First-ever mobile app for
person-centered planning!

My Plan to Flourish mobile app is ready for your test drive!

My Plan to Flourish Mobile Application (IOS and Android) is the FIRST person-centered plan that:

  • THE PLAN’S OWNER will actually want to keep with them.
  • HELPS GUIDE the person toward their chosen goals, celebrate small wins, and present them to others (and to themselves) in positive, strengths-based terms.
  • OFFERS a companion computer program that makes it easier for the person’s support team to help with writing the plan and assisting with the plan’s implementation.

My Plan to Flourish is the ONLY person-centered plan:

Google and Apple App Store ICONs
  • Based on the award-winning* 2020 book, A New Plan: Using Positive Psychology to Renew the Promise of Person-Centered Planning by Art Dykstra and Thane Dykstra.

The app incorporates the 10 Principles of Person-Centered Planning.

And My Plan to Flourish is solidly grounded in the six elements of well-being based on the research behind positive psychology:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment
  • Health & Vitality

As you’ll see during your test drive, the app is designed to be
engaging and helpful to the individual who owns the plan.

Welcome to flourish

From the user’s viewpoint: There’s an easy, natural flow through each part of the app from what I can do today to make progress, to reminders of:

-What I’m most grateful for
-What I might want people to know about       me
-My chosen goals for the near term, and
-My dreams for the future.

Flourish Computer Shot

For the introductory price of $9.99 (Apple App Store and Google Play Store), we invite you to take My Plan to Flourish for a test drive. We would love to hear how it works for you and for a few of the people supported by your organization!

While you’re at it, take an extra-good look at My Plan to Flourish Online, the mobile app’s companion computer plan data entry program. Low on paperwork, high on thoughtful quality, the program is $39.95 for an annual subscription. Short Video Demonstration

We’ll have more to say about My Plan to Flourish in later editions, but for now, all you really need to do is get yourself to the App Store and take it for a drive!

*A New Plan: Using Positive Psychology to Renew the Promise of Person-Centered Planning won a 2021 Apex Award Grand Award.

Person-Centered Priorities and Practices:
How Well Are You Doing?


Introducing the 2022 IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment


If you are totally satisfied with the results of your organization’s person-centered priorities and practices—as well as your own efforts in this regard—you can stop reading now. However, if you are not, proceed with optimism and curiosity. High Tide Press is pleased to introduce the 2022 IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment (PCOA).

The IARF PCOA was designed to enable organizational staff to determine their current performance level and progress in implementing person-centered planning and person-centered practices. Using this assessment tool will allow organizational stakeholders to identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they can devise a customized plan of action for organizational improvement that includes putting in place a strengthened person-centered organizational culture.

IARF has been the voice of human service organizations in Illinois. In addition, it provides agencies with individual consultation on issues that affect them specifically. It also commits itself to developing programs that return members’ investment. IARF’s purpose is clear, “To assist in the development and improvement of services in Illinois” by developing progressive methods of effective service to person with disabilities through study, experiment and exchange of experience.

This PCOA was conceptualized, constructed and completed by IARF membership staff that included disability professionals and administrators. It is a helpful, easy-to-use tool for guiding and monitoring organizational performance and improvement.

The IARF PCOA is a three-part evaluation instrument.

Part 1. The first section of the assessment consists of five scales* that reflect organizational functioning in the following areas:

  • People-First Language
  • Self-Direction
  • Developing Person-Directed Plans
  • Residential Supports
  • Adult Learning and Vocational Services
*Note: These ten-item scales have been designed to reflect that specific area of focus. They are not intended to cover the entire spectrum of behavior that might be encompassed in the domain.

Part 2. The second section, the “Organizational Inventory of Person-Centeredness©,” reveals the scope and depth to which the values-based approach of person-centered thinking and planning is evident in the organization.

Part 3. The final section of the assessment includes an overview of the “Personal Outcome Measures®” as developed by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). To those who many not be familiar with them, the Personal Outcomes measure very specific quality of life dimensions that persons with disabilities have identified as important to them.

The IARF PCOA is easy to use and score. It lends itself to many different evaluative approaches and implementation strategies across a variety of settings. Even in these difficult times, the assessment reflects the possibility of doing the next best thing. Using this tool will identify all your organization is doing well so you can get better, together.

To order, please visit

3 Reasons Why Teaching Person-Centered Language Is Such a Challenge

  1. It can be difficult for employees to embrace.
  2. The need to understand the impact of words.
  3. Effective teaching takes time.


  1. It can be difficult for employees—especially new employees—to embrace person-centered language.

For many employees, it’s difficult to accept the need to adopt new language behavior readily. “What’s so important about the specific words we use or which words we say first?” they wonder.

It often doesn’t feel like a priority to newer staff because it seems less important than all of the other things they need to do and need to learn. You’ll hear, “This is just how I talk” or, “This is how we talk in my family.”


Words That Lift Us Up:

This challenge is one of the main reasons High Tide Press decided to tackle the person-centered language problem. We kept hearing leaders in the field comment about the difficulties they were having with everything from unintentional slights all the way to cringe-worthy interactions. We knew that these same leaders weren’t hiring indifferent employees, so what was causing this persistent problem?

Often, person-centered language is taught as a series of rules to follow, but the heart of person-centeredness is empathy for the person at the center. And since everyone can feel the difference—personally—between an interaction that is empathetic and one that is not, that’s where we start. We give Words That Lift Us Up participants a way to understand the importance of words personally, then for people in general, and then, finally, specifically for people who have disabilities.


  1. It requires understanding the impact of words, not just a set of rules.

If employees don’t understand that the words we use and how we use them make a meaningful difference to the people we support, they can see person-centered language as an endless series of rules that don’t seem that important.

It’s difficult for people to be self-reflective. If learners have no personal point of reference, language “rules” seem like so much silly political correctness—more like compliance-based decrees—than something that will actually have an effect on a person.


Words That Lift Us Up:

Leaders, families, and program directors asked, “How do you correct a staff member whose language just doesn’t feel right? If you put yourself in the shoes of the person they’re talking to (or talking about), you might feel subtly excluded.”

Teaching “rules” around disabilities language isn’t going to take care of the understanding problem. Words that Lift Us Up helps people understand that language is a primary way of letting the people we support know how we see them. Over time, it can also affect the way people see themselves.

We grappled with this as we were creating Words That Lift Us Up. We needed to go further. We needed to help our learners develop an understanding of the very purpose of their language—the importance of a mindset of empathy.

What if every member of your staff understood that a change in their language behavior would help make their jobs easier simply by using language of inclusion rather than subtle exclusion? Those staff members would be much more open to using language that lets the people they support know that they were invested in helping them live their own best lives rather than simply taking care of them.


  1. Effective teaching takes time.

Given the importance of respectful language for the people receiving support, how do you go about putting together a class that helps all of your staff—new and experienced—practice the person-centered language behavior you expect? What resources are available? Who is your best expert and is that person also your best teacher? How do you know if your employees are really understanding in a way that will help them fulfill their roles as caring professionals?

Words That Lift Us Up:

We’ve done our best to make Words That Lift Us Up a turn-key educational program. Five short video modules work together to help class participants understand, practice, and get back on track after a mistake. There’s a coaching module for those in a leadership role.

In addition, there’s a coaching module for those in a leadership role. We’ve also included a Facilitator’s Guide with quiz and discussion questions to help learners understand the concepts at a deeper level.

We started the Words That Lift Us Up program in 2019. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit disabilities organizations, making a tough staffing situation much worse. So we understand the need to get new staff well-trained as quickly as possible.

Words That Lift Us Up is our contribution to help you free up time and expertise while providing your learners a way to deeply understand and practice leading-edge disabilities language behavior.


Words That Lift Us Up

Introductory price $99.00



Words Logo

Sherry Ladislas, one of your Words presenters, with a quick look at the modules in the program. Take a look. 1:21 Min.

Words Logo

“How do we want to be together?”

It’s a question that needs to be addressed by every organizational leader. Not only with respect to the people we serve and support, but now more than ever, it is vital to staff recruitment and retention.

High Tide Press is pleased to offer a New Year Special – six practical tools that have been bundled together for those of you who seek to do better in 2022.

These “How Do We Want to Be Together” tools address practical ways to improve staff recruitment, enhance staff training efforts, strengthen employee recruitment, add fun to your workplace, improve employee performance and celebrate employees.

The six-tool bundle includes:

  • The Employee Applicant Letter
  • Thought Day
  • Kindness Day
  • Circuit Training for Leaders
  • An Employee Scavenger Hunt
  • Organizational Mascots

We’re pleased to offer this six-tool bundle (a value of $60!) for $39.95 through the end of February. Download yours here. If you’d rather focus your efforts in singular fashion for now, each “How Do We Want to Be Together” tool is available for $9.95/each.

Creating a Meaningful Day

An Innovative Curriculum for Adults with Significant Intellectual Disabilities


We are happiest when we are involved in meaningful activities. Our age, nationality, station in life and level of ability may vary, but the importance of meaning does not. This also remains true for those among us who have disabilities.

But what makes life meaningful for persons whose disabilities are so significant they seem to interfere with the ability to interact with the material world and the people in their environment? It is a question that those who support them face daily.

One thing is certain; meaning does not result from keeping people “busy” for six hours a day. Linda Van Dyke has wrestled with the question for more than 50 years as a mother, friend, staff member at a facility for people with disabilities and founder of an organization that offers those with disabilities creative ways to engage with the world around them.

Her discoveries led her to author Creating a Meaningful Day, a curriculum composed of activities that offer participants the opportunity to explore and get involved in the world around them. The curriculum is divided into 16 units of 6 lessons or activities each. The lessons span subjects that include Social/Emotional Experience, Music, Community Service, History, Animals, Cooking, and others.

Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for a FREE DOWNLOAD of Linda’s Top 4 lessons from Creating a Meaningful Day. And click here to purchase your copy of Linda’s innovative curriculum.

Don’t Miss The REPRISE:
High Tide Press Author Event
Linda Van Dyke

We visit with Linda Van Dyke, one of the few true experts when it comes to supporting people who have significant intellectual disabilities.

Watch and listen to this 55-minute interview as Linda reveals how to draw people at every ability level into active participation in any class or activity. WATCH HERE

Next 30 DAYS:

You’ve found a complimentary ebook featuring four complete lessons from Linda Van Dyke’s top seller, Creating a Meaningful Day!

These lessons are four of Linda’s hand-picked favorites. Enjoy using them and sharing them. You’ll find powerful guidance in each one.

Take me there now!

Linda Van Dyke's Favorite Four FREE Sample

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High Tide Press Book and Product Submission Guidelines

High Tide Press publishes books, assessments as well as learning and training resources.

Our areas of interest are:

    • Intellectual and developmental disabilities: both management and clinical titles
    • Person-centered thinking and planning
    • Behavioral health
    • Organizational culture
    • Positive psychology
    • Leadership and management

We would be pleased to review your book or product publication idea. Please send a one-page overview of the book or publication. In addition, identify the intended audience, your interest, and hope for authoring this proposal, and your qualifications for doing so.

Our editorial team will review your submission and request a formal proposal if the book or publication seems promising. Please do not send a completed manuscript until requested.

Send printed queries/proposals to:
Anne Ward, Director of Publications
High Tide Press, 101 Hempstead Place, Suite 1A, Joliet, IL 60433

Submit email proposals to submissions @

Thank you for your interest in High Tide Press. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have questions about High Tide Press or the submission process, email submissions @