Important word meanings

(Easy Read definitions used in these resources are highlighted in bold.)
Q & S Commission

Frequently asked questions
National Disability Insurance Scheme (Australia)
Positive Behaviour Support
Quality and Safeguards Commission
Supported Decision Making
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
AdjustmentsMaking adjustments means making changes to the way information is given to the person to help their decision-making.
Supporters find out how the person likes to get information and make it easy for them to understand.
Advocate An advocate is a person who helps the person with disability to speak up for their rights.

Advocates speak for, support, or represent the decision maker who may need extra help to speak up for what they want. Explore choices and get the information they need.
Behaviour of concern [sometimes referred to as challenging behaviour]The things that the person and their support people find difficult. This is sometimes called behaviours of concern.

Behaviours that cause harm to oneself, others, or property are called behaviours of concern. These behaviours can affect the person’s daily life – the person is in a challenging environment, and it also challenges support people to find a solution.
Behaviour SupportBehaviour Support aims to help everyone understand the person better, so they know how to support them better.

Behaviour support focuses on improving the person’s quality of life by prioritising their individual rights, values, and choices when developing strategies to address challenging behaviours.
Behaviour support planYour Behaviour Support Plan will help your support people to understand you and support you better.

Behaviour support plans include ways to:
• help you have a good life
• meet your needs
• keep you and others safe

A behaviour support practitioner develops a behaviour support plan with the person with disability, their family and other support people. The plan focuses on the needs of the person and includes strategies to improve their quality of life and to prevent and reduce restrictive practices and challenging behaviours.
Choice and controlChoice means that the person has the right to make their own decisions about what is important to them and they’re able to exercise control over their own life.
Decision (and decision-making)A decision is when you need to choose between 2 or more things. Another word for decision is choice.

Small decisions are the everyday day choices we make like what we eat for breakfast, what music we listen to and what we choose to wear.
Big decisions are big life choices like where we live, where we work, getting married and going on a holiday.

A decision is reached by considering possible options.
Decision-making is the process the person uses to decide based on their values, preferences, and beliefs.
Decision maker (in supported decision-making)The decision maker is the person with disability who with support, makes their own decisions.
Enable (or facilitate)To enable or facilitate means providing support, in ways that create opportunities and make it possible for the person to improve their quality of life.
Facial expressionsThe way we show our feelings on our face by making different expressions with our eyes, mouth, and other features is called facial expressions.
Good lifeA good life means doing things that are important to you and make you happy. Improving quality of life means doing more of these things.
Person-centredPerson-centred approaches place the person at the centre of all support and respects their values and refers to their preferences giving them choice and control.
Person with disabilityIn these resources people living with a disability, are referred to as “the person with disability” or “people with disability.” They may experience barriers which make it harder participating equally as citizens in their community.
Positive behaviour support (PBS)Behaviour Support aims to improve the quality of life of the person and of the people who support them. It aims to do this by improving the environment that the person is in and developing the skills of the person and the people around them. Behaviour Support aims to help everyone understand the person better, so they know how to support them better.

Positive behaviour support (PBS) comes from the principles of person-centred practice and the protection of people’s human rights. It is the preferred approach for behaviour support in Australia and internationally and is recommended under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

PBS focuses on preventing and reducing challenging behaviours while improving quality of life through systems change and education. Stakeholder engagement is important for effective process while also acknowledging and utilising the lived expertise of families. It is a process that includes introducing, explaining, assessing, planning, implementing, and reviewing.
Practitioner [PBS and Behaviour Support]The Behaviour Support Practitioner [or PBS Practitioner] is the person who writes your plan. They work with people to understand the reasons behind behaviours and develop support plans to help.

A PBS (or behaviour support) practitioner is someone who undertakes behavior support assessments and creates plans that may include restrictive practices. Practitioners use a framework called PBS to assess the factors affecting a person’s behaviour and develop interventions to improve their quality of life and reduce challenging behaviours.
Preference(s)Preference is about a person’s everyday choices. It’s what they like and dislike.
RightsRights are rules about how everyone should be treated.
Restrictive practiceA restrictive practice is something that takes away the right to move freely. Restrictive practices are used when the person or others are not safe.

There are 5 types of regulated restrictive practices or restraints (ways to control):
1. chemical
2. environmental
3. mechanical
4. physical
5. seclusion.
RestraintsRestraints mean actions that control behaviour:
1. Chemical restraint is when medicine is used to change a person’s behaviour. for example, when they become distressed and may harm themselves.
2. Mechanical restraint is when something (a device) is used to control a person’s movement, for example using bed rails or a lap belt.
3. Physical restraint is when another person uses their body to control or stop the movement of a person, for example holding a person’s hands down so they can’t hurt themselves or others.
4. Environmental restraint stops a person from going where they want to go, for example locking the front door so they cannot leave the house.
5. Seclusion is putting a person in a space on their own to stop a behaviour, for example putting a person in a room on their own and shutting the door.
RiskRisk means something bad might happen to you or others. Everyone has the right to take risks.

Risk is the possibility of a negative impact (for example someone or something that can cause loss or injury) of a potential activity. Deciding on the risk means making a judgement about what could happen and how likely it is to happen. Risk taking is part of decision making.
Service providerA service provider is an organisation that provides services. The organisations could provide disability care, aged care, community based care or in education.

This website refers to a range of services in different sectors being provided to people who need support to make decisions.

(Specialist behaviour support providers are people or services that deliver positive behaviour support.)
StakeholderA stakeholder is a person or an organisation with an interest or concern in a decision or activity.

A stakeholder is a person or an organization that can affect or be affected
by a decision or an activity.
Substitute decision-makingSubstitute decision-making is deciding on behalf of someone else based, on what they would choose if they were making the decision themselves. Decisions should not be based on what is thought to be in the ‘best interest’ for that person.

Substitute decision making should only be used as the last resort and the substitute decision maker should always choose the least restrictive option.
Supported decision-makingSupported decision making means to give someone the help they need to make more of their own decisions. Another word for decision is choice.

Supported decision making means giving them ways they need to make the decision for themselves. The person helping knows that the person with a disability has the same rights as everyone else. They try to understand what the person wants and help them communicate it to others. The person with a disability is always in charge of their own life and choices.
SupporterSupporters are people who provide support for the person to be able to make and communicate their own decisions.
Close supporters are people like family and friends who
• Know you for a long time
• Know what you like and do not like
• Are people you trust

Other supporters are people who
Do not know you as well as your close supporters
• Are support staff
• Is someone you know but not very well
• Know you for a short part of your life
UNCRPDThe UNCRPD stands for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The UNCRPD is an agreement between different countries. Rights are things that should happen for everyone. It says what States must do to make sure that persons with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else.

Supported decision-making is endorsed in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is supported in the National Decision-Making Principles recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission.
WillWill is about a person’s beliefs, values, and their long-term goals. It is what a person wants for their own life.
Will and preferencesSupporters help the person decide based on their will and preferences – the person’s beliefs, values and everyday likes and dislikes. Will and preference are connected with the right of a person who is being supported, to make their own decisions based on what they (their will and preference).