Capstone/Dissertation Title

How can I effectively teach self-advocacy skills to secondary students with developmental cognitive disabilities?: curriculum design

Term

2006

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

This capstone examined transition skills and transition planning for secondary students with mild developmental cognitive disabilities (DCD) with the goal of designing a scope and sequence for teaching daily living skills. The research into the history of transition planning, what defines the developmentally cognitively disabled student, ineffective and effective curriculum led to a revision of the original question. The literature suggested that the most important skill for a rewarding and successful adult life for DCD students was self-advocacy. The new focus of this project was to answer the question of how to effectively teach self-advocacy skills at the high school level. The results of the research led to the development of a self-advocacy curriculum aimed at secondary DCD students. Self-advocacy was broken down into three major components (self-determination, identifying choices and making good decisions, understanding the Individual Education Plan) and lesson plans were created for each. The end product of a self-advocacy curriculum contains the following: lesson plans, student worksheets and handouts, a student booklet for facilitating an IEP meeting, checklists for teachers, students and parents, and a list of possible resources available in the community.

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