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.

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

Supporting Employment Choices: Lessons Learned

Little is known about the factors that influence employment-related choice-making for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As a result, research staff from the Institute for Community Inclusion interviewed 16 individuals with IDD at four community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) throughout Massachusetts, along with their family members and employment professionals.

Using a Collaborative, Person-Centered Planning Approach to Facilitate Community Employment in Massachusetts

The Northeast Region Supported Employment Project was developed by the North Shore area office of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services in 2007. This pilot program, open to any individual with ID/DD who wanted to work, emphasized a person- centered planning approach to achieving the individuals' goals for employment in the community.

Connecticut Showcases Creative Jobs with “Employment Idol”

In 2007, the State of Connecticut’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) partnered with the self-advocacy group People First of Connecticut to develop Employment Idol, an innovative project for promoting employment as the preferred outcome for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD) in the state. Spinning off the concept of the popular television show American Idol, Connecticut’s Employment Idol showcases the employment success stories of a select group of individuals with ID/DD.

Maine’s Peer- Support Training: Helping People with ID/DD Transition Out of Sheltered Workshops

In 2006, a new Maine law mandated the creation of a waiver program that promotes the expansion of supported employment programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). As a result, state funding for sheltered workshops was reduced for seven workshops and approximately 220 individuals throughout Maine.

Community Employment Training by and for Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Tennessee

Project Income was a joint venture between the Tennessee Microboards Association (statewide organization that supports individual microboards, which procure and oversee supports and services) and People First of Tennessee (a statewide self-advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities). The focus of the project was to educate people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families about the benefits of and opportunities for community employment.

The Power of Friendship

Friendship is important for all of us! This includes people with and without disabilities. People often feel better and happier when they have friends. As part of a research project about the choices people with disabilities make about work, we interviewed 16 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). These people also chose family members and professional staff people for us to interview. We asked them how they made decisions about working and making friends.