Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy
Definition: All students develop the skills, behaviors, and attitudes, through direct instruction and/or added support, as necessary, that enable students to learn and grow in self-knowledge, social interactions, physical and emotional health, and self-determination.
- The I’m Determined website in Virginia offers good resources for youth, families, and educators around self-determination. The website includes videos, training modules, a transition guide, downloadable brochures, and more.
- The Youthhood website provides a holistic, web-based curriculum that teachers, community service providers, parents, and mentors can use with young adults to develop skills, increase knowledge, and implement a personal life plan that will help young adults achieve their dreams.
- 2BSD is an action model for self-determination with the goal of identifying what individuals can do to increase their self-determination. It focuses on factors affecting self-determination that are within a person’s control. Check out the interactive graphic and the resources!
- The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) enables students with and without disabilities to achieve self-selected goals and positive in-school and post-school outcomes, such as access to and performance in general education curriculum, transition skills, and health-related skills. SDLMI Teacher’s Guide (PDF, 66 pages, 2019)
- Webinar recording, from the Transition Coalition, Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction. (26:17-minutes, 2019) Introduction to using SDLMI, includes resources and a lesson plan starter, with video examples.
- Individual learning plans (ILPs) help students translate what they learn in school into real-world job skills. The federal Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has a toolkit called “Kick Start Your ILP” that includes checklists for each year of high school.
- This is an oldie but goodie: Secondary Transition Toolkit (PDF, 102 pages, 2008) developed by the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network. It was developed BY youth FOR youth, and is organized in three phases: Accept Yourself, Declare Yourself, and Empower Yourself. There’s things to read and lots of pages to complete.
- A wealth of assessment and curriculum materials to support students with developing self-determination skills: Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, at the University of Oklahoma.
- Youth-led organizations in NH
- Youth M.O.V.E. New Hampshire is a chapter of Youth M.O.V.E. national, a youth-led organization devoted to improving services and systems by uniting the voices of individuals who have experience in various systems including mental health, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare.
- YEAH NH The YEAH (Youth for Education, Advocacy and Healthcare) Advisory Council is made up of teens and young adults with special health care needs.
- How To Speak Up and Be Heard: Self Advocacy, from Transitions RTC in Massachusetts (PDF, 2 pages, 2014)
- Youth in Action! Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate is a tip sheet for youth from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).
- Self-Advocacy: What’s That?: explanation of self-advocacy as well as some historical background
- Brochure from NH Family Voices (PDF, 2 p., 2013): Self-Advocacy Tips for Students with Special Health Needs
- The Speak Up! Action Manual for Peer Leader Teams (PDF, 52 pages) from the University of North Carolina Center for Development and Learning is designed for student teams who want to learn about self advocacy and practice making choices and decisions about their future. Other Speak Up! materials include The Road to Work(PDF, 28 pages), an engaging workbook on finding and keeping work.
Understand your disability
- The Understood website offers parent-friendly information on all sorts of learning disabilities.
- Friends of Quinn is an online community for young adults with learning disabilities.
- Fact sheets about specific disabilities from the Center for Parent Information and Resources
- Be inspired by famous people with disabilities.
- 66-page slideshow on high-incidence learning disabilities and instructional strategies, created for Tewksbury, Mass. public schools professional development.
Understand your abilities and strengths
- Guide for parents and mentors to help students discover and express their strengths, Understand your abilities and disabilities (PDF, 28 pages, 2006), chapter seven from a book on creating an e-mentoring community. Full book, can explore online and print what you want. The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center at the University of Washington is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education.
Social skills, social and emotional learning
- Habits and Dispositions of Emotionally Resilient Educators (PDF, 2 pages, 2018), from Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, by Elena Aguilar. One habit to focus on each month. Aimed at educators but applicable to all.
- Social and Emotional Learning: Competencies, Strategies, and Practices from Birth Through Adulthood (PDF, 84 pages, 2020), from a regional partnership of school districts and area agencies serving northern New Hampshire. Includes a set of competencies for grades 9-12 plus a set for adulthood.
The NH Department of Education has partnered with NextStep Health Tech to launch GoodLife, a mobile app to build and strengthen student social and emotional resilience. The app allows students to join communities, set physical and emotional development goals, and send and receive positive feedback, all while preserving their anonymity online. NextStep GoodLife is available free through Google Play and the Apple App Store.
- Learning difficulties and social skills: what’s the connection?, from the Great Schools website.
- Impact newsletter (text, or PDF, 40 pages, 2011) from the Institute on Community Integration, U. Minn. features articles on fostering social well-being and friendship for children and youth with developmental and other disabilities.
- Elevatus Training offers a free email newsletter, plus curriculum and both online and in-person workshops to help parents, teachers and service providers learn to be comfortable addressing sexuality with people with developmental disabilities.
- 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents Ages 12-18 (PDF, 2 pages, 1990), from the Search Institute. The Developmental Assets framework and approach to youth development is one of the most frequently cited and widely utilized in the world. More free downloads from the Search Institute
- Disability Disclosure in the Workplace is on online lesson from Transition Tennessee. After completing it, a student will be able to explain what disability disclosure is and decide if there would be a need to disclose their disability given sample situations.
- The 411 on Disability Disclosure (PDF, 99 pages, 2005) is a guide to help you make decisions about what you will tell people about your disability. Old but good. Eight units: 1: Self-Determination — the BIG Picture; 2: Disclosure, What Is It and Why Is It So Important?; 3: Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Disclosure; 4: Rights and Responsibilities Under the Law; 5: Accommodations; 6: Postsecondary Disclosure; 7: Disclosure on the Job; 8: Disclosure in Social and Community Settings
- Disability Knowledge and Identity Self-Assessment (PDF, 8 pages, 2007) from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD). How much do you know? Online version of knowledge assessment
- Disability history timeline (PDF, 36 pages, 2007) from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).
- A new website from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America.
- The Disability History Museum‘s mission is to foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experience of people with disabilities, their families and their communities over time.
- Youth in Action! Learning Disability History is a tip sheet for youth from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).
Videos about learning disabilities
A series of 6:00 – 8:00-minute videos by Dr. Sheldon Horowitz at the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
Learning Disabilities: What are the Different Types?
Strengths of Students with Learning Disabilities and Other Disorders
New content 4/30/22