Self-Determined Learning for People with Disabilities

Hello group members,

In the disability community, self-determination refers to individuals with disabilities, including persons with intellectual disabilities, having the same right to self-determination as all people, that is, to have the freedom, authority, and support to exercise control over their lives.

Here are two interesting things for those interested in self-determination:

1)   The Training Resource Network, Inc (TRN) is building a learning site for students and adults with disabilities called “Community Launchpad.” It will offer learning opportunities for low or non-reading individuals on a variety of topics related to success in the community. These include career preparation, job performance, budgeting, self-care, and more. It will feature games, activities, and mini-presentations, and will be membership-based for access. For more information, you can subscribe to their free email newsletter at at

2)   The University of Illinois (UIC) NRTC Self-Determination Series has an effective tool for assessment specifically for people with psychiatric disabilities.  The name of that instrument is Express Yourself: Assessing Self-Determination in Your Life (2004) by Judith A. Cook, Carol Petersen, and Jessica A. Jonikas.  You can access that at  > 

Does anyone have any self-determination resources that have been used successfully with adult education students?

Please share.


Rochelle Kenyon, SME


Happy New Year.!! Thanks for bringing up this topic of self determination for people with learning disabilities. I now really appreaciate the fact that people with learning disability should be given time and opportunity to determine the destiny. We as teachers, parents, guadians, friends, relatives etc.. should help guide students with learning disabilities to their goals but not determine their destiny.


The Learning to Achieve Professional's Guide has a great section on self-determination.  See Chapter 2.  It includes some sample tools that can be used with students.