Skip to content
April 13, 2011 / Summer Street Blog

Focus on personal outcomes. What does it actually mean?

At Summer Street you hear the term personal outcomes, Personal Outcome Measures® or just POM’s a lot. We refer to it as our primary influencing philosophy when making decisions. In our Strategic Plan it’s one of the ways we measure our success as an organization. But what does it actually mean?

Personal Outcomes are the standards by which we measure the quality of our life.  Personal Outcome Measures® is a tool that is used to help us learn more about what is most meaningful to someone. It helps individuals (and those closest to them) explore many aspects of their life and focus on items and issues that matter most. An outcome can be defined as the achievement of a goal or choice determined by the person.

Dorothy Doyle, Director of Programs says, “Personal outcomes are important for Summer Street because they put listening to and learning from the person, at the centre of our organization’s life.”

Often when someone has an intellectual disability they lose the right or opportunity to make many of the decisions that shape their lives. From things as simple as what’s for dinner or where to spend free time, to bigger issues like where to live or work, or what activities to be involved in. Focus on personal outcomes gives people the opportunity to play a more active role in the direction of their lives.

The process itself involves interviews, discussion and observation as well as exposure to options. Often when someone loses the right to make key decisions they also lose awareness of the options available. Once we have an understanding of choices and direction, staff assist in a variety of ways to help achieve desired goals – or personal outcomes. Whenever someone achieves an outcome they’ve chosen for themselves, they experience the simple joy of accomplishment. And we become a better organization.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: