About Us

The Arc Erie County has been awarded the esteemed four-year Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation by The Council on Quality & Leadership. This award affirms our commitment to providing person-centered supports that lead to increased quality of life.

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Personal Outcome Measures

Personal Outcome Measures® (POMs) are a tool which helps The Arc Erie County determine the quality of life of the people we support, and if the supports and services we provide, are truly person-centered.  Personal Outcome Measures® include 21 indicators that are used to understand the presence, importance and achievement of outcomes, involving choice, health, safety, social capital, relationships, rights, goals, dreams, employment and more.


Personal Outcome Measures® Indicators

My Self

  1. People are connected to natural support networks
  2. People have intimate relationships
  3. People are safe
  4. People have best possible health
  5. People exercise rights
  6. People are treated fairly
  7. People are free from abuse & neglect
  8. People experience continuity & security
  9. People decide when to share personal information

My World

  1. People choose where and with whom they live
  2. People choose where they work
  3. People use their environments
  4. People live in integrated environments (includes, home, work & community)
  5. People interact with other members of the community
  6. People perform social roles
  7. People choose services

My Dreams

  1. People choose personal goals
  2. People realize personal goals
  3. People participate in the life of the community
  4. People have friends
  5. People are respected


How is The Arc Erie County Using Personal Outcome Measures®?

The insight gained during a Personal Outcome Measures® (POMs®) interview is used in the development of person-centered plans.  After each POMs® interview, the interviewer creates a “What Matters to Me Plan.”  Based on the information gathered, the top three to five outcomes that were identified by the person are put into a plan that is presented to the person and his/her support team.  The team then works together to develop supports that assist the person to achieve those Personal Outcomes. 


The collective data gathered from all POMs® interviews is used at an aggregate level to guide the organization’s strategic plan.  When interviews are completed, interviewers then go through a process of determining, for each of the 21 outcomes, if the outcome and the supports necessary to achieve that outcome, is present or not. By entering the results of that process into a data base, the organization is able to detect trends in outcome and support areas of the POMs®.  Heritage Centers then uses that information to identify the outcome areas that the organization is strong in, along with the areas in which we would like to improve. Organizational strategies are then created to reach the desired goals. 


The foundation of the Personal Outcome Measures® is also being used to cultivate a continuous change in our organization’s culture, where person-centered thinking is at the forefront.  Person-centered thinking is when everyday thoughts and actions put each person’s individual needs and desires first and foremost.  This is accomplished by incorporating POMs® questions into everyday interactions to learn about what people want.  Once goals and desires are known, the organization responds by determining the necessary steps to make them happen.

“Self Advocacy helps me because I was upset and fighting with my house mate. My friends (in Self Advocacy Group) told me I should tell someone like staff or the manager to help. I spoke up for myself to my house manager. She talked to both of us and we are working it out. We are getting along now. I want to help other people to get along with their house mates.” – Gary Jones, Oak Street

About Us

News & Events

Self Advocates Choose Group Names

Both the Tonawanda and Hamburg sites have decided on names for their Self Advocacy groups. The Tonawanda site has chosen “We Are the People.” The Hamburg site is now named “Freedom Fighters Self Advocacy.” Learn More

Self Advocates Graduate from Intensive Training Course

On June 23rd, thirteen Self Advocates graduated from an eight section training course offered by the Self Advocacy Association of New York State, called SANYS U. Learn More