Module 5: Using pictures to explore hopes and dreams

How using pictures can help people with disabilities to explore goals


Picture My Future offers people with disability a different way of exploring and recording their likes and dislikes, and their hopes and dreams for the future.

Information to guide the planning process for people with disability is generated from many sources including:

  • the person themselves
  • family and friends
  • support workers
  • case files
  • professional reports

While it is important to hear from a variety of people, the person themselves, knows best about their needs and wants.

Many people with intellectual disability have cognitive and communication difficulties that make it difficult to remember things that are important to them, organise their thoughts, and talk about their goals, aspirations, hopes and dreams for the future.   Picture My Future can assist the person to think about and express these complex concepts.

Choosing pictures of people and things that are important to them, or that they would like in their future, assists people to communicate more effectively, and assists them to be more engaged and empowered by the planning process.

The pictures that people use might be:

  • photos they take themselves
  • photos that other people take for them, ideally with some direction from the person themself
  • photos that have been taken in the past
  • images they cut out of magazines
  • images they download from the internet
  • pictures from the Picture My Future Library
  • tickets, brochures or pamphlets that have been collected, or

Picture My Future provides an opportunity for a person to organise their thoughts about the things that are important to them and express them in a format that appeals to them, e.g. a photo album, a power point presentation, an online album (e.g. Facebook).

The planner can work through the Picture My Future Resource as the planning session/s proceed. Sometimes a picture can relate to a number of domains such as work/training, living situation or social activities.  It is important that the resource is fully utilised throughout the planning process.

The planner can use the pictures and the descriptions that accompany them to quickly gain an understanding of what is important to the person.

The planner can use the pictures and the descriptions that accompany them to prompt the person when developing their plan.  The pictures provide information to the planner which can be used to discuss aspirations and goals with the person.

The Picture My Future Resource provides the person with a pictorial representation of important things in their life at that time.  The resource can be reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis and can be used to review the achievement of goals.