Supports and Support Needs

James Thompson and Yuwadee Viriyangkura

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Disability

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780195398786
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Supports and Support Needs


A supports paradigm provides a basis for uniting the efforts of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners whose work is focused on services to children and adults with disabilities. The premise of this paradigm is that the most salient difference between people with and without disabilities is their needs for different types and intensities of support in order to fully participate in and contribute to society. Historical foundations and current trends in disability services are reviewed in relation to a supports paradigm. Research findings and critical issues associated with measuring support needs are summarized. Finally, ways that information on supports and support needs can be used to guide planning and decision making at individual and systems levels are presented.

Keywords: supports; support needs assessment; person-centered planning; intellectual disability; resource allocation

Article.  15966 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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