UCONN UCEDD Hosts Self-Determination Event for Connecticut Practitioners

June 27, 2016

UCONN UCEDD hosted an all-day training event on Self-Determination and its importance in the education of students with disabilities." Invited presenters were Drs. Michael Weymeyer and Karrie Shogren from the University of Kansas. Over 100 individuals representing school districts across the state of Connecticut, along with advocates, family members, graduate students, and state agencies staff attended the training.

Dr. Weymeyer provided an overview of the history of self-determination and implications for students with disabilities; Dr. Shogren presented on how self-determination can help students with disabilities achieve academic- and transition-based outcomes. They both emphasized the importance of individualizing instruction and personalizing learning for students with disabilities. Dr. Shogren spoke to the educators in the room and called for a greater emphasis on teaching functional life skills, self-advocacy skills, and choice making. Opportunities for choices are more plentiful for students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms, Weymeyer and Shogren asserted. Additionally, higher levels of self-determination equated with a better quality of life for individual with disabilities.

An additional training was provided to teams from 4 school districts who committed to implementing research-based practices in self-determination within their districts over the next year. Drs. Weymeyer and Shogren will be working with the UCONN UCEDD to provide follow up support in these districts.