Self determination

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.

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?”

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Key findings and quotes

44 Series - Financial Well-Being: Reframing the Conversation

Watch the archived 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.

44 Series - Informed Choice and Employment First: What does it Really Mean?

Listen to the archived webinar here. This webinar looked at the subject of informed choice. What considerations come into play when someone with IDD “chooses work”? What information and exposure or exploration does someone need to decide to leave a familiar setting, such as a sheltered workshop or day program, to work in their community?

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.

Choosing Employment: Factors that Impact Employment Decisions for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Little is known about the factors that shape the employment-related decisions of individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD). This article presents findings from qualitative interviews with individuals with ID/DD, their family members and employment-support professionals from four Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) throughout Massachusetts. Recognizing the value of participatory action research, this study also included a co-researcher with ID/DD who participated in all facets of the research process.

The Influential Role of the Job Developer: Increasing Self-Determination and Family Involvement Through the Job Search

Job developers can influence decision-making during the job search and placement process. For a study exploring the employment decisions of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), researchers interviewed 16 individuals with IDD, their family members, and professionals involved in their job search. Participants were asked what factors, circumstances, or people affected their decisions about work. The job developer was consistently named the most influential person in the job-search process.