The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior beginning at the elementary level and continuing through the student’s educational career. The self-determined student knows how to set and achieve goals and has a greater understanding of personal strengths and how to get support for areas of need. The hallmark of the self-determination project is the “Aha Moment” - the point when student, educator, and/or parent see how the development of these skills leads to improved academic and personal outcomes. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities, to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger. Teachers report seeing the “Aha Moment” in their students as one of the greatest rewards of their careers.
Virginia’s I’m Determined project: www.imdetermined.org
University of Oklahoma self-determination assessment tools: http://www.ou.edu/content/education/centers-and-partnerships/zarrow/self-determination-assessment-tools.html
Beach Center on Disability: http://www.beachcenter.org/education_and_training/self-determination/default.aspx