Self-Determination & Advocacy

"Self-Determination truly is the engine that drives transition education," said Dr. Martin from the Zarrow Center. The ability for a student to advocate for themselves in high school directly translates to their ability to communicate effectively with future employers about their disability as well as outside agencies including a college disability services center. Self-determination includes skills related to self-awareness, self-advocacy, self-efficacy, decision-making, self-management, and self-evaluation.

AIR Self-Determination Assessments  

  • The AIR assessments measure two broad components
    • Capacity refers to the student's knowledge, abilities, and perceptions that enable them to be self-determined.
    • Opportunity refers to the student's chances to use their knowledge and abilities.
  • The AIR Self-Determination Scale is available to use, free of charge.

Self-Determination for Middle and High School Students  

  • This topic explores how self-determination, which results from the development of self-esteem, self-awareness, and other positive learning skills, helps children and teens learn to exercise personal control over their lives.

South Dakota Disability Employment Initiative Video  

  • This eight-minute video features personal testimonies from students with disabilities on their choices to disclose or not disclose their disabilities in education and workplace settings.

Student-Directed Transition Planning  

  • Lessons are designed to take the student through a process of gathering information from key members of the transition planning team.
  • The process initiates a dialogue between the student, family members, and the teacher on issues regarding employment, postsecondary education and living arrangements for the student.

Student-Led IEP Template 

  • Use this PowerPoint template to help your students design a presentation that will help them lead their IEP meeting!

The Arc’s Self-Determination Scale (SDS)  

  • The Procedural Guidelines For The Arc’s Self-Determination Scale provides administration and scoring information for this 72-item assessment of self-determination for adolescents with disabilities.
  • This manual provides a comprehensive discussion of self-determination and outlines use of the measure in research and applied settings.