One of the most critical factors contributing to the successful transition of youth and young adults with disabilities, is the development of self-determination skills. Skills are needed by youth to have control over their lives and their destinies, to be empowered to make informed decisions and actions in all aspects of their lives. In this section of our website, resources to support the self-determination are included.
Click on the resources listed below to learn more about supports for self-determination:
- 2016 PA Community on Transition Conference: Highlighted sessions featuring self-determination:
—- Been There Done That
—- Building the Bridge to 21st Century Transitions: Methods, Materials, and Strategies to Promote Self-Determination
—- Self-Determination and Strengths-Based Approaches to Disability: A Bridge for 21st Century Transitions
Skills and Strategies
- Describe and know your disability
- Identify what your needs/fears are in school and the community
- Explain who helps you in school and the community
- Know what an IEP meeting is and participate in the meeting
Skills and Strategies
- Explain how your disability impacts your daily life
- Describe what accommodations you use
- Explain how your accommodations help you
- Provide information at your IEP meeting regarding how you learn, your likes, dislikes and dreams
Skills and Strategies
- Participate in assessments and understand how the results relate to your transition plan
- Become an active member of your IEP – student led IEP
- Identify and begin coordination of supports/create a circle of support
- Appropriately express needs and wants
Skills and Strategies
- Continue involvement in assessment process – state how these results relate to your post-secondary goals
- Describe issues related to self-disclosure (when, what, how)
- Continue leading IEP – include in IEP issues related to AT, Health Care, and Transportation
- Define self-success
Skills and Strategies
- Realize and understand barriers and solutions
- Independently discuss with high school staff needed accommodations and supports
- Understand adult rights and responsibilities
- Continue leading IEP Meeting, provide input into the development of your IEP goals
Skills and Strategies
- Direct personal assistance services
- Understand cultural diversity
- Understand and use cause and effect strategies
- Consider others’ points of view
- Further develop self-advocacy skills as they relate to your post-secondary goals
- Assume adult rights and responsibilities
- PYLN Secondary Transition Toolkit 2012
- The Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) has created secondary transition toolkit to assist youth in their transition into the adult world. The best thing about the toolkit is that it was written and designed by youth with disabilities who are members of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) for youth. It can also be used with families and professionals as a youth-friendly Toolkit for transition.
- From Entitlement to Eligibility 2012
- From Entitlement to Eligibility: Differences Between Public Education and Post-Secondary Education for Individuals With Disabilities. This resource guide provides a side-by-side comparison of the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEIA 2004) and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Transitioning to College Tip Sheet for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Transitioning from high school to a post-secondary educational environment is exciting but challenging for all students. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing often face different and greater challenges than typical students. This PEPNet tip sheet is one in a series of publications that addresses services provided to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It discusses the challenges faced during the transition from high school to the post-secondary educational environment. It also addresses many questions that deaf students, in particular, may have about this period of transition.
- Minnesota Compensatory Skills Checklist for Students with Hearing Loss
- This resource from Minnesota provides a compensatory skills checklist for youth and young adults who are deaf or have a hearing loss
- School and Family Transition Assessment Tool for Youth and Young Adults with a Diagnosis of Deaf/Blindness
- This resources is a reflective school and family transition assessment tool for youth and young adults with a diagnosis of deaf/blindness
- Transition Skills Guidelines for Youth and Young Adults who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- This resources from Gallaudet University's Laurent Clerc Center National Deaf Education Center provides K-12 Guidelines regarding transition related skills for youth and young adults who are deaf/hard of hearing.
- Obtaining and Maintaining Successful Employment: A Young Adult Perspective
- This PowerPoint was presented at the 2013 PA Community of Practice On Transition. Session 404 on Thursday, July 25, 2013. It outlines suggestions for successful employment from a young adult perspective.
- Obtaining and Maintaining Successful Employment: A Young Adult Perspective (Webinar)
- In this webinar session, young adults with varying disabilities will discuss how they have obtained and maintained employment. This presentation will provide strategies and resources that youth, families, and professionals can utilize to actively engage in the transition process from school to real work for real pay.
- Understanding Secondary Transition: PYLN and YSI Webinar
- This PYLN webinar provides youth with information regarding planning for their future. Included in this session will be information regarding the secondary transition process and goal setting.
- The History of Centers for Independent Living
- This session developed and presented by members of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network is designed to provide youth and young adults with an overview of the disability rights movement and the importance of engaging in a Center for Independent Living (CIL). CILs are non-profit organizations and are located throughout Pennsylvania. CILs, whose staffs and boards are composed of 51% or more of persons with disabilities, provide four core services including information and referral, advocacy, peer mentoring and independent living skills training.
- Accessible Instructional Materials - Guide
- This resource is a guide to Accessible Instructional Materials
- Assistive Technology in the IEP
- This resource provides information regarding how to incorporate Assistive Technology in the IEP.
- Be A Superstar - Take the Survey
- This YouTube video and supplementary resources are designed to encourage students and families to complete post-school outcomes surveys. Versions are available for youth and parents and in English and Spanish.
- Self Determination for Youth in Transition (Youth)
- Building youth self-advocacy is a critical component of effective transition programs. No matter what their post-secondary goals are, youth with disabilities need to be able to identify their unique strengths and needs, accept their disabilities, set goals (self-determination), and advocate for the supports and accommodations that they need to be successful (self-advocacy). Educators, parents, agency providers, and youth themselves each play a unique role in the development of self-advocacy and self-determination skills. This webinar is framed from the Youth Perspective.
- Self Determination for Youth in Transition (Families)
- Building youth self-advocacy is a critical component of effective transition programs. No matter what their post-secondary goals are, youth with disabilities need to be able to identify their unique strengths and needs, accept their disabilities, set goals (self-determination), and advocate for the supports and accommodations that they need to be successful (self-advocacy). Educators, parents, agency providers, and youth themselves each play a unique role in the development of self-advocacy and self-determination skills. This webinar is framed from the Parent Perspective.
- Universal Design for Learning (Youth)
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional approach that provides multiple avenues for students to access the general education curriculum. Based on the principles of architectural design, UDL considers the variations in student learning preferences before designing instruction, rather than “retrofitting” instruction to accommodate student diversity. UDL is a foundational component of a three-tiered model of college and career readiness for all students. UDL offers unique opportunities to support students with disabilities, both inside and outside the classroom. This webinar is designed for youth.
- Universal Design for Learning (Families)
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional approach that provides multiple avenues for students to access the general education curriculum. Based on the principles of architectural design, UDL considers the variations in student learning preferences before designing instruction, rather than “retrofitting” instruction to accommodate student diversity. UDL is a foundational component of a three-tiered model of college and career readiness for all students. UDL offers unique opportunities to support students with disabilities, both inside and outside the classroom. This webinar is designed for families.
- Supporting Decision Making
- The freedom to make decisions which affect our lives is a fundamental right that each of us should enjoy. The decisions and choices that we make are a reflection of who we are as individuals. They allow us to express our views, our personalities, our desires and goals as well as to reflect what we think is important in life. Through these choices and decisions we can pursue the lifestyles that we want. Supporting decision making: A guide to supporting people with a disability to make their own decisions, published by Disability Services Division Victorian Government Department Human Services, Victoria, Australia has been developed to assist support workers and supporters of people with a disability to understand rights and responsibilities with regard to decision making. It is also intended to give people with a disability a platform from which to understand and reinforce their right to make decisions.
- March 19, 2015 - Transition Tools of Engagement for Youth and Young Adults
- Self-determination and self-advocacy are keys to youth and young adults success as they transition from high school to adult life. This session, presented in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) and the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL), provided information regarding resources and strategies to enhance active youth engagement
- Planning for the Future Checklist
- 21 and Able (an initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County) in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, PaTTAN, local school districts, family members, youth, and community agencies created the Planning for the Future Checklist. The checklist is available in both English and Spanish. The checklist is designed to support youth with disabilities, as well as their family and IEP team members, to ensure they are reviewing all aspects of transition planning at age appropriate intervals.
- Discover Your Future
- A summer program designed for 10th - 12th grade college-bound deaf and hard of hearing students who want to learn more about themselves, their skills, and potential careers.
- Explore Your Future: Deaf and Hard of Hearing high school students
- Explore Your Future (EYF) is a six-day career exploration program at Rochester Institute of Technology for college-bound deaf and hard-of-hearing high school students who will be in their junior or senior year. This program focuses on personal growth and career awareness for students as they begin to think about college
- Hands and Voices
- Hands & Voices is a non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Hand & Voices provides non-biased information about communication methodologies and believes that families can make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support.
- Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
- The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is an organization representing people with hearing loss. The website has information on advocacy and also has an online community of young adults.
- Hiram G. Andrews Center: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
- The Hiram G. Andrews Center provides a comprehensive program of services featuring the integration of education on campus at the Commonwealth Technical Institute, counseling, evaluation and physical restoration in a barrier-free environment. The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services unit, under the direction of a vocational rehabilitation manager, includes a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and certified interpreters.
- Map It! What Comes Next (for students who are deaf or hard of hearing)
- This is a free, online, interactive training designed for transition-aged students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The training utilizes three questions: 1. Who Am I?, 2. What Do I Want?, 3. How Do I Get There? Video vignettes signed in ASL with spoken English and written transcription, self assessments, and a series of interactive questions guide students as they identify their goals and develop strategies to achieve them.
- Getting Hired
- This is a site for job seekers and employers with career tools including career assessment, job recommendations and interview training with captioned videos.
- National Association of the Deaf
- The mission of the National Association of the Deaf is to preserve, promote and protect the civil, human and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States.
- Success for Kids with Hearing Loss
- This is a website for professionals and family members seeking more information about the learning and social issues of children with hearing loss and what one can do to better support the future success of these children. Some of the resources are available at no cost and some are available for a fee. These are designed to be easy to understand quickly, and practical to use.
- Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- The Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ODHH) is an office within the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry that serves all 67 counties. ODHH is your first stop on the path to learn about anything and everything related to hearing loss, such as services, technology, sign language interpreters, or laws that require equal access for people who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing.
- Integrated Youth Development and Youth Leadership Webinar PowerPoint
- Self-determination and self-advocacy are keys to youth and young adults success as they transition from high school to adult life. This session, presented in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN) and the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL), will provided information regarding resources and strategies to enhance active, integrated youth engagement and leadership.
- Been There Done That
- Recorded at the 2016 PA Community on Transition Conference, a panel made up of young adults, family members, and support people provide insight into young peoples’ journeys through the transition years; where the students are now; and the youths' future plans.
- Building the Bridge to 21st Century Transitions: Methods, Materials, and Strategies to Promote Self-Determination
- Recorded at the 2016 PA Community on Transition Conference, this session overviews research and evidence-based practices to promote the self-determination of students with disabilities, enhance student involvement in transition planning, and to assess self-determination. Attendees will be provided information about resources that will enable them to implement effective practices to promote self-determination and promote student involvement in planning.
- Self-Determination and Strengths-Based Approaches to Disability: A Bridge for 21st Century Transitions
- Recorded at the 2016 PA Community on Transition Conference, this session examines self-determination, its application to the field of transition, and the central role of self-determination in newly emerging strengths-based models of disability. The session overviews research on self-determination and student involvement in education and transition planning and explores how changing understandings of disability are impacting the education of students with and without disabilities.