Issue 1: Self-Determination and Self-Advocacy


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People who are self-determined know what they want and how to get it. They choose and set goals, then work to reach them. They advocate on their own behalf, and are involved in solving problems and making decisions about their lives.

The purpose of this series, Research to Practice in Self-Determination, is to describe key issues in the field of developmental disabilities that can be enhanced by considering efforts to promote self-determination. Each issue is prepared with a social-ecological framework in mind. This framework calls for strategies for intervention and support to take into account both the capacities of the person and the demands of the environment. Interventions to promote self-determination should focus both on enhancing personal capacity, improving opportunity, and modifying the environment. A series of seven issues will be produced, each focusing on a specific topic: self-advocacy, health, employment, community services, aging, family support, and siblings. The format for these issues will include definitions, a brief review of the literature, promising practices, applied examples, and targeted recommendations for scaling-up efforts. This series is intended for use by people with developmental disabilities, family members, professionals, state and federal agencies, and academic programs. By collaborating with and enabling each of these entities, the goal of full inclusion for people with developmental disabilities can be realized.


Watch for future issues focusing on employment, health, community services, aging, family roles, and siblings.