Self-Determination for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities Center for Self-Determination Laura Huber Marshall College of Education University of Colorado at Colorado Springs firstname.lastname@example.org 719-262-4168
Center for Self-Determination Mission • To promote research and exemplary demonstrations that facilitate the capacities of individuals with disabilities to choose, set goals, and self manage their lives.
What is self-determination? • Ward (1988) defines self-determination as attitudes that lead people to define goals for themselves and their ability to achieve those goals. • Field and Hoffman (1994) defineself-determination as the ability to define and achieve goals based on a foundation of knowing and valuing oneself.
Why is self-determination important? • Wehmeyer and Schwartz (1997) found that self-determined students were more likely to have achieved positive adult outcomes than peers who were not self-determined. • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that students’ Individual Education Plan (IEP) activities must be based upon student preferences and interests.
What are our past and current projects? • We received four US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, model demonstration and outreach grants totaling $1.95 million. • ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Curriculum and Lessons • Choose and Take Action Software and Lessons • Choice Making for Elementary Students • ChoiceMaker Network
ChoiceMaker Curriculum & Lessons • Lessons and videos to teach students to identify their interests, skills, and limits then use this information to set and accomplish goals in different areas of their lives.
Sample Lessons @University of Colorado, 1999
Research • In a comparison of the McGill Action Planning System (MAPS) and the ChoiceMaker Curriculum’s Choosing Goals lessons taught to students with mental retardation, the results favored the ChoiceMaker lessons on teacher and student self-determination scales and efficiency of instruction. • Cross, Cooke, Wood, & Test (1999)
Six adolescents with mild to moderate mental retardation were taught to attain their IEP (Individual Education Plan) goals using the ChoiceMaker Curriculum’s Take Action lessons. Results show that all students learned to meet their daily goals and maintained this performance after withdrawal of instruction. • German, Martin, Huber Marshall, Sale (1999)
Choose and Take Action Software & Lessons • Interactive software, lessons, and community experiences designed to assist students with significant cognitive disabilities in making employment choices.
Choose and T ake Action Process Choose Select job activity and setting to try (on computer) Choose Again Plan Decide to try again or Develop a plan for try something else the setting (on computer) (on computer) Evaluate T ry It Evaluate the Complete plan plan results at setting (on computer) (in community)
Field Testing • Field tested in four states • Findings incorporated into the software and instructional materials • Revised and field tested again in 27 schools in six states
Choice Making for Elementary Students • Lessons to teach elementary students to use self-determination skills to meet academic standards and behavior and social expectations.
Critical Topics to Teach in Elementary Schools • Responsibility Organization • Academics Self-Advocacy • Respecting Others Goal Setting & Attainment • Social Skills Education Participation • Good Behavior Self-Evaluate & Adjust • Self Esteem/Efficacy Safety & Health • Choice Making Self-Awareness • Findings from focus groups conducted in spring 2000
Choosing and Reaching Reading Goals Lessons • Student learns the reading standard. • Student chooses a goal focused on a reading skill. • Student writes plan. • Student acts on plan. • Student and teacher evaluate reading performance. • Student adjusts goal, plan, or action to meet standard.
ChoiceMaker Network • Trained trainers in five states in ChoiceMaker and other self-determination curricula to teach teachers, parents, administrators, and students.
Past and Current Project Collaborators • National, state, and local grant projects • Other universities, CU campuses and departments • Colorado Department of Education • Numerous school districts • Adult service agencies and parent and advocacy centers • Sopris West Educational Services - publication, technology, and training
Future Projects Ideas • Seek funds for the development and research of multi-media instructional materials and technology combining the self-determination skill instruction with acquisition of the following: • academic standards • positive post-school outcomes (personal, educational, and vocational) • family guidance and support • promotion of social skills and behavioral supports