What is Self-Determination?
Self-determination has become an important characteristic for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (Wehmeyer et al., 2011; Carter, Owens, Trainor, Sun, & Sweeden, 2009). Self-determined individuals have the knowledge and skills to express their needs, interests, and abilities (Wolman, Campeau, DuBois, Mithaug, & Stolarski, 1994). The Self-Determination Toolkit was developed at the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development.
The Self-Determination Toolkit is designed for teachers, parents, students, and other professionals interested in supporting self-determination in home, school, and community settings. The Toolkit is a collection of resources, which provide a basic framework to build self-determination activities into both traditional and adapted curricula for students of all ages.
Common principles of self-determination in the Toolkit include:
Self-Determination Toolkit Materials
Foundations of Self-Determination: A handbook to introduce concepts and ideas of self-determination. For teachers, this handbook outlines how to use self-determination in the classroom, ideas for lesson plan adaptations, and introduction to the Alaska Content Standards. For parents and other supports, this handbook discusses how they can support self-determination, promote independence, and issues of guardianship.
Lesson Plans for Teaching Self-Determination: Curricula, materials, and activities for use in the classroom to promote self-determination. Topics include: knowing yourself; communication styles; assertiveness skills; applying assertiveness skills; listening skills; handling feedback; negotiating; rules, rights, and responsibilities; tackling infringements on rights; life after school; understanding the law; what is special education; and voting.
Fostering Self-Determination: Activities and lesson plans to promote self-determination skills in the classroom. Content areas include: self-awareness, interpersonal communication, assertiveness, goal-setting, creative problem solving, video-based personal futures planning, and video self-modeling.
Comic Books: Super
Plan Man and Superplanners are
comic books which describe two students who take control by becoming
self-determined and by having a voice in their individual education planning
meeting. (Coming Soon)
3 R’s of Self-Determination: Rights, Responsibilities, & Resources: Practice guide and activities to help students understand the relationship between rights and responsibilities. This guide offers opportunities to practice self-advocacy.
Speak Up! Guide: Resource guide to increase knowledge about self-advocacy, self-determination, and leadership.
*Please contact CHD to request hard copies of the Toolkit materials.
Hey, It's My Life Video
An introduction to self-determination and words of wisdom from people practicing self-determination in Alaska.
Links to Other Self-Determination Resources
Alaska Content Standards, State of Alaska, Department of Education & Early Development: Standards established by the Department of Education & Early Learning representing what Alaskan students should know as a result of their schooling.
A National Gateway to Self-Determination: A web portal with a clearinghouse of resources, training, and information on self-determination.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: Provides resources and publications on student led IEPs – find information under “S,” “Student’s Guide to the IEP package.”
Project Vote Smart: The Voters Self-Defense System: A website with resources and materials related to voting and civic engagement. Look for the Voter’s Self-Defense Manual and the K-12 Education Program for use in the classroom.