How person centered planning helped Angel transform his future

How the value of person centered planning has shone through brilliantly in the lived experience of 14-year-old Ángel.

Seven students sit in desks that are facing a student in a wheelchair with his teacher behind him. The student in the wheelchair is passing an item to a student in front of him.

Ángel is a young 14-year-old enrolled as a seventh-grade student at the special education school CAM 66 in Mexico City, located in the municipality of Tlahuac, which has been a part of Perkins Project Pixan since 2023.  Ángel is diagnosed with visual impairment and multiple disabilities, requiring the support of his wheelchair to move around. 

Challenges and Innovations in Education

A student looks up at his teacher wearing a blue vest. They are engaged in an activity using a sheet of paper and metal pan.

Educating students with multiple disabilities demands a flexible curriculum that fosters meaningful learning and active participation. For Ángel, a 14-year old boy and seventh-grader at CAM 66 in Mexico City, his relationship with his teacher Patricia López Valle unlocked more learning opportunities. It wasn’t always this way.  

Before CAM 66, a special education school, joined Perkins’ Project Pixan, Ángel didn’t participate much in school. As a student with blindness and other disabilities, his teacher Patricia didn’t have the depth of experience to help him learn until she started taking Perkins International Academy courses (PIA).  According to her, teachers have to learn to observe and have the same openness to learn and implement strategies that are viable for students that present with multiple disabilities and other students that may need it. A rights-based approach and a perspective on educational inclusion challenge educators to adopt strategies that address individual needs without neglecting the collective classroom environment.

Through her journey of taking PIA courses and being coached and mentored by Perkins Education Coordinator, Ana Paola Rodea, Patricia was able to adapt the classroom to improve Ángel’s accessibility. These changes included installing a slant board for better visual access and creating specific areas to enhance his work and communication. These changes significantly increased his participation and engagement in the classroom.

Family and School: Partners in Planning

Guided by PIA content and school guidelines, Patricia also developed a person-centered plan (PCP) in collaboration with Ángel’s family. This plan fostered a shared vision of Ángel’s interests, relationships, environments, dreams, and needs, building a comprehensive life project for him. 

A student in a wheelchair is lifting a bag with his right hand, with the help of his teacher standing behind him. They are both in front of a pink piece of fabric.

The comprehensive approach of Perkins Project Pixan ensures that students like Ángel receive support and planning for their transition to adult life. Teacher training and family involvement are key pillars of this approach. Families play significant roles in person-centered planning, taking on leadership and collaborative roles within educational programs. 

“The relationship with Ángel’s mother has definitely changed,” Patricia commented. “There is more trust and feedback on both sides. We agree on educational aspects for Ángel at school and home, and when necessary, we work through video calls.”

Ángel’s mother has noticed remarkable changes in him since the creation of his life project. He shows more interest in watching television, joining family meals, and actively communicating with facial expressions and body language. His daily routine has become more organized, and his relationships with family members have improved through active communication and shared activities, like playing music or joining family outings.  Ángel is now more comfortable with exploring new places in his community with his mom.

Before Perkins’s Project Pixan, Ángel’s future was uncertain. Now, his family and school envision a future where he can join a workshop, such as those offered in food preparation, screen printing, and gardening, to develop his abilities. The school continues to work with Ángel’s family to raise awareness about the importance of his participation in these workshops.

A Brighter Future for Families in Mexico 

Ángel’s success would not have been possible without the strong collaboration between Project Pixan, his school, and family. This synergy provided Ángel with the necessary resources and strategies to continue fostering a supportive environment for his development.

Ángel’s story highlights the positive impact of Perkins’ Model Programs in Mexico. It demonstrates the effectiveness of an inclusive, person-centered approach in facilitating a smooth transition to adult life. 

This kind of work takes many hands, and together with schools, families, and the government, Perkins is helping more children  with disabilities find their place in the world.

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