Jane O’Regan Kleinert, Ph.D., CCC
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Jane O’Regan Kleinert, Ph.D., CCC Beth Harrison, MRC Commission for Children with Special health Care Needs Conference on Special Needs Children: Improving Outcomes through Collaboration and Understanding Louisville, KY. What is KYAP ?.

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Jane O’Regan Kleinert, Ph.D., CCC

Beth Harrison, MRC

Commission for Children with Special health Care Needs

Conference on Special Needs Children:

Improving Outcomes through Collaboration and Understanding

Louisville, KY


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What is KYAP ?

  • The Kentucky Youth Advocacy Project is a grant funded by the Kentucky Council on Developmental Disabilities and awarded to the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences-Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders

  • Designed to provide students aged 8-18 years with individualized and group activities to support the early development of self-advocacy skills

  • Focusing on students with disabilities:

    • In underserved areas of Kentucky and

    • Students with significant communication difficulties


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This Unique Project Involves The Following Components:

  • Offering children with developmental disabilities practice in self-advocacy at an early age;

  • Involving successful persons with developmental disabilities as mentors to young students;

  • Emphasizing the importance of communication skills as important supports to self-advocacy attempts and thus including speech-language pathologists (SLPs) as well as teachers as primary instructors and facilitators in this program.

  • Utilizing of Student-Directed Learning to provide individualized programming for students to learn self-advocacy and self-determination skills (Agran, King-Sears, Wehmeyer, & Copeland, 2003), specifically using an adaptation of the “Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction.”

  • Emphasizing self advocacy and self-direction as components of the broader highly valued personal characteristic of self-determination, which has been shown to be related to a positive quality of life for persons who have developmental disabilities (Wehmeyer & Schalock, 2001).


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Why a Youth Advocacy Project?

  • Self-advocacy and self-determination skills include the abilities to select personal goals, plan steps toward goals and assess ones progress, make choices, and self-monitor and self-evaluate one’s behaviors.

  • Such abilities have been show to improve both an individual’s quality of life and post-school outcomes.

  • Children with disabilities often lack the opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect them on a daily basis and also later life decisions.

  • By providing experience in self-advocacy at an early age, we hope to see these young individuals participate more fully in all aspects of life as they transition to the community.


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KYAP Goals

  • To provide individualized and group programming in self-advocacy to 100 children aged 8-18 with developmental disabilities over a two year period in the eastern Kentucky, by…

  • Providing teachers and SLPs training in use of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, a researched model of student instruction in goal selection and planning, (Mithaug, D., Wehmeyer, M.L., Agran, M., Martin, J., & Palmer, S., 1998).

  • Providing students with disabilities access to mentors in self-advocacy, who also have a disability.


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  • Demonstrating that children with more significant disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Developing and disseminating self-advocacy training materials for use by schools, children and families across Kentucky. This is done via trainings and development of a website on which training materials and student work samples can be displayed.


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So, How Does All This Work: disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

The Sequence


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Step 1: Recruitment of Participants disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.


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  • Recruit School Districts to Participate disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Recruit Children Not in the Public Schools to Participate (private schools, home schools, other settings)

  • Meet with DOSE (Directors of Special Education and Provide Information to Share with Teachers, SLPs, Students, Families


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Recruit Mentors disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Self-Advocates for Freedom

  • Eastern Kentucky People Who Care

  • Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs

  • Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Schools


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What’s Next disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

Beginning the Program


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Program Elements disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

What:I DID IT DAY

When:Last month of the school year

Who:Students with developmental disabilities and their teachers and/or SLPs who participated in the self-advocacy program.

Who Else:Project staff, Mentors, Invited family and friends

What:1:1 goal selection and training in self-advocacy and self-direction using the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction

When:During the school year, after I CAN DAY.

Who:students with disabilities and classroom teachers/SLPs

Who Else:Regular technical assistance from project staff, mentors, Coop. Consultants

What:I CAN DAY

When:During the first full month of the school year.

Who:Selected students with developmental disabilities who will participate in the self-advocacy training program

Who Else:Mentors, project staff, teachers/ SLPS, Coop Consultants

What:Teacher and SLP training on the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction

When:At the beginning of the schoolyear

Who:Training will be conducted by the project PI and Co-PI


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Roles and Responsibilities: School Personnel disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Teachers and SLPs and other School Personnel will attend three workshops:

    • 1). a training on the Self Directed Model of Instruction

    • 2). An “I Can Do It” Day of training, which include students, families, participants and mentors as well as the Teachers and SLPs;

    • 3). An “I Did It” Day, near the end of the 2006-2007 school year, which will include all project participants.

    • 4). receive on-site technical assistance visits from KYAP staff.

    • 5). Help identify any potential student participants who might not attend public school, but might be interested in the project.


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Roles and Responsibilities disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates. for KYAP

  • Provide training materials

  • Provide training in the Self Directed Model of Instruction

  • Provide technical assistance to project participants

  • Develop a KYAP Implementation Package

  • Develop KYAP web site with training materials, protocols, student materials

  • Provide reimbursement for substitute teacher expenses

  • Reimburse mileage, lodging, meals and other costs associated with travel to training events (including school bus travel)


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Students will… disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Student participants will attend two workshops:

    • 1). The “I Can Do It” Day of training

    • 2). the “I Did It” Day celebration and present their work, near the end of the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school year.

    • 3). Work with school personnel and/family to select, plan and work toward a personal goal.


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Next….. disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Begin working directly with teachers, slps and other interested school personnel along with students and families in the following sequence…


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#2 Trainings for School Personnel disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Who: Teachers, SLPs, OT, Councilors, Administrators

  • How: Large Group Meetings in centralized locations at the beginning of the school year OR

  • Small group and individualized meetings with interested personnel during the school year


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Topics of Training disabilities and students who have or need augmentative communication can be successful self-advocates.

  • Self-Determination

  • Self-Advocacy

  • Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (Mithaug, D., Wehmeyer, M.L., Agran, M., Martin, J., & Palmer, S., 1998).

  • Student-Directed Learning (Agran, King-Sears, Wehmeyer, Copeland, 2003).


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Successful Outcomes for Persons with Disabilities Are Characterized by:

  • Functional Skills

  • Strong Social Skills

  • Verbal Skills

  • Adequate Communication Skills

  • High Level of Self-Determination

    (Heward, 2003; Kleinert et al., 2002; Wehmeyer & Schwarz, 1998)


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Skills that contribute to successful outcomes for persons with disabilities include:

  • Strong communication skills

    +

  • Self-determination

    May result in Stronger

    Self-Advocacy Skills


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The Training Stressed… with disabilities include:

  • We have the knowledge to help our students learn to advocate for themselves, BUT we need to teach self-advocacy in a systematic, consistent way

  • SDLMI provides a sequenced approach to teaching

  • We couple this program with large, group meetings and activities with “mentors” from the community to help our students learn “self-advocacy”


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Let’s Look at the Training Materials with disabilities include:


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Topics and Materials: with disabilities include:

  • KYAP Manual:

    • Information on Self-Determination and Post-school Outcomes

    • Information on Communication Competency

    • Important Self-Advocacy Skills: Choice making, goal selection, identifying my own strengths and challenges, setting a goal, identifying barriers, problem solving, self-evaluating progress, revising and achieving!


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Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction with disabilities include:

Developed through a Field-Initiated Project awarded to The Arc of the United States with:

  • Michael Wehmeyer, Ph.D. as Principal Investigator

  • Susan Palmer, Ph.D. as Project Director

  • Martin Agran, Ph.D., Utah State University, Consultant

  • Dennis Mithaug, Ph.D., Columbia University Teachers’ College, Consultant

  • James Martin, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Consultant

    Retrieved from the World Wide Web on 8/23/06 from:

    http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/sped/tri/selfdeterminedmodel.htm


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Specific Instruction on the principles and use of the SDLMI with disabilities include:

  • Enable educators to teach students to become causal agents in their own lives

  • Teach students to self-direct learning

  • Enable students to become self-regulated problem solvers and learn to set their own transition goals

  • take action on those goals

  • Enable students to self-evaluate and adjust their goals or plans, as needed

In effect, SDLMI helps students assume primary responsibility for their transition, content area choices, decisions and actions!

Retrieved from the World Wide Web on 8/23/06 from http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/sped/tri/selfdeterminedmodel.htm


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THESE ARE SELF-ADVOCACY with disabilities include:Skills !!!!


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Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction with disabilities include:

In each phase, students are presented with:

  • a problem to solve

  • four student questions which, when answered, help students “solve” the problem

    Retrieved from the World Wide Web on 8/23/06 from:

    http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/sped/tri/selfdeterminedmodel.htm


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Step 3: I CAN DAY with disabilities include:

This is when the process really begins for the students


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I CAN DAY ! with disabilities include:

NOVEMBER 8, 2006

LONDON, KY


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10:00 Greet and Seat with disabilities include:

10:15 Let’s All Meet:

10:30 Who Else is Here??KYAP staff is introduced

Our Special Guests: KYAP Mentors introduce themselves

10:45 WHY ARE WE HERE?

Talk about: choices, goals, plans, etc.

Students tell what each word means, give examples of

when they make a choice at: school, home, free time

11:00 Talking with our Mentors

Each student can pick a mentor and ask a question


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Mentor Questions with disabilities include:

  • What does being a “self-advocate” mean to you?

  • How did you learn to be a self-advocate?

  • When do you think you started advocating for yourself? Why?

  • What is hard about being a self-advocate? What barriers did you face?

  • What advise would you give to students in terms of learning to self-advocate?


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11:30 What is “Self-Advocacy” Who: YOU. Let’s take YOUR picture*

What: Let’s look at your workbook and see what’s in it

How: We will work on the first parts today

12:00 Lunch

12:45 All about ME: We will answer each of the questions in the

Beginning of your workbook and tell our answers

1:15 If we have time, we will start picking goals

1:45 Sharing our work: Each student shares what they did today and

what they will do back at school

2:00 Goodbye and GOOD LUCK!!


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Student Workbooks YOUR picture*

  • Original Design

  • High School Version


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