• DC3C is a program of the DC Special Education Cooperative.

Self-determination refers to both the right and the ability to direct your own life.

It allows people to make choices and decisions to improve their quality of life. The Virginia Dept. of Ed I’m Determined website explains this means an individual needs to know oneself, know what s/he would like his/her future to look like and how to plan for it, and knowing the supports s/he will need to have control.

“Studies show that students who included self-determination goals in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) were more likely to earn a higher income one year after graduation.” (Wehmeyer, 2004)

What’s my role?

  • Encourage and enable your child to make choices about everyday activities.
  • Help child understand choices have consequences, that are both good and bad.
  • Support your child with setting a goal, monitoring progress.
  • Encourage disability awareness. A disability isn’t something that is bad.
  • Model Problem Solving.
  • Be an advocate for your child—template on questions.