Self-Determination skills are a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that you are capable to set goals and manage his or her own life without outside control.  Research shows individuals who score higher on measures of these skills have a greater ability to take control of their own life and assume a role of a successful adult – a life the person with disability chooses, and gives them self-satisfaction and greater independence which leads to better positive adult outcomes such as better employment, reduction of health disparities, and better living situations (Wehmeyer & Schwartz 1997).

Self Determination skills include:

  • Problem solving – effective respond to and generate solutions to challenging situations that arise.  Increase ability to safely navigate different environments.
  • Decision making – involves choosing between unlimited options
  • Goal setting – ability to determine what is important to me, set appropriate goals for self, sense of direction and achieve goals with action. 
  • Taking responsibility – teach decision making, consequences, self-discipline leads to greater self-confidence. 
  • Self-expression skills – expressing choices and asking for what they want, need and expressing their feelings.
  • Self-Awareness Skills – accurate their own preferences, interests, abilities, strengths, and areas of limitations and information about the disability.  Focus on abilities.  Everyone is unique. 
  • Self-Advocacy Skills – knowing and standing up for your rights.  When to self-disclose. 
  • Leadership and Group Skills –  Includes organizational participation, team dynamics and roles, time management, being flexible, and giving into group demands
  • Finding out who will support you in your journey.  People who have receive support and intimacy, tend to feel more connected in their communities and have people to support them when challenges arise. 

Independence U is a 9 week class which teaches and reinforces these skills with hands-on activities, group discussions, and by real world experiences.  Our first cohort started in Jan 2018.   They are now piloting their own new group a Gamers/Anime Meetup in which they are organizing and facilitating.  

Look for more information in 2019 for the second cohort.

Made possible in part by the Annenberg Foundation