Self-Determination

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Description: The Federal and State definition of special education and specially designed instruction are: "Special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in a classroom, in the home, in hospitals, in institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education. The term includes each of the following if it meets the requirements of the definition of special education:...
Description: YET empowers Virginia students with disabilities, age 14-22, as they begin their transition from High School to Adulthood. Why Should You Join? Build self-advocacy skills Give input and help advise PEATC on issues that involve youth Create new friendships Learn to be an active member in your school and community Develop leadership skills
Description: The Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST) project has created a series of practice guides to increase the use and adoption of 3 research-informed practices for the transition planning of high school students with emotional behavioral disturbance (EBD) who receive special education services: student-led IEP meetings, community agency representation at IEP meetings, and concentrations of CTE coursework along career pathways. Supporting Student-Led Transition Planning for Students with...
Description: The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (NRC-SDM) builds on and extends the work of Quality Trust's Jenny Hatch Justice Project by bringing together vast and varied partners to ensure that input is obtained from all relevant stakeholder groups including older adults, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), family members, advocates, professionals and providers. The NRC-SDM partners bring nationally recognized expertise and leadership on SDM,...
Description: This site highlights the employment successes of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) who are working in paid jobs in their communities. Through the use of innovative, front-line employment support practices, these individuals are earning money, forming networks, and contributing to their communities. Learn more about these people and the promising practices that led to their success.
Description: The focus of the Summit was to promote parent and youth voice through knowledge, skills, and networking. The speakers and workshops were selected in partnership with a parent and caregiver planning committee and youth and young adult planning committee to maximize opportunities to gather resources on mental health, services and supports, the latest trends, and leadership development.  
Description: Self-Determination is central to well-being.  Self-determination is the ability to makes one’s own choices and to manage one’s own life.  Skills of self-determination are important life skills for all students, and especially for students with disabilities.
Description: In this guide, you will find a rich array of ideas generated by parents for parents. It is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive. Rather, it simply offers a menu of ideas that can spur and encourage your own efforts. Indeed, we encourage you to draw upon, adapt, and add to the strategies in this guide in ways that best meet the needs of your child and family. Becoming self-determined is an ongoing process for all children and youth, whether or not they have a disability. And so the approaches you...
Description: The Self-Determination Inventory System (SDIS) Data Dashboard is a platform for measures related to self-determination.  The SDIS Data Dashboard allows users to: create/manage user accounts, assign surveys to participants (e.g., teachers, students), produce summary lists of users, take surveys, and view survey results. Current clients using the SDIS Data Dashboard include school districts, schools, and researchers from across the U.S. A popular use of the SDIS is to gather data on changes...
Description: As a teacher, you recognize the need to develop self-determination skills in your students. You also realize there are certain skills and content you must teach. How can you do both at one time? As your students dip into their reading, you can pose questions, give writing prompts, and design assignments that will develop both skill in literacy and skill in self-determination.
Description: This webinar will introduce participants to the fundamental concepts of Self-Determination for students with autism and related disabilities. We will discuss how to teach these concepts, Power-Standards for IEP goals, how to include students in the IEP process, and other strategies for supporting students with developing their self-determination skills. The presenter will be accompanied by student members of a self-determination club. Self-advocates are encouraged to participate.
Description: The Youth and Parent Summit is a three-day event held each June and sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Youth with disabilities from across the Commonwealth meet to network and discuss issues of importance to youth and young adults with disabilities. This year, due to the travel restrictions and guidelines put in place by the governor, the event was moved online. This Virtual Summit followed a similar feel to the face-to-face events...
Description: Considerations for COVID Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities (Virginia Department of Education, VDOE) Virtual IEP Meeting Tip Sheets (A Collaborative Effort Across OSEP-Funded Projects) Virtual Meetings: Strategies, Tips and Resources (The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education, CADRE) Resources for Families and Students (Progress Center: Promoting Progress for Students with Disabilities) IEP Accommodations During Distance Learning (Understood.org) Virtual...
Description: These materials are being provided as a resource for teachers considering remote learning options. The resources contained in this site do not reflect an endorsement from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Please refer to local remote learning guidance, policies, and practices for further clarification. For optimal viewing of this site please use the Google Chrome browser. 
Description: These training modules were created by the I-CAN! Accessibility Project. The I-CAN! Accessibility Project is a collaboration between the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Module 1: Understanding Disability Module 2: Person Centered Thinking and Disability Etiquette Module 3: Disabilities and Abuse Module 4: Brain Injury and Abuse Module 5: Safety Planning and Accommodations
Description: Virginia Commonwealth University-Autism Center for Excellence, VCU-ACE, is continuing to provide resources for families. VCU-ACE provides an opportunity for parents to join us for Lunch and Learn. An interactive and secure Zoom meeting that will address different topics each week. There will be a short presentation with a time for Q&A.
Description: These English and Spanish Booklets contain COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities.
Description: The Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program Toolkit is a set of two web-based tools for abuse awareness, support, and safety planning. One is specialized to the abuse experiences of male-identified individuals, and the other for female-identified individuals. The programs feature people with diverse disabilities and identities speaking about their own abuse experiences. These tools can be used privately, or in the company of a trusted person(s). They can be used as educational information for the...
Description: The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, Gail S. Ennis, and Commissioner of Social Security, Andrew Saul, announce the launch of a dedicated online form to receive reports from the public of Social Security-related scams. These scams—in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems—skyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the...
Description: The Arc of Northern Virginia is pleased to provide these important resources on Supported Decision Making, made possible in part by a grant from the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. As a condition of the grant, and, for reporting purposes only, the ARC are being asked to collect demographic information. Once you submit your answers, you will be redirected to the Supported Decision Making (SDM) Resource Library where you’ll find factsheets and handouts on SDM, SDM videos and...
Description: The K-12 Inclusive Practices Guide is an informational resource to support school divisions and parents looking to improve outcomes for students with disabilities by meeting their needs to the maximum extent possible in general education setting.
Description: This issue looks at how people with disabilities are experiencing self-determination in the U.S. and other countries today, and at the emergence of Supported Decision-Making (SDM) as one way to support individuals with disabilities to exercise self-determination. Articles include discussions of self-determination and SDM in education and human service settings, personal stories of individuals with disabilities and their families embracing self-determination and SDM, and resources for...
Description: Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when their children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals,...
Description: What is it? This is a guide on how to aid students with emotional or behavioral disturbances (EBD) to lead their Individualized Educational Program (IEP) meetings during high school. For the purposes of this manual, a student-led IEP is an IEP where a student with an EBD holds a leadership role during the IEP meeting, and actively participates in the writing, creation, and implementation of the IEP, including its transition component. This guide will outline steps and activities needed to...
Description: Self-advocacy is important for kids with dysgraphia in middle school. But kids this age can sometimes feel embarrassed about speaking up. You can help your child by rehearsing some common scenarios and responses. 1 of 5: Can I use Assistive Technology?
Description: This guide is offered as a free resource for attorneys who may work with people with developmental disabilities in the justice system. Our aim is to assist attorneys in understanding the possible presence of a disability in a client, how to fully identify that disability, and offer some ideas on appropriate ways to defend that person in a criminal prosecution. Cases are so individualized that this guide could never hope to be fully comprehensive, but it is meant to offer a solid foundation. The...
Description: We've broken down key ideas about how to support your child in their journey toward self-determination at school, home, and in the community. The interactive modules below can be accessed whenever it suits you!   Being a parent is tough, and finding ways to support your child can sometimes seem like a big commitment. The Parent Path to Success gives you bite-sized videos that you can watch on your schedule. We hope these videos help you find small opportunities for success with your child!...
Description: More than 50 million Americans currently live with some form of disability. In Virginia, this means that one of every five citizens will have a disability or know someone who does. Hence, our challenge is clear. The goal of the Partnership is to further the ability of individuals with disabilities to be fully included in their communities. The Partnership for People with Disabilities, an affiliate of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, is Virginia's only university...
Description: Finally, we come to the last of the IEP components—the transfer of rights at age of majority. This component is only needed in the IEPs of some students, as you’ll see. IDEA’s exact words What does age of majority mean? What IDEA requires How is the student informed?
Description: The Goal Plan is a visual representation of the steps needed to accomplish an identified goal. A graphic organizer assists youth in visualizing the goal, the steps needed to accomplish the goal, those who can support along the way, and possible outcomes resulting from attaining the goal. How to use the Goal Plan The template may be filled out online or printed so the student can write, draw, or use pictures to define the goal and steps needed to attain the goal. You can also use the web app! The...
Description: The Good Day Plan is a simple tool to help you identify the factors that play a role in whether or not you have a good day. It allows you to view your day from beginning to end and helps you identify a structure or routine that enables you to have a good day. It gives you a backup plan in case something you had planned doesn’t happen as expected, and allows for better interaction with your network of support. How to use the Good Day Plan You and a teacher/parent/mentor visualize a good day...
Description: The One-Pager is a simple tool to help provide important information about you. There are four categories: My Strengths My Preferences My Interests My Needs You identify what goes in these categories (with assistance from parents, teachers, etc.) to introduce yourselves to new teachers, employers, case managers, and others in your support system to clarify your needs and goals based on your strengths and interests. How to Use the One-Pager Use the app, fill out the template, or print it out! The...
Title: A Life 4 Me
Description: A Life 4 Me is a new online resource to help people with disabilities establish community connections, including social, employment, and volunteer opportunities.  It was developed by youth with disabilities, in partnership with the Partnership for People with Disabilities and Virginia Department of Education.  Video Tours Include: Go To College Get Services in the Community Live in the Community Work in the Community
Description: Teens and tweens with learning and attention issues may struggle with self-control for a number of reasons. Certain apps can help them think before they act, keep their emotions in check and stay focused on specific goals. Here are five apps that may help teens and tweens with self-control. Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on January 3, 2020..
Description: Virginia Family Special Education Connection provides a one-stop-shop for parents, families and caregivers of children with special needs to: Access local school system contacts and disability services in your community Explore an abundance of resources, including assistive technology and behavioral supports to help your child succeed. Learn about and plan your child's educational program Understand your legal rights and responsibilities POWER (Parent Organizer with Educational Resources)...
Description: The transition out of school-based services for students with autism can be difficult. There is no "one size fits all" plan for the path to adulthood. The most important factor in creating a plan is to focus on the individual. His or her strengths, needs, challenges and preferences will be vital to a successful transition process. The CSA helps parents and professionals assess the current skill levels and abilities of students with autism beginning at age 12. The results will help...
Description: This web app provides online resources to help famililies raising children and youth in foster care and kinship care, where children and youth are brought up by non-birth parent relatives. The following topics are covered: Trying to Enroll a Child in School? Concerned about Learning or School? Concerned about Mental Health or Behaviors? Need Public Benefits? Concerned about Transitions Through School and After? Concerned about Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs? Involved in the Court...
Description: Student-directed IEPs are quickly gaining momentum in schools across the country—the proven benefits include higher academic achievement, enhanced student motivation, and increased communication and self-advocacy skills for students with disabilities. Now for the first time, there's a book that gives elementary and high school educators in-depth how-to guidance on making student-directed IEPs work for students with a range of special needs. Packed with practical advice, helpful examples,...
Description: As you get older, you’re able to start making your own decisions about a lot of things that matter most to you. You may choose your own clothes, music, and friends. You also may be ready to make decisions about your body and health. Making healthy decisions about what you eat and drink, how active you are, and how much sleep you get is a great place to start. Here you’ll learn how your body works—how your body uses the food and drinks you consume and how being active may help...
Description: Project LIFE (Living Independently, Focusing on Empowerment) helps youth in Virginia succeed when they age out of foster care. We do that by helping youth directly and by supporting the professionals who work with them. Our services help youth in foster care avoid homelessness, helplessness and hopelessness. Instead, they have the knowledge and support they need to get jobs, continue school, live decently and give back to their communities. While youth are in foster care, decisions are often...
Description: Youth services (also known as the Independent Living Program) assists foster care youths ages 14-21 in developing the skills necessary to make the transition from foster care to independent living. Independent Living services include activities that are based on a written assessment of life skills. Areas of focus include personal development skills such as self-esteem, communication skills, decision-making, conflict resolution and anger management. Examples of independent living skills are...
Description: The Department of Juvenile Justice operates and is responsible for the vast majority of local Court Service Units (often known as juvenile probation offices) across the Commonwealth, as well as the two state-operated Juvenile Correctional Centers, Beaumont and Bon Air. On any given day, the Department has somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 youth under some kind of supervision, with more than 90 percent of those youth being supervised in their communities through diversion, probation or parole....
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: This document includes: A Questionnaire Checklist for Designing Interventions Environmental Modifications and Teaching Strategies for Specific Executive Skills Sample Questions/Statements to Promote Executive Skill Development References
Description: Helping your child through the process of choosing a college, applying and then getting ready to go can seem like a daunting task. Like everything, it’s easier if you break it down. Here’s information to help you get your freshman-to-be all set for his four-year adventure. You will find: 9 Steps for Easing the Transition to College Typs of College Accommodations and Services Checklist: What to Ask Colleges About Assistive Technology Video: College Students on the Best Things Their...
Description: This free texting app provides a picture-based system for individuals with disabilities, who are non-readers or who are not able to text using a standard touch screen keyboard. The user can send important preset message(s) (created by a family member or supervisor) to necessary preset contact(s) as email messages or text messages with one swipe or touch. Users can also receive messages sent to them by others using this app. Messages sent or received by the user can be read out loud using...
Description: Parents and caregivers are arguably the most important stakeholders in a child’s educational success. With nearly 1.3 million students dropping out of high school each year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance developed this toolkit to engage parents in dropout prevention and development strategies to ensure the success of all children. This toolkit is a resource for all organizations and community leaders interested in bringing the parent voice into the...
Description: The POWER (Parent Organizer With Educational Resources) web app provides parents and families with online resources to answer questions about child development, disabilities, community services, Special Education, diploma options in Virginia and transition to life after high school.  The questions and potential resources are separated into age levels: Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School and High School. This project is a collaborative effort between the Parent Resource...
Description: This online Applied Studies Curriculum Progress Report generator enables teachers to document progress on the domains and competencies contained in the Applied Studies Curriculum Map. Domains: Employment English History and Social Science Independent Living Mathematics Science Competencies: Employment Career Awareness Employability Job-Seeking Skills Problem Solving Self-Advocacy Social/Communication English Community Literacy Composition Comprehension Documents and Forms Self-Selected...
Description: The Applied Studies Curriculum Map (PDF) is a set of skills and competencies that IEP teams can use to identify the need for additional instruction that the student will need to achieve their postsecondary goals. These skills are not standards or required to earn the Applied Studies Diploma, but provide guidance to teams in aligning the student’s transition goals with the goals outlined in the annual IEP. The Applied Studies Curriculum Map provides a guide in which teachers, students,...