation
  • social support groups


Dive into the research topics of 'Active Support Is Person-Centred by Definition : A Response to Harman and Sanderson (2008)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this