Knowledge Library


Below you can find more info on the different items that could be chosen as tags for the aricles

Definition of Supports 

Supports are strategies and resources that aim to promote the development, independence, interests, and well-being of a person, and to enhance the individual’s functioning, participation within society, and engagement in life activities. 

Definition of a System of Supports 

A system of supports is the planned and integrated use of an array of strategies and resources that include natural supports, technology, prosthetics, education across the lifespan, reasonable accommodations, dignity and respect, personal strengths/assets, and professional services.  A system of supports provides a structure to enhance elements of human performance that are interdependent and cumulative and built around the individual’s needs, preferences and aspirations. 

Definition of the Elements of a System of Supports with Associated Examples of Specific Support Strategies 



                Definition and Exemplary Support Strategies 



Natural supports 


Building and maintaining support networks (e.g. family, friends, peers, colleagues), and fostering self- advocacy, friendships, community involvement, and social engagement. 



Using assistive and information devices to enhance an individual’s ability to communicate, maintain health and well-being, and to function successfully within his/her environment. Examples include communication aides, smart phones, electronic tablets/devices, medication dispensing devices, medical alert monitors, and speech recognition devices.  



Providing sensory aids and motoric assistance devices that support the body to undertake functions it cannot. Examples include wheelchairs, robotic arms or legs, special glasses/visual aids, hearing aids, and orthotic devices. 


Education across the lifespan 

Developing new skills and behaviors through behavioral techniques (e.g. modeling, manipulation of antecedents and consequences), task analysis, and education and training strategies such as copy strategies, Universal Design for Learning, Life Long Learning. 


Reasonable accommodations 

Ensuring physical accessibility of buildings, transport, and work spaces; creating secure and predictable environments; and providing physical and other accommodations that allow individuals to negotiate their environment and carry out daily tasks 


Dignity and respect 

Enhancing social role status through community involvement, equal opportunity and nondiscriminatory recognition, appreciation, financial security, honors, personal goal setting, empowerment, control of an individual supports plan and supported decision making. 


Personal strengths/assets 

Facilitating individual preferences, personal goals and interests, choice and decision-making, motivation, skills and knowledge, positive attitudes and expectations, self-management strategies, and self-advocacy skills. 



Professional services 

Providing medical, educational, psychological, psychiatric, counseling, nursing, nutrition and dental services; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; career coaching when relevant; futures planning; system level support coordination (at micro, meso and macro), legal supports and supports for housing and accommodation.