Self Determination and Decision making

Self-determination means making choices to live your life the way you want to. In these resources, learn more about how people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can increase their self-determination and lead more fulfilling lives.

Informed Decision Making: It Takes More Than Practice

Making decisions is not just about our skills. It is essential to take a close look at the amount and variety of opportunities being presented to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Always ask, “Are these the same possibilities available to people without disabilities?” The system is eager to measure our capacity. We recommend focusing on assessing the ability of teachers and support staff to be effective communicators and providers of reasonable accommodations. A person’s capacity to teach as well as learn is fluid and changes all the time.

44 Series - What does choice really mean when we talk about employment?

  Watch the recorded video here. The 44 series is an ongoing series of webinars (each about 44 minutes long, hence the name!) that address various topics related to integrated employment for individuals with IDD. In this edition to the series, originally presented on 11/27/18, speaker Liz Weintraub discussed issue of choice and self-direction in the job search process. She focused on challenges, risk, and empowerment for job seekers with disabilities. 

Considering Community Service: Building Self-Determination Skills for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Introduction

Limited employment outcomes of young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a recent surge in incidence of ASD diagnosis indicate a need for more effective school-to-work transition interventions. Community service opportunities can support young adults with ASD to gain skills, explore careers, and develop networks that can lead to meaningful employment.

A Purpose in Life: Why Employment First Matters to Self-Advocates

Self-advocates with intellectual disabilities describe Employment First efforts in their states, and why those efforts are important.

Quick summary:

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered asked leaders in the self-advocacy movement to describe the impact of Employment First in their states. The authors spoke with 21 peer leaders across the country and asked, “What does Employment First mean?”

Download here

Key findings and quotes

44 Series - Financial Well-Being: Reframing the Conversation

  Watch the recorded webinar here. When looking for a new job, it’s logical to “do the math.” We consider what we need (food, housing, healthcare) and what we want (gym membership, car, vacation). We balance potential income against expenses. Finally, we evaluate whether a particular job will help us achieve our goals. Benefits can be a lifeline, but continuous reliance on them can limit people to a life in poverty.

Delphi Panel Findings #4: Education and Training for Job Seekers

This is the fourth in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the role of education and training for job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), which was the third-ranked overarching priority among the Delphi panel members.