Bev Murphy, Jill Bradshaw, Julie Beadle-Brown

Person-centred Active Support Self-study Guide (2nd edition)


A self-study resource to enable participation, independence and choice for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities



A fully revised, 2nd edition of Person-centred Active Support self-study guide, including new video.

This book is designed to provide the learner with knowledge about what active support is, why it is important, what it looks like in practice, and some of the key facts around what is needed for success.

This book is designed for people to follow as self-study or as part of a training programme. It includes videos and exercises to promote independent thinking and learning. It is available in hard copy and digital formats and provides about 5 to 7 hours of learning, with a certificate of completion.

A copy of this guide also comes as part of the Person-centred Active Support Training Pack (2nd Edition), which uses the information in this book as the script and guide for a classroom-based training programme.


This self-study guide will be of interest for anyone working in intellectual and developmental disability support and accommodation services, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, behavioural specialists, speech and language therapists, learning disability nurses, teachers and teaching assistants, family members, day service staff and students.


ISBN: 9781911028758
Publication: 17 November 2017

  • Introduction to active support: its origins and focus
  • Why is active support important? A good fit with policy and ideology
  • Why is engagement important? Values into practice
  • The four essentials 1: every moment has potential
  • The four essentials 2: little and often
  • The four essentials 3: graded assistance
  • The four essentials 4: maximising choice and control
  • Excuses and myths
  • Integrating person-centred active support with other approaches and frameworks
  • Making it work
  • References and further reading


Bev Murphy is the Head of Practice at United Response, a national charity providing a range of services for people with learning disabilities and mental health needs. She has a keen interest in the development of person centred approaches, practice leadership, and positive behaviour support, with a particular focus on the implementation and evaluation of person centred active support in a variety of settings.

Julie Beadle-Brown is professor in Intellectual and Developmental Disability at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent and in Disability Studies at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Her teaching, research and consultancy focuses on promoting better quality of life for people with learning disabilities and autism through high quality, community based services at both national and international levels.  In particular, she has researched, published and consulted on deinstitutionalisation and community living and on person centred approaches such as active support and what is needed in terms of workforce development and leadership to ensure better quality of life outcomes for people with disabilities.

Jill Bradshaw trained as a speech and language therapist. She worked in a community team supporting adults with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour in London, before joining the Tizard Centre in 1995. She was appointed as a honorary lecturer in 2003 but returned as a sessional teacher in 2010, after a career break. She now convenes the Undergraduate Autism Studies Programme and teaches on the Postgraduate Programmes in Intellectual Disabilities.


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