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Self-Determination Links


  1. Aging
  2. Abuse & Neglect
  3. Health
  4. Technology
  5. Person-Centered Planning
  6. Employment
  7. Self-Advocacy
  8. Community Living
  9. Education & Transition
  10. Siblings
  11. Family Roles


Aging in Place, Stuck without Options: Fixing the Mobility Crisis Threatening the Baby Boom Generation

  • This report from Transportation for America describes the senior mobility crisis and provides current data and practices that would improve accessibility. The report calls policymakers to action and suggests they prioritize resources and update transportation programs to ensure the growing population of older Americans can maintain mobility and quality of life.

URL: http://t4america.org/docs/SeniorsMobilityCrisis.pdf



Compound Caregivers: Overlooked and Overburdened

  • Compound Caregivers, a white paper by Dr. Elizabeth Perkins, intends to alert policy makers and service providers of the challenges facing older caregivers of adults with disabilities and other aging family members. It addresses the need for policy change in the form of waitlist prioritization and advocacy for respite care.

URL: http://flfcic.fmhi.usf.edu/docs/FCIC_CompoundCaregivers_070811.pdf



Impact Feature Issue on Aging and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • This feature explores all of the spectrums of aging related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Self-advocates discuss the significance of participating in their communities and successfully reaching their goals and dreams. These articles also examine aging from the family members’ perspective, showing the challenges faced and strategies to overcome these challenges. Researchers and practitioners offer advice on social, physical and emotional supports available for these individuals and their families. Download the articles for free at :

URL: http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/231/default.html



Fact sheets for healthy aging

  • These fact sheets, created by the RRTCADD, inform adults with disabilities about potential future health conditions and impairments. Every sheet includes explanations, symptoms and treatments of each health condition. The fact sheets currently available are: Foot Care, High Blood Pressure, Exercise, and Arthritis. Pederson, E. & Nelis, T.

    They can be downloaded for free at:

URL: http://www.rrtcadd.org/resources/Resources/Publications/Health-promotion/Briefs-&-Reports/healthy_aging_fact_sheet.pdf


Abuse and Neglect


  • SafePlace produces materials, videos, curriculum and handouts for service providers, caregivers and community groups with information about sexual and domestic violence. These brochures and toolkits offer information about disability awareness and education of people with disabilities regarding violence. This site provides the following toolkits upon request including Stop the Violence, Break the Silence Training Guide & Resource Kit, Balancing the Power: Creating a Crisis Center Accessible to People with Disabilities and Beyond Labels: Working with Abuse Survivors with Mental Illness Symptoms or Substance Abuse Issues.

URL: http://www.safeplace.org/Page.aspx?pid=358



Accessing Safety

  • Accessing safety is an initiative established in 2005 for technical assistance and training to meet the needs of women with disabilities and deaf women who have suffered abuse. Each web site section covers a different topic such as creating change, understanding disability, responding to and understanding violence.

URL: http://www.accessingsafety.org/



Family Village - Living with Disability
  • A number of links related to abuse and neglect of individuals with disabilities are available on the Family Village website using the link



Self-Determination and Health

Healthcare Access for Persons with Disabilities – Part II: Persons with Developmental Disabilities

  • This online course, designed for health professionals, seeks to increase quality healthcare to persons with developmental disabilities. Training objectives include defining disabilities, identifying developmental disabilities and associated conditions, learning quality healthcare barriers, and developing skills to increase communication and enhance quality care for patients with developmental disabilities.

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/disabilityconted.htm



Healthcare Access for Persons with Disabilities

  • This online training program for health professionals promotes culturally sensitive, quality care to adults and children with physical and sensory disabilities. Course objectives include gaining understanding, recognizing the four barriers to quality health care, and learning at least five skills to enhance health care. Course ID is 1025624.

URL: http://ks.train.org



Healthy and Ready for College!

  • This Think College brief discusses the challenges facing transition-age youth with special healthcare needs. It provides strategies for parents and youth and encourages family discussions to prepare students for college.

URL: http://www.thinkcollege.net/images/stories/Insight8.pdf



When You're 18 - A Health Care Transition Guide for Young Adults

  • This guide provides information and advice for young adults who want to be more in charge of their health care and stay healthy as they transition to adulthood. It prepares you to work effectively with healthcare providers and to understand your rights and responsibilities. The booklet also includes quizzes and additional online resources.

URL: http://hctransitions.ichp.ufl.edu/pdfs/cms_wy18_lowres_09.pdf



U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

  • The Department of Health and Human Services protects the health of all Americans, especially those least able to help themselves. The HHS website provides information on recent news and laws affecting health care, funding and grants, additional sites for healthy living. Information is also available on ways to improve your health and the health of your family, assistance with daily living, vaccinations, and everything else needed to lead a healthy lifestyle.

URL: http://www.hhs.gov



Health Reform Hub

  • AUCD’s Health Reform Hub provides information and guidance to help explain what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act means for individuals. The Hub lists recent health care news, along with the full text, summaries, and explanations of the law and recent regulations, many of which impact people with disabilities. It also provides links to additional resources and other sites related to health care.

URL: http://www.aucd.org/projects/health_reform/



No Box to Tick

  • “No Box to Tick” offers guidance to caregivers who wish to address the important emotional and spiritual needs of people with learning disabilities. It details examples of issues, such as “Losing people we love,” “Loneliness,” and “Celebrating Together,” and then lists simple steps caregivers can take to address these needs.

URL: http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/publications/no-box-to-tick/



My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility App for iPad

  • AbleLink Technologies, an innovator in cognitive support technology, partnered with The Westchester Institute for Human Development to create the self-directed learning iPad App, My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility. This app includes eight essential areas important to living a healthy lifestyle. Some topics include: Taking Charge of Your Health, Developing a Health Plan, Get Moving and Eating Right. This app can be purchased from Apple’s App Store for $49.99. The My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility initiative is aimed to encourage individuals with disabilities to advocate for their health and learn how to make good decisions that will improve their overall health.

URL: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-health-my-choice-my-responsibility/id428382635?mt=8



Culturally Effective Care Toolkit: What is Culturally Effective Pediatric Care?

  • This resource is designed to help pediatricians provide high-quality and patient-centered services. By strengthening their communication skills, pediatricians can better understand the patients they treat and ultimately increase the overall health of their patients. With the increasing diversity of our country, it is crucial for health care professionals to be open to those of different cultures and backgrounds. They must be able to adapt and adjust to these changes in the health care system.

URL: http://practice.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=2992



Healthy and Ready to Work

  • This useful website informs young people about the healthcare systems and services. By understanding the system, youth can become more involved in their own health care decisions. This site offers tools and resources with information on laws and legislation regarding young people’s healthcare. Also included are information on school-based services and how to find a knowledgeable doctor. By using this site, youth will better understand their options and choices regarding healthcare and take their own health into their hands.

URL: http://www.syntiro.org/hrtw/index.html



B-HIP: A Behavioral-Health Information Program for Children and Adults with Disabilities: Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation

  • The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities created B-HIP to encourage individuals to learn how to lead healthier lives. Abuse, Neglect, & Exploitation: How to Protect Yourself examines why people with disabilities are especially at risk for abuse and neglect and many of these cases often go unreported. It also lists signs of abuse and what to look for with your loved ones or young children as well as steps to take once you or someone you know is being abused or neglected. Download the pamphlet for free at:

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/media/bhip/abuse.pdf



B-HIP: A Behavioral-Health Information Program for Children and Adults with Disabilities: Sleep Matters

  • The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities created B-HIP to encourage individuals to learn how to lead healthier lives. Sleep Matters: How to Help Your Kids Sleep explores problems kids experience with sleep and the importance sleep has in the development of children. It offers tips on how to help kids sleep such as keeping a consistent bedtime each night. Sleep is necessary for kids especially for learning and development in the classroom. Download the pamphlet for free at:

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/media/bhip/sleep.pdf



B-HIP: A Behavioral-Health Information Program for Children and Adults with Disabilities: Nutrition

  • The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities created B-HIP to encourage individuals to learn how to lead healthier lives. Nutrition: The Food Pyramid and Living Healthy gives individuals tips on how to eat a healthy diet and the benefits of eating well. It also examines the importance of the food pyramid and offers examples of how to include more grains, vegetables and fruits in your diet. Download the pamphlet for free at:

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/media/bhip/eating_healthy.pdf



B-HIP: A Behavioral-Health Information Program for Children and Adults with Disabilities: Mouth Matters

  • The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities created B-HIP to encourage individuals to learn how to lead healthier lives. Mouth Matters: Oral Health for People with Disabilities discusses the health benefits of having good oral hygiene. It also examines the risks associated with poor oral health such as tooth decay and gum disease. The fact sheet gives tips on how to improve oral hygiene such as flossing and visiting the dentist. Download the pamphlet for free at: http://flfcic.fmhi.usf.edu/pages/products.htm

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/media/bhip/mouth_matters.pdf



B-HIP: A Behavioral-Health Information Program for Children and Adults with Disabilities: Physical Activity

  • The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities created B-HIP to encourage individuals to learn how to lead healthier lives. Physical Activity: Getting Fit for Life offers individuals facts on physical fitness as well as examples of aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities. It emphasizes the importance of exercising to keep your heart healthy, have more energy and keep your bones strong. Download the pamphlet for free at:

URL: http://nisonger.osu.edu/media/bhip/physical_activity.pdf



Self-Determination Theory in the Clinic: Motivating Physical & Mental Health. Sheldon, K., Williams, G., & Joiner, T. (2003).

  • This valuable book explains the history and the implications of the self-determination theory and provides clinical examples to show that it can be used to encourage patients undergoing treatment for physical or psychological issues.

URL: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300095449



The Center for Disease Control

  • The Centers for Disease Control website's segments of Healthy Living has several sections devoted to Leading a Long and Healthy Life and Getting the Best Possible Medical Care.




Health Matters: The Exercise and Nutrition Health Education Curriculum for People with Developmental Disablities

  • Marks, B., Sisirak, J., & Heller, T.

  • The benefits of a health and nutrition program are endless, especially for people with disabilities. This revolutionary curriculum will help adults with disabilities build healthy lifestyles by providing better nutrition, exercise, and health choices. The research-based, field-tested program provides activities for adults with a broad range of disabilities. This curriculum assists individuals in creating a well-balanced diet, improving self-esteem, developing exercise goals and much more. It contains step-by-step instructions for professionals on running the program safely and effectively as well as worksheets and weekly newsletters for participants.

Order directly from Brookes Publishing Co. or 1-800-638-3775

Cost Per Unit: $64.95 (Paperback with CD-ROM)

Self-Determination and Technology

Essentials for Cross-Disability Accessible Cell Phones

  • This paper addresses the accessibility of cell phones and offers advice regarding the necessary components. It offers recommendations and techniques gathered from consumers, researchers, and others.




BridgingApps: Bridging the gap between technology and people with disabilities

  • BridgingApps provides useful reviews of apps for children of all abilities. The apps, or applications, are interactive programs for the iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Android that range from “Shape Builder – the Preschool Learning Puzzle Game” to “Model Me Going Places,” a visual tool to help children navigate the community. BridgingApps reviews include information on the skill levels of the app, the developer description, a demonstration video, and comments from members who have used the app to help children with special needs. These reviews help users explore apps based on skill rather than age; while the BridgingApps community allows members to share success stories and find support.




RoboBraille: Free Conversion from Text to Audio, or Text to Braille

  • RoboBraille is a free online service that converts documents into Braille or audio files. To use RoboBraille, individuals simply email the document as an attachment, and it will be returned in the specified, accessible format.




Living Safely

  • AbleLink Technologies recently introduced Visual Impact Living Safely for the iPad. Specifically created for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, this application is a self-paced and self-directed instrument to help individuals learn vital home and personal safety information in hopes that they will gain the skills required to live independently in all aspects of life. Some of these skills include: Doing Dishes by Hand, Internet Safety, Fire Safety and Strangers at Home. It can be purchased through the iPad App Store for $34.99. A general description is on the AbleLink home page http://www.ablelinktech.com/




Everyday Skills

  • AbleLink Technologies, the leader in cognitive support technology, recently announced a new application for the iPad. Everyday Skills offers 40 skill sessions focused on independent living. These skills include learning how to access community transportation, going to the grocery store, taking care of pets, going to the doctor and many more useful daily activities which can be challenging for individuals with disabilities. This application can be purchased through iPad App Store for $49.99. A general description appears on AbleLink’s home page http://www.ablelinktech.com/




Community Sidekick

  • AbleLink Technologies recently released Community Sidekick, an application on the iPhone that allows individuals with disabilities to send automatic location updates to family, friends or caregivers throughout the day as the individual moves about in the community. This application sends e-mail messages with Google Map links of exactly where the individual is to ensure he or she is safe. It also provides prescribed e-mail messages such as, “I am OK,” “Please contact me,” and many more to allow the user to send a message at the touch of a button. The Sidekick application can be found under “AbleLink Technologies” on Apple’s App store and costs $9.99.





  • AbleLink Technologies, recently introduced WayFinder. This software program supports people with intellectual disabilities by helping them access and navigate community transportation successfully. By using a GPS tracker along with audio and visual cues, WayFinder gives directions to the user so he or she can accomplish everyday tasks without having to rely on others using selected GPS-equipped SmartPhones.




A Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms

  • Created by Karen Janowski and Joyce Kasman Valenza, this webpage includes an amazing number of free materials that support learning for students (and adults). A listing of AudioBooks has multiple links available to share information on audiobook applications, free of charge. Some categories include: Literacy Tools, Writing Tools, Research Tools, and many more useful resources for all classrooms.

URL: http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/

Person-Centered Planning

A Good Life

  • This book, a future planning guide by Al Etmanski, includes information on wills and estate planning, supported decision-making, circle of support development, and alternatives to legal guardianship. It looks “beyond contemporary social and rehabilitation services and programs to support our family members.” The book is intended to be utilized by families, persons with a disability, and service providers for future planning.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/A-Good-Life-Al-Etmanski/dp/0968046215



Life Planning for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

  • This book is a comprehensive guide to resources that parents or other family members can use to support an adult child or other individual with developmental disabilities for whom they provide care. The author, Judith Greenbaum, begins by providing information on how to assess the quality of life of an adult with a disability. She also offers a number of suggestions for increasing quality of life. The book then focuses on long term planning. Worksheets are included to help families develop their specific plans.

URL: http://www.newharbinger.com/bookstore/index.cfm



Quality Mall: Person-Centered Services Supporting People with Developmental Disabilities

  • Quality Mall currently has 2,613 products and services to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities improve their quality of life. Stores and Departments in the Mall organize positive practices and programs, while live moderated chats provide an opportunity to connect with other individuals. The Stores range from the Community Center , which offers information about programs that encourage fun, friendship and intimacy, to Quality Cinema, which offers slide shows, video clips, and presentations illustrating approaches to improving quality of life. The individual departments detail everything from home ownership to faith and spirituality.

URL: http://www.qualitymall.org



Communication for Person- Centered Planning

  • This booklet contains practical guidance for improving communication in person centred planning. It provides examples and simple tips to follow, including advice regarding planning meetings, choice making, and how the environment affects communication. It also includes a checklist to summarize the information and a list of additional resources.

URL: http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/publications/communication-person-centred-planning/



Person-centered Active Support: A Handbook

  • This tool was designed to help individuals with disabilities learn the strategies necessary to implement person-centered support. It also teaches professionals, trainers, support staff and families how to support individuals with disabilities and promote skills to enhance their lives. Topics range from the background of person-centered support to practicing leadership behavior and skills. It can be purchased online at:

URL: http://www.pavpub.com/p-106-person-centred-active-support-a-handbook.aspx



What Really Matters: A Guide to Person Centered Excellence

  • The Council on Quality and Leadership has created a series of guides for effective person-centered planning. These tools aim to increase improvement in services and supports for people with disabilities. The guides allow individuals the opportunity to address his or her interests, concerns and ideas when searching for supports and services. It offers person-centered assessments and planning as well as practices to promote quality in all aspects of an individual’s life.

URL: Application for Services for People with Disabilities: http://www.thecouncil.org/pceguidedisabilities.aspx

URL: Application for Services for Older Adults: http://www.thecouncil.org/pceduideforolderadults.aspx

URL: Application for Services for People with Mental Illness and People with Substance Use Disorder: http://www.thecouncil.org/pceguideforminandsubstanceabuse.aspx



Person-Centered Planning Research, Practice, and Future Directions. Holburn, S. & Vietze, P. (2002).

  • This unique book shows the challenges and benefits person-centered planning can bring and provides you with creative strategies for making it work. More than 40 experts will show you the best ways a team can get to know an individual’s interests and dreams to help that person recognize lifelong potential.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Person-Centered-Planning-Research-Practice-Directions/dp/1557665907



The Future is Now: A Future Planning Training Curriculum for Families and Their Adult Relatives with Developmental Disabilities

  • Factor, A., Debrine, E., Caldwell, J., Arnold, K., Kramer, J., Nelis, T., & Heller, T.
  • Through this engaging curriculum families and their adult relative with a disability learn the skills to plan for the future by laying out their aspirations and identifying the necessary steps to achieve these goals. With the support of their mentors, participants turn dreams into reality. Developed by the RRTCADD, this curriculum serves as an exceptional resource for family organizations, advocacy groups and agencies. The third edition includes an expanded resource list as well as a user-friendly CD-ROM. Cost Per Unit: $70.00 (Softcover) + Shipping

URL: http://www.rosalynncarter.org/caregiver_intervention_database/developmental_disability/future_planning_curriculum_for_familes_adult_relatives_with_developmental_disabilities/



Express Yourself! Assessing Self-Determination in Your Life

  • This survey is designed to help individuals find out how much self-determination they have. Individuals will read several statements about life choices and pick which statement describes their current situation. This survey will increase individuals' awareness of their ability to make their own choices.

URL: http://www.psych.uic.edu/uicnrtc/sd-self-assessment.pdf



This is Your Life! Creating Your Self-Directed Life Plan

  • This workbook is designed for people with disabilities who want to make life plans. It helps people who do not want to be defined by their illness figure out how to achieve life goals. These individuals want to live self-directed lives and this manual will show them how.

URL: http://www.psych.uic.edu/uicnrtc/sdlifeplan.pdf



Planning for Life: The role of direct support professionals in Self-Directed Supports

  • This guide offers families as well as direct support professionals tools for implementing self-determination skills into individuals with disabilities. It offers advice on how to discover what people want and how they can achieve their goals.

URL: http://rwjms.umdnj.edu/departments_institutes/boggscenter/products/Product_Community_Suppport.html



Charting a Course for the Future - A Transition Toolkit

  • This toolkit helps students and families plan for life after high school. It includes information and tools needed to create an individualized plan for the transition process of students with disabilities. It also includes strategies for goal-setting and career development skills.

URL: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/TK.asp


An Issue Brief on Work Incentives (Feb.2012)

  • This issue brief on work incentives provides current information on the status of people with disabilities who work and may receive SSI cash benefit and/or continue to use Medicaid. This brief may be helpful to explain current policy and trends in work incentives.

URL: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/disability/LDW_IB.pdf?spMailingID=3845823&spUserID=MTkxMDM0MjE2NgS2&spJobID=39335880&spReportId=MzkzMzU4ODAS1



“Employment and Self-Determination” Video

  • “Employment and Self-Determination” is the second in a series of topic-related videos for the National Gateway to Self-Determination. Self-advocates tell in their own words why self-determination is essential for employment and how it has impacted their own experience in the workplace. "Employment and Self-Determination” provides a snapshot of self-determination and employment from the perspective of individuals with disabilities using unscripted comments.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfX4QFMgb3k



The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth)

  • The NCWD/Youth website provides current, quality information related to youth with disabilities and employment. Information includes publication; resources, including strategies and related links; and much more. NCWD/Youth works to ensure that transition age youth are provided full access to high quality services in integrated settings to gain education, employment and independent living.

URL: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/



The Influence of Families on the Employment Process

  • The authors of this issue of Tools for Inclusion interviewed 16 people with intellectual disabilities and their families and employment staff to discuss how they make decisions about work and how family members support them. This issue shares their thoughts and feelings, along with tips to help families be more involved in employment.

URL: http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=326



Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

  • “Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success” discusses the importance of soft skills and suggests strategies parents and families can use to help develop these skills. The skills addressed include communication, interpersonal relationships, decision-making, and lifelong-learning. Separate family strategies and tips are provided for each skill group.

URL: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/information-brief-28



YiPPE: Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment

  • YiPPE is an intensive and fun parent/youth leadership and self-determination training program. Youth ages 14-21 and their parents engage in activities to help them learn the skills necessary to transition from being a high school student to assuming adult roles in the community. YiPPE focuses on self-determination in education, employment, health care, community living, and relationships. Parents and youths learn in parallel and then come together to apply skills and participate in partnership activities. The curriculum is free.

URL: http://www.wispdg.org/pl/Facilitators_Guide_5_19_09.pdf



Partners in Policymaking: Partners in Employment

  • This self-study course is created to answer all your questions regarding finding, attaining and keeping a job that matches your abilities and skills. It will help you to understand what skills employers are looking for as well as the hiring process individuals go through. It will assess your strengths and interests to find a job suitable to you. This course also helps individuals create a resume and prepare for job interviews. Once you attain the job, this course can help you avoid and overcome workplace hurdles.
  • This version includes icons and visuals to help people understand concepts : http://www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/employment-ez/index.html

URL: http://www.partnersinpolicymaking.com/employment/index.html



Increasing Disability Employment in the Federal Government: A Toolkit for Federal Agencies on Implementing Executive Order 13548

  • This past July, President Obama signed the Executive Order 13548. This act intends to change the environment within the federal government by allowing more persons with disabilities the opportunity to work in federal agencies. This toolkit is designed to help employers of federal agencies increase the employment of people with disabilities. The five steps to promote this act, included in this guide, are: training, creating a welcoming environment, recruitment, hiring and retention. After reviewing this toolkit, employers will be more knowledgeable about employing people with disabilities and be able to successfully integrate them into their agencies.

URL: http://www.dol.gov/odep/federal-hire/



ICI Boston, Research to Practice Brief: Vocational Rehabilitation Services Received by Youth with Autism: Are they Associated with an Employment Outcome?

  • This Research to Practice Brief explores the differences in VR services received by youth with autism compared to youth with other disabilities. Researchers identify services that are most closely associated with an employment outcome for youth with autism, and determine what percentage of people from this group are receiving these successful services

URL: http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=309



Impact Feature Issue on Employment and Women with Disabilities

  • Although women are included more frequently in the workforce now more than ever, some issues still arise that need to be addressed. These articles examine the importance as well as the challenge of work, especially for women with disabilities. They also explore the transition process and offer useful strategies to ease the process and help women achieve the career of their dreams. These articles aim to inspire women with disabilities to actively pursue a meaningful job that will help them become more independent, make a difference and achieve their goals. Download the articles for free at:

URL: http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/211/default.html



Pathways to Positive Futures

  • This web site offers young adults the information, tools and resources to seek out employment and vocational opportunities available to them. Some of these tools include information on going to college, networking and important job skills to ensure young adults with intellectual disabilities are awarded the same and equal opportunities. This site includes informational fact sheets, publications and many other useful resources.

URL: http://www.pathwaysrtc.pdx.edu/vr.shtml



Great Expectations: Preparing Your Child with Developmental Disabilities for Employment Success

  • This useful handbook offers parents the tools and resources needed to ensure their child will be prepared for the unique challenges presented when entering the workforce. By presenting different opportunities and supports available to parents and young adults, this guide allows users to understand the dynamics of the workplace. By knowing what to expect early on, parents can help their child reach his or her highest potential.

URL: http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/sites/default/files/content/Heldrich%20Center_Great_Expectations.pdf



The Campaign for Disability Employment Toolkit

  • The Campaign for Disability Employment, a collaborative of leading disability and business organizations funded by ODEP, recently unveiled a series of new products designed to promote the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities and dispel negative stereotypes about disability and employment. The Campaign for Disability Employment’s website offers an Employment Toolkit that provides videos, posters, print ads, and much more for free. Head to the website to start seeing what you can do!

URL: http://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/blog/index.php/toolkit/



Real Work for Real Pay: Inclusive Employment for People with Disabilities. Inge, K., Revell, G., Brooke, V., & Wehman, P. (2006).

  • This revolutionary book provides theories and practices to implement positive change in the workplace for people with disabilities. The contributing authors present the perspectives of employers, work arrangements, and the formation of strong partnerships. This is a must-read guide for providing meaningful employment opportunities.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Real-Work-Pay-Employment-Disabilities/dp/1557667535



Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities. Griffin, C. (2003).

  • This guidebook shows how self-employment for adults with significant disabilities can work and offers the realistic, useful advice needed to get a small business off to a strong start. It includes instructions such as a step-by-step guide to building a business plan, complete with illuminating case studies and examples and many other real-life examples.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Self-Employment-Work-People-Disabilities/dp/1557666520



Self-Directed Employment: A Handbook for Transition Teachers and Employment Specialists. Martin, J., Mithaug, D., Husch, J., Oliphint, J., & Frazier, E. (2002).

  • This easy-to-understand book on self-determination in the work place offers step-by-step processes and strategies to help people with disabilities make their own employment choices. The book includes sample resumes, work-place scenarios and information on accommodations.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Self-Directed-Employment-Handbook-Transition-Specialists/dp/155766580X



Essential Skills to Getting a Job

  • This guide offers a framework of what skills employers are looking for in potential job candidates. It refers to studies conducted of 461 business leaders and gives job-seekers the tools necessary to identify their skills in the workplace. Some of these important skills include networking, professionalism, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. This inclusive guide will provide individuals with everything they need to know about obtaining meaningful employment.

URL: http://www.dol.gov/odep/documents/essential_job_skills.pdf



More Than a Job is a web-based training model detailing The Self-Determined Career Development Model

  • This model was designed to provide people with disabilities the knowledge and skills they need to compete for jobs they want with the potential for career advancement, higher wages, and benefits. Developed in partnership with the Kansas Rehabilitation Services system and the University of Kansas KUCDD, two modules contain a wealth of information about a logical, step-by-step pathway to a job, with a number of strategies and supports outlined for ease of use.

URL: http://dps.missouri.edu/resources/MoreThanAJob/index.html



Promoting Self-Determination and Self-Directed Employment Planning for Young Women with Disabilities

  • An outline of the self-determined career development model. This model is intended to empower young women with disabilities to gain employment through self-regulated planning.

URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a917379390~db=all~jumptype=rss



Self-Determination in Employment for Persons with Significant Disabilities:  Creating a Customer Directed Approach

  • A paper by Mast, Shumpert, and Callahan is posted at the web link below. It details ideas about customized employment and highlight a case study of Daniel, a 28 year-old man  who was able to get a job in a law firm library doing support work.  The steps to employment are listed and a plan for locating employment is shared.

URL: http://www.marcgold.com/selfdetermination.html



Security Administration Protection and Advocacy Programs

  • This Program is for advocates for people with disabilities who want to obtain gainful employment. The Ticket to Work Program gives individuals information and advice on employment services. The program helps people in the areas of special education and transition, health care, disability benefits, rights and responsibilities and transportation.

URL: http://www.ssa.gov/work/protectionadvocacy.html



The National Council of Self Advocates of The Arc (NCSA)

  • The National Council of Self Advocates offers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) the opportunity to connect with leaders of all ages and abilities across the nation and let their voices be heard. The Council is free to join for members of the Arc and promotes involvement, education, empowerment, and leadership to ensure that individuals with I/DD lead meaningful lives.

URL: http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2660



Self-Advocates in their own words review National Gateway's Research to Practice Issue 1

  • Some of the Research to Practice Issue 1 on Self-Advocacy was written by individuals who are self-advocates. Other parts of the issue on self-advocacy were written by others who are friends and colleagues of self-advocates. Click on the links below to view self-advocates explaining the text of Issue 1, Research to Practice, using their own words:
  1. Mitchell Levitz talks about “Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy” (pages 3 -5 of Issue 1 of the National Gateway to Self-Determination Research to Practice Series – Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy).

  2. Mia Peterson (pages 8-10, “Self-Determination and Supports”).

  3. Bill Krebs talks about “Using Lifebooks for Self-Advocacy”, pages 11, 16.

  4. Mia Peterson describes “Steps to Increased Social Capital in the Lives of Self-Advocates”, pages 17-19.

  5. Bill Krebs tells about “Beyond Tokenism”, pages 24-25.

  6. Mitchell Levitz tells about “Surveying Self-Advocates: Using i-Pads Embodies Self-Determination” pages 30-32.



Include Me!

  • This web site is designed for self-advocates interested in hosting or attending a conference. It presents ways to include self-advocates in a conference as well as checklists for self-advocates attending a conference. Other helpful resources such as guidelines for hosting a conference and links to Self-Advocacy groups.

URL: http://www.includeme.org.au/



Leadership: A guide for promoting leadership skills in youth with disabilities

  • After interviewing 32 young adult leaders, researchers at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin discovered what it takes to be a great leader and how to promote leadership in young people with disabilities. This guide offers families, schools, and other professionals guidance and strategies to help young people become active leaders in their communities. Some important attributes the interviewees identified as being essential to leadership include: effecting change, advocating for others, having a vision, being a role model and being optimistic. This tool hopes to encourage young adults with disabilities become leaders and seek out opportunities.

URL: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/naturalsupports/pdfs/YouthLeadershipTipSheet.pdf



National Youth Leadership Network

  • Young people today have more choices and opportunities than ever before, this includes youth with disabilities. However, sometimes these opportunities are not always presented clearly to them. The National Youth Leadership Network provide a mechanism to connect youth in three partner states: New York, Mississippi, and Idaho to collectively make decisions and foster youth leadership for students with disabilities.

URL: http://www.nyln.org/



National Youth Leadership Forum

  • The Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities aims to enable individuals to seek out opportunities, identify and overcome barriers, and become contributing, active members of society. Youth Leadership organizations exist in many states. The link below lists the program in California, as an example. Often, students learn from each other as well as mentors and adults with disabilities who have lead successful and independent lives.
  • The Employment Development Department. (2008). “Youth Leadership Forum.”

URL: http://www.edd.ca.gov/jobs_and_training/GC_Youth_Leadership_Forum.htm



Leadership Through Personal Change: Think-Plan-Do

  • This comprehensive guide was developed to help people with developmental disabilities lead self-determined lives. The Consumer Advisory Committee uses Think-Plan-Do as a strategy to help individuals learn how to achieve their goals. Topics individuals will learn about include planning and decision making skills, self-care, and how to achieve goals.

URL: http://www.dds.ca.gov/ConsumerCorner/ThinkPlanDo.cfm



Getting involved in research and training projects: A guide for persons with disabilities

  • Heller, T., Miller, A., & Nelis.
  • This guide provides persons with disabilities information on how to get involved in research and training activities. It can be downloaded for free at:

URL: http://www.rrtcadd.org/resources/Resources/Publications/Getting-Involved-in-Research-2012.pdf



Leaders with Developmental Disabilities in the Self-Advocacy Movement

  • Joe Caldwell, Ph.D., received a NIDRR Switzer Fellowship to explore the life stories of thirteen leaders in the self-advocacy movement when he was an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago. The transcripts and video excerpts can be downloaded from The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkley at

URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/ics_movements/self_advocacy.html



A Capital Idea! Successful Strategies for Getting What You Want from Government

  • This manual from the American Foundation for the Blind gives advocates information and guidance on how to approach legislators and public officials on issues regarding people with disabilities. This guide outlines the language and rules of the political process. It gives readers a step-by-step method that includes defining the issue, identifying key players, planning a strategy, forming alliances and communicating with legislators.

URL: http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=3&TopicID=237



Electric Edge

  • This website includes articles on topics such as discrimination, legislation, employment, housing, education and image/identity. It also offers editorials on personal experiences regarding disabilities as well as current reports and lawsuits. Electric Edge also incorporates blog postings on the site.

URL: http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/



Income and Asset Development

  • This three-set DVD offers individuals with disabilities lessons on earning opportunities and how to build financial assets. Its sections include: Creating Alliances, Government and Community Endeavors, Gaining Freedom through Financial Security.

URL: http://www.centerforself-determination.com/csdstore.html



Best Buddies

  • Best Buddies is a nonprofit international organization focused on establishing a volunteer movement that forms lasting friendship and leadership opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Developed in 1989, Best Buddies has grown to encompass more than 1,500 college, high school and middle school campuses across the country and internationally.

URL: http://www.bestbuddies.org/best-buddies



Direct Support Professionals Toolkit

  • This toolkit offers user-friendly tips to help people with disabilities find quality, caring and committed Direct Support Professionals. This guide was created for families and includes many different strategies to choose from.

URL: http://rtc.umn.edu/ildspworkforce/

Community Living

Mathematica: Money Follows the Person Demonstration: Overview of State Grantee Progress, January-June 2010

  • This report summarizes the progress of the demonstration in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Enrollment grew steadily during this period. Since the program began, more than 8,500 people who lived in institutions for six months or more have been helped to return to homes or community-based residences.

URL: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/health/MFP_jan-july2010_progress.pdf



The Collector of Bedford Street

  • This film explores the life of Larry Selman, a community activist who raises thousands of dollars each year for developmental disabilities. For 20 years, Larry raised money for others while he lived in poverty. His community set up a trust fund in his name, which is the first time this has ever been done. It is a story of community inclusion and consideration for disabilities. Order the DVD online at:

URL: http://www.newday.com/films/CollectorofBedfordSt.html



Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy

  • This film examines the lives of two friends with disabilities who have sworn to each other to battle to live independent lives. These empowered women have been advocates for independence and community inclusion for years and director and Academy Award-nominee Alice Elliot share their story through this captivating story. Order the DVD online at:

URL: http://www.newday.com/films/bodysouldianakathy.html



Traveling with Disabilities-A State Department Brochure

  • This brochure from the State Department has travel planning suggestions and tips for persons with disabilities. It gives step-by-step directions to help ensure ease of traveling and comfort. Topics include traveling with medications and required equipment, how to request accommodations and how to pack for travel.

URL: http://travel.state.gov/pdf/TravelingWithDisabilities_Oct_2010v2.pdf



Make the Day Matter! Promoting Typical Lifestyles for Adults with Significant Disabilities. Walker, P.& Rogan, P. (2007).

  • This comprehensive book gives service providers a day-by-day approach to helping adults with disabilities live fulfilling lives. It highlights such areas as transitioning from school to adult life, finding suitable employment, and developing social relationships within their community. The integrated case studies and realistic guidelines show service providers how to implement changes in their own community.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Make-Day-Matter-Significant-Disabilities/dp/1557667136



The Next Chapter Book Club

  • Do you want to participate in a leisure activity that is educational and fun?   The Next Chapter Book Club website provides information about a way to form and be a part of a reading group that includes people with intellectual disabilities who may or may not be active readers:


  • Or check out an interview with Tom Fish:




Find Choose & Keep Great DSPs. A toolkit for people with disabilities.

  • This tool provides tips to help individuals with disabilities find and select a skilled Direct Support Professional. These DSPs play a crucial role in the lives of people with disabilities, assisting with everything from daily activities to health care and transportation. This accessible guide provides users with the insight necessarily to select the correct and most appropriate DSP.

URL: http://www.ildspinitiative.com/docs/ToolkitforPeoplewithDisabilites.pdf



The following three journal articles focus on the RRTCADD current research project aimed at teaching people with disabilities how to evaluate environmental obstacles that affect their health and daily life in the community:

  • Photovoice as Participatory Action Research Tool for Engaging People with Intellectual Disabilities in Research and Program Development (2008). Jurkowski, J. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 46 (1) 1-11.  

  • 'Who Did What?': A Participatory Action Research Project to Increase Group Capacity for Advocacy, (2008). Garcia-Iriarte, E., Kramer, J.C., Kramer, J.M., Hammel, J. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22, 10-22.

  • What does Participation Mean? An Insider Perspective from People with Disabilities, (2008). Hammel, J., Magasi, S., Heinemann, A., Whiteneck, G., Bogner, J., and Rodriguez, E. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30 (19) 1445-1460



The ArcLink Roommates

  • FindMyRoommate is an online matching service for people with disabilities. Contact people through the messaging system to set up meetings with other in need of a roommate.

URL: http://www.findmyroommate.org/

Education and Transition

Autism Spectrum Disorders: Transition to Adulthood

  • Transition to Adulthood is one of the free online training modules offered by the University of Missouri Thompson Center for individuals with ASD, their families, and community professionals. The module provides information regarding key life areas essential to a successful transition, such as health, safety, community living, and employment, as well as information about when to begin transition in each area and the available resources for families and providers.

URL: http://thompsoncenter.missouri.edu/training/index.php



Training Module Series from the University of Missouri Thompson Center

  • This free, online training module series provides information and training related to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The modules discuss a variety of topics, from the characteristics and screening processes to the process of transitioning to adulthood for individuals with ASD. Four of the five modules are intended for any care provider or family member, while one is specific to medical providers.

URL: http://thompsoncenter.missouri.edu/training/modules.php



We Connect Now

  • This website provides information and support to help college students with disabilities remain informed, connected, and successful in higher education and employment. The site provides website links, blogs, news, and information on current laws and events, while personal stories and interviews provide support. The site also provides job postings and search tips. Also available in Spanish: http://weconnectnow.wordpress.com/posts/we-connect-now/nos-conectamos-ahora/

URL: http://weconnectnow.wordpress.com/A



Look! I'm in College!

  • Look! I'm in College! is a half-hour documentary about NYC public school students with autism who attended college and have now begun work. The film follows the four young men through their journey in education at Pace University. It also introduces viewers to the teachers and educators who made their education possible.

URL: http://www.kbprods.com/look



Autism Speaks Transition Toolkit

  • This guide was created to ease the transition to adulthood for young people with autism. Families will gain a greater understanding of how to support their child during this time. Some topics in this toolkit include: self-advocacy skills, community living, employment and many more. This guide gives families options to explore and the opportunities available for their child. It leads families through the transition process from beginning to end. The kit is available as a free download at:

URL: http://www.autismspeaks.org/community/family_services/transition.php




  • CONNECT Modules were created to enable parents and teachers to better promote early childhood skills in children with disabilities. Young children benefit from being in the same environment as their general education peers to provide a foundation for later self-determination. These four modules include: Embedded Interventions, Transition, Communication for Collaboration and Family-Professional Partnerships. Each one includes activities, videos and handouts to teach children and support staff how to participate in their learning. This site also includes additional helpful resources for parents and teachers.

URL: http://community.fpg.unc.edu/connect-modules?enews



The University of Okalahoma- Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment

  • Transition education materials: Student-directed transition planning lesson materials and transition education higher education class materials, Self-determination assessment tools: AIR Self-Determination Assessment, the ARC Self-Determination Scale, and Field & Hoffman Self-Determination Assessment, and Self-determination assessment educational materials: ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Transition Curriculum, IEP Team Education Module (including PowerPoint), It's Not Easy (interview slide show), and Who's Future Is It Anyway? 2nd Edition (package available for no charge).

URL: http://education.ou.edu/zarrow/



State-Level Efforts to Recruit and Retain Qualified Special Education Personnel Including Related Service Providers

  • Providing adequate education and accommodations for students with disabilities is critical to self-determination. For the past three years, the number of qualified special education teachers has been decreasing. It is a continuing challenge for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) to recruit and keep skilled special education teachers. In an effort to discover what recruitment methods individual states are finding success with, Personnel Improvement Center and Project Forum conducted a survey of all the state education agencies (SEAs). This analysis details what activities states are using to recruit and increase retention. Common approaches include job fairs, professional development opportunities and collaboration with teacher preparation programs.

URL: http://projectforum.org/docs/State-LevelEffortstoRecruitandRetainQualifiedSPEDPersonnelIncludingRelatedSvcProviders.pdf



Great Ideas: Using Service-Learning and Differentiated Instruction to Help Your Students Succeed. Gent, P. (2009).

  • This hands-on guide shows K-12 educators methods to promote service-learning in classrooms across the country. From planning and funding to monitoring results, this book guides readers step-by-step through the service-learning process. Students will enhance their job skills and develop a positive self-image through their service-learning experiences.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Ideas-Service-Learning-Differentiated-Instruction/dp/1557669856



Quick Guides to Inclusion: Ideas for Educating Students with Disabilities, Vol. 1 Giangreco, M.& Ayres, B. (1997).

  • This book provides busy K-12 teachers with a quick, pleasant, and practical guide to including students with disabilities in general education classrooms. With this user-friendly guidebook, educators will have a source for fast, real-world advice on key inclusion topics such as using universal design for learning, listening to students’ perspectives, and conducting community-based instruction.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Guides-Inclusion-Educating-Students-Disabilities/dp/1557663033



Restructuring for Caring and Effective Education: Piecing the Puzzle Together. 2nd ed., Villa, R.& Thousand, J. (1999).

  • This new edition reflects the broad changes in special and general education and shows the vital roles of students, faculty, and families in creating and maintaining inclusive schools and classrooms. Readers will learn curriculum, instruction, and assessment in inclusive classrooms, strategies for mutual teaming and co-teaching, ways to motivate students, and a framework for understanding and facilitating systems change.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Restructuring-Caring-Effective-Education-Together/dp/1557663866



Steps to Independence: Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs. 4th ed., Baker, B.& Brightman, A. (2003).

  • This animated book gives parents of children from age 3 through young adulthood strategies for teaching children the life skills to live as independently as possible. Parents will learn the basics of skill teaching, behavior problem management, and supporting independence with this step-by-step guidebook. This fourth edition also includes links to useful web pages and a new chapter on strengthening partnerships with other teachers.




Peer Support Strategies for Improving All Students' Social Lives and Learning. Carter, E., Cushing, L., & Kennedy, C. (2008).

  • This all-inclusive guide is an absolute necessity for all middle and high school educators. It offers a step-by-step guide on implementing and promoting peer support strategies to help students achieve academic goals, make new friends and live full lives.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Support-Strategies-Improving-Students-Learning/dp/1557668434



Listening to the Experts: Students with Disabilities Speak Out. Keefe, E., Moore, V., Duff, F., & Fisher, D. (2006).

  • This unique book offers readers an exclusive look at students with disabilities’ experiences in the classroom. They offer insight such as feelings about special education, the characteristics of good educators, and practices that facilitated their performance in the classroom. A necessity for all educators, this book presents the information needed for valuable teaching practices and ways to include all students in intellectual challenges.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Listening-Experts-Students-Disabilities-Speak/dp/1557668361



Young Children's Behavior: Practical Approaches for Caregivers and Teachers. 3rd ed., Porter, L. (2008).

  • This updated edition helps teachers and caregivers develop appropriate techniques for solving preschool children’s behavioral problems in an affirmative way. All of the suggestions for building children’s self esteem and insight into specific behaviors found in the first editions are still included. Readers will also discover information on sensory integration difficulties and behavioral differences in gender.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Young-Childrens-Behaviour-Approaches-Caregivers/dp/1557666660



The Transition Handbook: Strategies High School Teachers Use That Work! Hughes, C.& Carter, E. (1999).

  • This user-friendly resource includes practical strategies, supported with the latest research that secondary school teachers can use with students who have disabilities, who are at risk for failure, or who need further support making the transition from high school to adult life. These strategies help develop supports in the school, at work, and in the community while they boost students' social capability. Teachers will enjoy the handbook's easy-to-use, menu style format that lets them turn to the applicable strategies they need without having to read the entire book.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/The-Transition-Handbook-Strategies-Teachers/dp/1557664390



Going to College: Expanding Opportunities for People with Disabilities. Getzel, E.&Wehman, P. (2005).

  • With this research-based book, readers will learn what they can do to make this crucial opportunity of going to college available to young people with a wide range of disabilities. Professionals who work in high schools and colleges will use this book to help students prepare, transition, and thrive in college and the working world. Also included are case studies, best practices, program guidelines, and strategies for success.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Going-College-Opportunities-Disabilities-Assessment/dp/155766742X



Universal Design for Transition: A Roadmap for Planning and Instruction. Thoma, C., Bartholomew, C., & Scott, L. (2009).

  • This book helps transition specialists and educators learn how to assist in the transition of students with disabilities during the critical middle- and high-school years. Educators will learn how to help students achieve academic goals, make sound decisions about their future, and make a successful transition to adult life. Readers get practical guidance, teaching tips, and case studies that clearly demonstrate how to present information and skills in multiple settings in a variety of engaging ways.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Design-Transition-Planning-Instruction/dp/1557669104



Teaching Students with Mental Retardation: Providing Access to the General Curriculum. Wehmeyer, M.L. , Sands, D., Knowlton, E., & Kozleski, E. (2001).

  • Combining research-based theory with step-by-step processes and planning forms, this useful text is the helpful in building curricula that include students with mental retardation and meet their individual needs. Teachers and educators will find the assistance, research, and realistic strategies necessary to make certain that students with mental retardation or other support needs have access to the general curriculum.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Students-Mental-Retardation-Curriculum/dp/1557665281



Steps to Self-Determination: A Curriculum to Help Adolescents Learn to Achieve Their Goals. Hoffman. A.& Field, S. (2005).

  • This book gives educators a curriculum designed to help students in secondary education set goals for the future. This includes identifying strengths and weaknesses, assessing needs, and establishing communication and negotiation skills.

URL: http://www.proedinc.com/customer/ProductView.aspx?ID=3601&sSearchWord=self-determination%20strategies



Self-Determination Strategies for Adolescents in Transition. Field, S., Hoffman, A., & Spezia, S. (April 1998).

  • This book gives educators the tools needed to promote self-determination in schools. It offers strategies that teachers can easily apply in their classrooms to help students with and without disabilities become self-determined individuals.

URL: http://www.proedinc.com/customer/productView.aspx?ID=1422



Promoting Social Success: A Curriculum for Children with Special Needs. Gary N. Siperstein, Ph.D., & Emily Paige Rickards, M.A.

  • This easy-to-use guide offers elementary school teachers a research-based curriculum designed to develop and enhance young students’ social and cognitive skills both inside and outside the classroom. Through these 66 activity-based lessons, students will learn emotional and behavioral regulation, problem solving and decision making skills, how to set and achieve social goals and how to improve their overall social skills. Every lesson focuses on a different aspect of social development. Other helpful materials include student handouts, newsletters for parents, and additional resource lists.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Promoting-Social-Success-Curriculum-Children/dp/1557666741



Self-Advocacy Skills for Students with Learning Disabilities: Making it Happen in College and Beyond. Reiff, H. (2007).

  • This book offers revolutionary research about promoting self-advocacy in students with disabilities. It offers readers strategies and resources to learn the skills they need to be successful in and after college.

URL: http://www.nprinc.com/spec_edu/mihi.htm



Promoting Self-Determination In Students with Developmental Disabilities (What Works for Special Needs Learners). Wehmeyer, M. L. (2007).

  • This volume reviews the span of accessible methods for teaching components of self-determination including choice making, problem solving, decision making, goal setting, self-advocacy, and self-regulated learning. It provides recommendations that teachers can put to use in the classroom. The strategies included have been shown to boost students' involvement in educational planning and support them in meeting their goals in school, the workplace, and the community.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/Promoting-Self-Determination-Developmental-Disabilities-Special-Needs/dp/1593854609



The Handbook of Self-Determination Research. Deci, E. (2002).
  • This book summarizes the research of 30 psychologists who believe in the importance of self-determination for understanding basic motivational processes in order to solve real-world problems. Each of the 18 chapters focuses on issues in the self-regulation of behavior and up-to-date accounts of their research programs concerned with the self-determination of human behavior.

URL: http://www.urpress.com/80461565.HTM



National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition toolkit

  • This guide offers school systems and communities some solutions and tools to improve student achievement and transition to the workplace. It details what youth need to actively participate in employment and adulthood including the programs and services the state needs to provide. It includes research on current effective techniques used in schools and touches on the importance of family and community involvement in promoting national standards for secondary education. It offers self-assessment and goal-setting tools to help programs/states/or regions identify strengths and weaknesses. The need for national standards for secondary education is vital and this guide details what those standards mean.




Self-Determination Guide: Promoting Findings and Strategies from a Survey of Wisconsin Paraprofessionals

  • This inclusive tool uses the findings from a survey of Wisconsin Paraprofessionals to discover the most effective ways to teach self-determination at the elementary and secondary education levels. Promoting self-determination at an early age is an essential part of successful development for youth with disabilities. This guide aims to provide paraprofessionals with the strategies and techniques necessary to actively promote self-determination skills and knowledge in the classroom. It evaluates seven different areas of self-determination including choice-making, decision-making, problem-solving, goal-setting, self-advocacy, self-regulation, and self-awareness with resources and examples of how to teach each of these skills.




Charting the Course: Supporting the Career Development of Youth with Learning Disabilities

  • This in-depth guide offers professionals, practitioners, and administrators involved in education a comprehensive tool to help young adults with disabilities transition from education to the workforce. Through various models and reference charts, professionals will learn how to improve outcomes for students and young adults to establish themselves as adults and find the most suitable vocation. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth created this manual to increase awareness and promote a different way of thinking to better support young people with disabilities. Chapter 4 focuses on Leadership and Self-Determination.

URL: http://www.hcbs.org/files/196/9782/ld-guide_2.pdf



The 411 on Disability Disclosure: A Workbook for Youth with Disabilities

  • This workbook is intended to assist young people with disabilities help make informed decisions on disclosing their disability in educational, employment, and social settings. The first chapter addresses self-determination. It includes what disclosure is, individual rights and responsibilities regarding disclosure, and how and when it is appropriate to disclose one’s disability. Each chapter contains a discussion section and activities for individuals to practice disclosure scenarios. This guide helps young people with disabilities make informed decisions about disability disclosure.
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth. (2005). The 411 on Disability Disclosure Workbook. Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership.

URL: http://www.ncwd-youth.info/411-on-disability-disclosure



"It's My Choice"

  • “It’s My Choice” by William T. Allen includes a 90-page downloadable pdf document and audio file to support individuals with disabilities to consider planning for the future. A number of topics appear, such as transition from school to adulthood, employment, housing, quality of life, and self-advocacy. Activities and checklists can be used independently or in a group setting with unlimited copying or alteration of materials granted. The text is available in Spanish, as well as in workbook format.




Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition

  • A research to practice brief written by Bremer, Kachgal, and Schoeller in April 2003 still applies to individuals with special needs transitioning to adulthood.   The article contains a chart of tips intended for professionals and families for promoting self-determination for youth with disabilities.




Who I Can Be Is Up to Me: Lessons in Self-Exploration and Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities in Learning

  • This program guide includes 15 lessons to help teachers implement self-determination strategies into their curriculum. These activities include recognizing strengths and weaknesses and preparing students with disabilities for the challenges they may face at home, at school and in the community. Students will learn how to explain their disabilities and ask for extra assistance when necessary.

URL: http://www.researchpress.com/product/item/5236/



The Self-Determination Resource Website

  • A resource for teachers, parents, and paraprofessionals to teach them how to empower students to become self-determined individuals who make a difference in their world. This resource gives parents and teachers tips on how to foster self-determination skills inside and outside the home. It also offers a toolkit that includes activities, lessons, and other resources on implementing self-determination skills.

URL: http://www.selfdeterminationak.org/index.html



Think College! Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

  • This vital resource for educators reveals the reality of today's postsecondary options and the best ways to support students with disabilities in the transition to college. This book provides first-person narratives from students and families of the benefits and difficulties of postsecondary education. Educators will get useful tools to construct effective programs for students with disabilities.

URL: http://www.thinkcollege.net/


Thicker than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities

  • Thicker than Water: Essays by Adult Siblings of People with Disabilities edited by Don Meyer, contains over thirty essays by adults who reflect about how having a sibling with special needs has greatly impacted their lives in both good and maybe not so good ways. This book gives great insight into the lives of these individuals through their blessings and struggles that are told through honest written snapshots of life. If you have a brother or sister with a disability, Thicker than Water, can give you support and show you that you are not alone. Even if you do not have a sibling with special needs, this book can help you better understand what other people you may know are going through.

    This book is available from a number of booksellers including Woodbine House Publications at:




Recommendations for Research, Advocacy and Supports Relating to Siblings of People with Developmental Disabilities - Heller, T., Kaiser, A., Meyer, D., Fish, T., Kramer, J., & Dufresne, D.

  • The Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) created this tool to provide information and support for adults who have siblings with disabilities. The manual was developed to empower siblings to be the most successful advocates possible. This instrument enables siblings to openly discuss important issues with their families.

    COST PER UNIT: $10.00 or download at no charge at:

URL: http://www.rrtcadd.org/resources/Resources/Publications/Policy/Service/Briefs-&-Reports/SLN_White_Paper.pdf



Involvement of Adult Siblings of People with Developmental Disabilities in Future Planning

  • Kramer, J. & Heller, T. Disability Research Brief: Institute on Disability and Human Development
  • This research brief uncovers the results of a survey aimed at discovering the role adult siblings play in the future planning of their sibling with a developmental disability. The research reveals the degree to which siblings are involved and designated as the future caregiver, the necessary resources to fulfill this role and their concerns for the future. Download it for free at:


Family Roles

A Good Life

  • This book, a future planning guide by Al Etmanski, includes information on wills and estate planning, supported decision-making, circle of support development, and alternatives to legal guardianship. It looks “beyond contemporary social and rehabilitation services and programs to support our family members.” The book is intended to be utilized by families, persons with a disability, and service providers for future planning.

URL: http://www.amazon.com/A-Good-Life-Al-Etmanski/dp/0968046215



Life Planning for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

  • This book is a comprehensive guide to resources that parents or other family members can use to support an adult child or other individual with developmental disabilities for whom they provide care. The author, Judith Greenbaum, begins by providing information on how to assess the quality of life of an adult with a disability. She also offers a number of suggestions for increasing quality of life. The book then focuses on long term planning. Worksheets are included to help families develop their specific plans.

URL: http://www.newharbinger.com/bookstore/index.cfm



Parental Caregivers' Desires for Lifetime Assistance Planning for Future Supports for Their Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • This article examines the concerns surrounding future life planning for families with children who have disabilities. According to a recent survey, most parents feel that the current support services they were receiving were not sufficient in planning for their child’s future. Willing to pay, but without sufficient support options, these parents remain unsure of what the future holds for their children. In this article, researchers assess a new model of future planning called Lifetime Assistance, which helps individuals with disabilities improve their quality of life and plan for the future. This model provides important activities and promotes skills such as transportation, living independently and preparing a budget. Through various tests, researchers have found this method to be most successful for parents and children.

URL: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a928649159&fulltext=713240928



Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition

  • Studies have shown that individuals who are self-determined are more likely to be successful in the transition to adulthood and the workforce. Teaching young adults how to direct their own lives is key to promoting self-determination. This web site offers several different curricula to help students learn how to be self-determined. It also includes tips for parents on how to promote choice-making and self-advocacy from the childhood.

URL: http://www.ncset.org/publications/viewdesc.asp?id=962



Self-Determination for Youth with Disabilities: A Family Education Curriculum

  • This interactive curriculum was designed to help young adults gain the skills necessary to have more control over their lives. It includes 15 modules created for students to become more self-determined individuals. Some categories include: “Creating a Personal Futures Plans,” “Advocating for Yourself” and “Resolving Conflicts.”

URL: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=ED379835



A parents' guide to the self-determined learning model for early elementary students

  • Susan B. Palmer and Michael L. Wehmeyer provide an introduction for parents of younger student to use a model of problem solving and goal setting with their children