Links Module 5

http://caohrazda.com/

SECTION 2: Strategies for Customization

Adapting and Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

The following resources provide guidance on working with students with a variety of disabilities. The resources provide information about adaptations that can be made to instructional techniques and accommodations that can be provided to increase inclusion in the classroom.

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
Link: cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/disabilities/

Successful Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Source: Learning Disabilities Association of America
Link: ldaamerica.org/successful-strategies-for-teaching-students-with-learning-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/teaching/topics/inclusive-teaching/teaching-students-with-disabilities/

Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: University of Rochester
Link: www.rochester.edu/college/teaching/teaching-guidance/students-with-disabilities.html

Etiquette for Working with Students with Disabilities
Source: Best Colleges
Link: www.bestcolleges.com/resources/disability-etiquette/

Students with Disabilities in the College Classroom
Source: HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
Link: www.heath.gwu.edu/students-disabilities-college-classroom

College for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Students, Families, and Educators
Source: Maryville University
Link: online.maryville.edu/disabilities-guide/

Tips for Teaching Students with Disabilities
Source: The University of Wyoming — University Disability Support Services
Link: www.uwyo.edu/wind/echo OR www.uwyo.edu/wind/index.html

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education
Source: DO IT Center, University of Washington
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/invisible-disabilities-and-postsecondary-education
Related Video – Captioned and Audio Described (18:44 minutes)
Link: www.washington.edu/doit/videos/index.php?vid=36

How to Teach and Accommodate
Source: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Link: www.umassd.edu/dss/resources/faculty-staff/how-to-teach-and-accommodate/

23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child
Source: Special Needs Resources
Link: www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/04/16/23-ways-to-communicate-with-a-non-verbal-child/

Instructional Strategies
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies

At a Glance: Classroom Accommodations for Nonverbal Learning Disabilities
Source: Understood: for Learning & Attention Issues
Link: www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/at-a-glance-classroom-accommodations-for-nonverbal-learning-disabilities

Customizing the Lesson Using Presentation Material and Interactive Exercises

There are three sets of resources provided that can be woven together to customize the learning experience, depending on your goals as a facilitator for this particular lesson on the ADA and Higher Education (e.g., providing a very simple introduction versus teaching the basics as a platform for having students engage in deeper learning about complex examples). These include: (1) advance preparation material that students can review; (2) a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a presentation and discussion format; and (3) a set of interactive exercises to stimulate applied learning, creativity, and deeper thinking about the concepts.

1.    Advance Preparation Material for Students

This lesson provides a very simple, high-level overview of self-advocacy. The goal is to introduce students to the idea of “self-advocacy” and about the benefits of being a self-advocate. Suggested resources for advance preparation include readings and videos of self-advocacy.

As noted, these materials can be provided in advance to students, or if the class session is long enough, they may be used in class prior to presenting the PowerPoint slides and getting into a specific discussion of self-advocacy. Alternatively, they could be used as both advance preparation (pre-homework) and repeated in class to reinforce the learning.

2.   PowerPoint Slides

The PowerPoint slides can be used in class to provide an overview of Advocating for My Rights Under the ADA. Combined with the interactive exercises, the presentation can be extended to cover a long class session or multiple smaller class sessions. The slides can also be presented on their own as part of a short lesson on Advocating for My Rights Under the ADA.

3.   Interactive Exercises

Several interactive exercises are provided to engage the students in considering specific examples that relate to the material “Advocating for My Rights Under the ADA.” For example, while the presentation material explains the self-advocacy and discusses the process, an interactive exercise leads the students to practice how to self-advocate (see interactive exercise #2). Therefore, the exercise provides a concrete lesson on the accommodation process and explains how the ADA is a law that applies to colleges and universities.

SECTION 3: Suggested Advance Preparation for Facilitators

Readings

The Importance of Self-Advocacy for Kids with Learning and Attention Issues
Source: Understood
Link: www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/self-advocacy/the-importance-of-self-advocacy

Best Practices in Self-Advocacy Skill Buildings
Source: Parent Center Hub/ Center for Parent Information and Resources
Link: www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/priority-selfadvocacy/

Parent Center Priority Topic Area Resource Pages on Self-Advocacy for Youth
Source: Parent Center Hub/ Center for Parent Information and Resources
Link: oklahomaparentscenter.org/youth/self-advocacy/

ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness & Self-Advocacy
Source: University of Oklahoma
Link: transitionalliancesc.org/lessons-1-10/

Teaching Self Advocacy Skills
Source: Public Domain
Link: teachingselfadvocacy.wordpress.com/description-of-self-advocacy/

Autism Speaks: Family and Adults Transition Self Advocacy Toolkit
Source: Autism Speaks
Link: www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/transition-tool-kit

Self-Advocacy: A Valuable Skill for Your Teenager with LD
Source: Great Schools
Link: www.apa.org/pi/disability/dart/toolkit-three.aspx

Youth Development and Leadership Resources
Source: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Link: www.ncwd-youth.info/topic/youth-development

Wrightslaw Resources on Self-Advocacy
Source: Wrightslaw
Link: www.wrightslaw.com/info/self.advocacy.htm

Information on Disability Rights and Self-Advocacy
Topic areas are listed in the sidebar on this page.
Source:
Institute on Human Development and Disability, University Center on Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service, University of Georgia
Link: www.fcs.uga.edu/ihdd/employment

Parent to Parent of Georgia Roadmap to Success
Source: Parent to Parent of Georgia
Link: roadmap.p2pga.org/index.php/self-advocacy

Web Course

Foundations of the Americans with Disabilities Act Web Course (Southeast ADA Center)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link:
bit.ly/foundations-ada-course

The ADA Foundations (bit.ly/foundations-ada-course) is a comprehensive web course designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The web course has been developed to help you learn about the important concepts of the ADA and to think about inclusive solutions for people with disabilities in the workplace, state and local government programs, and private businesses.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this web course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of the ADA using a civil rights framework.
  • Identify the five titles of the ADA.
  • Provide a basic overview of each title of the ADA.
  • Define the general nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA.
  • Explain each nondiscrimination requirement using 1-2 real-life examples.
  • Identify the defenses or limitations of each nondiscrimination requirement.
  • Identify the federal agencies responsible for enforcing each title of the ADA.
  • Locate and use resources for information on the ADA.

SECTION 4: Suggested Advance Preparation for Students

The following advanced reading assignments and video excerpts can be assigned to students to prepare them for learning about Disclosure, Self-Identification, and Discussing Your Disability

Readings

Autism Speaks: Family and Adults Transition Self Advocacy Toolkit
Source: Autism Speaks
Link: www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/transition-tool-kit

Navigating College
This site includes a blog and a guide that you can download or buy in print.
Source:
Autistic Self-Advocacy Network
Link: navigatingcollege.org

Wrightslaw Resources on Self-Advocacy
Source: Wrightslaw
Link: www.wrightslaw.com/info/self.advocacy.htm

Self-Advocacy: Know Yourself, Know What You Need, Know How to Get It
Source: Wrightslaw
Link: www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.selfadvo.nancy.james.htm

Youth in Action! Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate
Source: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Link: www.ncwd-youth.info/publications/youth-in-action-becoming-a-stronger-self-advocate/

Youth Development and Leadership Resources
Source: National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Link: www.ncwd-youth.info/topic/youth-development

Information on Disability Rights and Self-Advocacy
Topic areas are listed in the sidebar on this page.
Source:
Institute on Human Development and Disability, University Center on Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service, University of Georgia
Link: www.fcs.uga.edu/ihdd/employment

Parent to Parent of Georgia Roadmap to Success
Source: Parent to Parent of Georgia
Link: roadmap.p2pga.org/index.php/self-advocacy

Videos

Activate Here
Activate Here! is a series of seven short videos for self-advocates, created by self-advocates. These downloadable videos can help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities develop their advocacy skills.
Source:
Welcome Change Productions
Link: vimeo.com/113539854

Web Course

Foundations of the Americans with Disabilities Act Web Course (Southeast ADA Center)
Source: Southeast ADA Center
Link:
bit.ly/foundations-ada-course

The ADA Foundations (bit.ly/foundations-ada-course) is a comprehensive web course designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of the core concepts about the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The web course has been developed to help you learn about the important concepts of the ADA and to think about inclusive solutions for people with disabilities in the workplace, state and local government programs, and private businesses.

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this web course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the purpose of the ADA using a civil rights framework.
  • Identify the five titles of the ADA.
  • Provide a basic overview of each title of the ADA.
  • Define the general nondiscrimination requirements of the ADA.
  • Explain each nondiscrimination requirement using 1-2 real-life examples.
  • Identify the defenses or limitations of each nondiscrimination requirement.
  • Identify the federal agencies responsible for enforcing each title of the ADA.
  • Locate and use resources for information on the ADA.

 

SECTION 5: Presentation

Pre-Module for the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: What do you think of when you hear the statement, “This is what my life will look like in 5 years.” What is happening for you then? What changes will you need to make in the next 5 years? Who might be able to help you during the next 5 years as you work on making changes for your life? Let’s share our ideas of what our lives might look like in 5 years, and let’s make a list of the changes we will need to make and the sources of help we might use to make these changes for our lives. (Keep these lists for use at the end of the Module.)

(Facilitator Note: Vary the time frame of “in the next 5 years” according to the milestones that may be approaching for your group and the level of life experiences among the group; use a time frame from 3 years to 10 years accordingly.)

Today we are going to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act and self-advocacy.

Facilitator Note: Use the Module 5 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… You’re in the driver’s seat! Self-Advocacy.

Module 5 PowerPoint slides, Pathways to Careers… Advocating for My Rights Under the ADA

Slide 1 – Pathways to Careers…. ADA in Higher Education

Slide 1 Notes – Pathways to Careers…. You’re in the driver’s seat! Self-Advocacy

Objective: The student will learn about the term “self-advocacy”.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Today we are going to learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act and how it can help us self-advocate.

 

 

Slide 2 – What is “Self-Advocacy”?

Slide 2 Notes – What is “Self-Advocacy”?
Objective: The student will learn about the term “self-advocacy.”

Facilitator Talking Points:
When we are young, people make decisions for us – decisions about what to eat for dinner and the time we go to bed. We also have decisions made for us about where we live or if we need to see a doctor. As we grow up, we should take on more responsibility for making our own decisions. However, if you have a disability, people might believe that you cannot make decisions for yourself. Even as an adult, well-meaning people may continue to deny you the opportunity to decide what you want to do. In this module, we will learn how to be a “self-advocate.” Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself and making your feelings and opinions heard. In order to be a good self-advocate, you need to know what you want and be able to tell someone, even if it is scary. You need to know what rights you have under the law to make decisions. Whether you have a disability or not, we all need help in making decisions. A good self-advocate seeks out advice from people they trust to make the best decision they can.

Slide 3 – I Am Empowered!

Slide 3 Notes – I Am Empowered!

Objective: In slides three and four the student will learn why self-advocacy is important.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Making our own decisions feels good. When we are denied the opportunity to speak for ourselves, we might feel like we do not have any control over our lives. The dictionary defines “empowered” as “to give authority or legal power to.” (Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empowered). This means you have the authority to make your own decisions. You are in control.

Slide 4 – I Have More Confidence!

Slide 4 Notes – I Have More Confidence!

Objective: In slides three and four the student will learn why self-advocacy is important.

Facilitator Talking Points:

When we feel empowered to make our own decisions, we gain more confidence in ourselves. Another way to think about this is that we are proud of being able to have control over what we do and the choices we make. We will not always make the right decision. Sometimes, we will make a bad decision, but that is part of learning from our mistakes. Let’s think about times in your lives where decisions were made for you. How did that make you feel? Have you had opportunities to make your own decisions, even small ones? How did that make you feel?

Slide 5 – What Does It Mean to be a Self-Advocate?

Slide 5 Notes – What Does It Mean to be a Self-Advocate?

Objective: The student will learn about the benefits of being a self-advocate.

Facilitator Talking Points:

When we are empowered to make our own decisions, we take control of how we live our lives. We all want to be the best person we can be. Being a good self-advocate means making decisions that help us to live a full life. We can choose to go to a movie with friends or stay at home and watch TV. We can decide what time to go to bed. We also make big decisions about accepting a job offer or going to college. Being empowered means speaking up about where you want to live or the services you get. It also means you make decisions about your health care.

Being a self-advocate also comes with responsibility. You should always try to make decisions that are best for you. If you decide to stay up late and you have a test early the next morning, you might oversleep or do poorly on the test. If you have to be at work at 9:00 AM but your friends want you to meet them at 9:00 AM at the park to play basketball, what would be a good choice to make?

Slide 6 – Why Do I Need to be a Self-Advocate?

Slide 6 Notes – Why Do I Need to be a Self-Advocate?

Objective: The student will learn:

  1. How the services they get in high school are different from adult life.
  2. Why the need to advocate for yourself is important.

Facilitator Talking Points:

We all need help to make decisions. If I don’t understand a school assignment, I might ask a teacher or a classmate.it. If I am at work and I don’t know how to use the copier, I might ask a co-worker to show me how to use it. If I don’t know what to wear to a wedding, I might ask a friend. It is always a good idea to ask for help when we need it.

In high school, you have benefited from laws that say your school must provide you with an education that meets your learning style. These laws have helped you get to this point in your life. However, when you leave high school and go to work or to college, you must ask for accommodations that will help you. Accommodations are not automatic. Therefore, if you need accommodation to be successful, disclosing your disability and getting help is very important.

In order to get an accommodation, you need to be able to speak up for yourself. An employer or college can’t help you unless they know you have a disability and you need some help.

Being a good self-advocate takes practice. You will have to ask for what you need and stick to the point. It will be very important as sometimes people will try to change your mind. They may not value your opinion; however, you know what is best for you. Don’t give up.

Slide 7 – Things I Need to Know to be a Better Self-Advocate

Slide 7 Notes – Things I Need to Know to be a Better Self-Advocate

Objective: The student will learn strategies for self-advocacy.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Everybody needs to learn how to speak up for himself or herself. It takes a lot of practice. Here are some suggestions on how to be a better self-advocate.

  1. List the things that you do well. Everybody has things they do really well and things that they do not do well at all. What are your talents? Sometimes, it is hard for us to think about the things we do well. It is a good idea to talk to other people we trust and ask them what they think our skills are. You might want to write down what you do well so you have a better understanding of your skills and as a reminder when you are not so sure of yourself. *
  2. Another suggestion is to think in terms of goals. Some goals are big, such as “I want to live in my own apartment.” On your way to your big goal, you have many smaller goals. For instance, in what part of town do I want to live? What job can I work to earn money for the rent? How do I make a budget to ensure that I have enough money to pay expenses?
  3. You must know your rights and responsibilities. How do you know, for instance, if your boss is doing his job or violated your rights? Knowing your legal rights also means knowing what responsibilities you have when you exercise your rights. For instance, if you need an accommodation on the job or at school, it is your responsibility to disclose your disability. Remember, the ADA is a civil rights law that allows you to have equal opportunity not special treatment.
  4. In addition to writing down your talents and skills, you may also want to list areas where you might need help. Do you need large print or a software to enlarge text on the screen? Do you need help to learn how to use the wheelchair lift on the bus? Do you need help to ask for a sign language interpreter for a job interview? If you have accommodations that you have used in high school, you can use these ideas. Would these accommodations help you or be available in college or on the job? It might also help to talk to your high school teachers and counselors and explore ideas. Writing these things down will help you think about what you might need and identify ways to address these issues.

*Facilitator Note: It can be difficult for young people to identify their strengths. As the facilitator, be prepared to guide students in this conversation.

Tips:

  1. Ask the student if he/she can identify something he/she does well. Follow up with the question “How did you learn that?”.
  2. Prior to the class session, get ideas from students’ parents or family members about things that he/she believes that the students do well. Use these items to discuss the student’s strengths. This will also involve the parents in the development of the student’s self-advocacy skills.
  3. Encourage the students to talk about new activities they may have tried even if they were a bit afraid. These new activities may have turned into areas of strength.
  4. Ask the students in the class to mention something another student is particularly good at doing.
  5. As the facilitator, mention a skill that you believe is a strength in the student(s).

Slide 8– How Can I be a Better Self-Advocate?

Slide 8 Notes – How Can I be a Better Self-Advocate?

Objective: The student will learn strategies for self-advocacy.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Asking questions can be hard. Sometimes we don’t like to admit that we don’t know “the answers.” The truth is we all need help at times. Asking questions allows us to share information. It is important to ask questions when we are unsure about something.

Being a good self-advocate takes practice. A good place to start is by speaking up for yourself in groups where you feel safe and confident. These groups can be your family or a group of trusted friends. School is also a good place to speak up for yourself.

It is always a good idea to write things down so you can remember them when it is time to speak up. You might think you will remember everything. Sometimes, we get nervous and forget what we want to say. By writing down your thoughts, you have something to help you.

Slide 9 – Tips for Speaking Up (slide 1 of 2)

Slide 9 Notes – Tips for Speaking Up (slide 1 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn tips for speaking up.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Let’s talk about some tips for speaking up for yourself. It is always a good idea to be calm when you are speaking up for yourself. Speaking up for your needs can make you anxious, especially when you are unsure of yourself or the other person. Confidence comes with practice. Sometimes you will have to be persistent until you get what you need. “I” messages are important when speaking up for yourself. Saying things like “I believe I need some help to do my job better” allows your feelings to be understood. Saying “you need to give me an accommodation” doesn’t let you express your feelings. It also makes the person more likely to become defensive.

We should always be respectful of people when we talk with them. Respect is an “understanding that someone or something is important and should be treated in an appropriate way.” (Source: Learner’s Dictionary – learnersdictionary.com/definition/respect) Conversations don’t go well if we don’t treat people with respect. You should always give the same respect to people that you would expect them to give you. You should also be a good listener. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we want that we forget to listen to what other people have to say. A good conversation is about listening as much, or more, than you are speaking. You should always be polite but firm when speaking up for yourself. If things don’t go your way or you begin to feel upset, it’s OK to stop and ask for time to calm down. Remember to be firm but polite. You will never have your needs met by getting angry.

Slide 10 – Tips for Speaking Up (slide 2 of 2)

Slide 10 Notes – Tips for Speaking Up (slide 2 of 2)

Objective: The student will learn strategies for self-advocacy.

Facilitator Talking Points:

Maybe you have heard someone say, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” What they mean is that you influence people by being nice to them instead of being rude. In speaking up for yourself, it is important to be respectful of people and avoid becoming angry. Saying hurtful things or interrupting the other person will not help you get what you need. Raising your voice or becoming angry is not helpful when trying to have a good conversation with someone. As we mentioned before, it is always a good idea to take a break when you feel you are becoming upset.

Our words aren’t the only way we tell people what we are thinking. The way we cross our arms or how we sit also tell people what is on our minds. If we make a fist while talking with someone, we tell someone we are angry. If we fold our arms across our chest, we are telling people that we don’t trust what they are saying. If we feel uneasy we might fold our hands in our lap while sitting down. These things are called “body language”. Body language gives people clues about what we are thinking. Often, our body language is subtle and might not be obvious. For example, holding a backpack or phone in front of you might be a message that you don’t want to talk.

Facilitator Note: This discussion offers the facilitator the opportunity to demonstrate body language such as clenched fists, arms folded across chest, hands hidden, crossed legs, “mad” face, etc.

 

 

Slide 11 – Supported Decision-Making

Slide 11 Notes – Supported Decision-Making
Objective: The student will be introduced to Supported Decision-Making as a resource for making good decisions.

Facilitator Talking Points:
A few minutes ago, we talked about how everybody needs help with making some decisions. For some people with disabilities this can be very hard. Sometimes, people have “guardians.” This is where someone can legally make decisions for you. There is another way, even if you have a guardian, to make your own decisions. This is something called Supported Decision-Making. In Supported Decision-Making, a group of people whom you choose can work as a team to help you think about an issue in order to make a decision. The team is there to give you advice, but the decision is all yours. The group agrees to respect the decision that you make. Supported Decision-Making can help you, even if someone else, such as a guardian, legally makes decisions for you. The law says you have the right to be as independent as you can be even if the courts have asked someone to help you. To learn more about Supported Decision-Making you can look at the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making Website – [www.supporteddecisionmaking.org].

Slide 12 – What Does Supported Decision-Making Mean?

Slide 12 Notes – What Does Supported Decision-Making Mean?

Objective: The student will be introduced to Supported Decision-Making as a resource for making good decisions.

Facilitator Talking Points: We all need help making decisions. If my car breaks down and I don’t know how to fix it, I take it to a mechanic. If I am sick, I get help from a doctor or other health care worker about what I should do to get better. If I am thinking about buying something that costs a lot of money, I might ask for the opinions of people I trust to buy the right thing. We all use a form of Supported Decision-Making every day, whether we call it that or not. When we get advice from people we trust, people who are looking out for us, we become better self-advocates.

 

 

Slide 13 – A Quote to Remember

Slide 13 Notes – A Quote to Remember

Objective: Summary of the module with a quote by Tony Coelho.

Facilitator Talking Points:

One of the most important sponsors of the Americans with Disabilities Act is Representative Tony Coelho from California. He has always been an advocate for people with disabilities. Because Tony Coelho has a disability, he has experienced discrimination in the past. This quote by Tony Coelho is a good summary of self-advocacy. “Self advocacy begins by understanding that rights are never granted from above. They are grasped from below by those with the courage and determination to seize that to which they are entitled”. What do you think he meant by this?

Facilitator Note: Some prompts may be necessary to get the point across that by making our needs known we have the power to gain our rights and make our voices heard. Some examples are provided below to assist you with facilitating the conversation about self-advocacy.

  1. Speaking up at school when others decide how you will spend your day. This could be in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, a discussion about your goals, or in a meeting with your teacher.
  2. Requesting assistance at a store when you are trying to buy an item but the items are too high on the shelf.
  3. Bringing your service animal into a restaurant and the staff says that you can’t bring your dog into the restaurant.

Take-Away: Self-advocacy is for every situation where someone, either on purpose or without thought, tries to deny you basic rights protected by law. Remember, you have the power within you to speak up!

Post Module for the Training Facilitator:

Post-Module Facilitator Note: After you have completed the PowerPoint and learning activities, summarize the session(s) with the group. From the Pre-Module activity, review the lists of changes that the group identified to be made in the next 5 years and the sources of help they identified in order to get to where they want to go.

“Now that we have finished this module on self-advocacy, are there other changes you want to add to this list, and are there other sources of help that you would like to add to this original list?” (Use another color for adding responses from the group to clearly show what has changed since the start of this module.)

After you have completed the PowerPoint and learning activities, summarize the session(s) with the group. From the Pre-Module activity, review the lists of changes that the group identified to be made in the next 5 years and the sources of help they identified in order to get to where they want to go.

“Now that we have finished this module on self-advocacy, are there other changes you want to add to this list, and are there other sources of help that you would like to add to this original list?” (Use another color for adding responses from the group to clearly show what has changed since the start of this module.)

 

 

SECTION 6: Learning Activities

For the Training Facilitator:

Facilitator Note: Learning activities have been designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation. A menu of activities has been provided. You may choose one or more activities based upon the time that you have to present the material and upon the needs of the students. For each interactive activity designed to reinforce the content from the PowerPoint presentation, suggested time frames are included below. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

Activity #1: Group Discussion

Facilitator Note: Please allow time frames for these discussions and activities that are appropriate for the size of the group and the nature of the makeup of the group. Please be flexible if the discussion or the sharing is productive, and the participants are actively engaged.

Activity 1A: “How Do I Know When the Time Is Right?”

Time: 10 minutes or more
Facilitator Script
: How do you know when the time is right for you to speak up for yourself or to ask for help? Do you remember a situation when you realized something was happening that did not seem right? Or have you been in a situation when you suddenly realized that you were going to have to ask for help because of what was happening with you? What were you feeling at that time? (Allow responses from group.)

You might call that “uncomfortable.” This is a signal to you that this might be a time when you need to speak up for yourself or to ask for help with what is happening. Does anyone remember feeling this way? What was happening?

Next, you need to think about your passion level. Is this important to you? Do you feel strongly about what is happening? How will the situation affect you? Remember, we have to save our time and energy to fight the battles that are important to us – the things that spark our passion. We don’t want to wear ourselves out trying to fight every battle that comes our way.

Can anyone think of a time when you had to consider your passion level to decide whether or not to speak up for yourself or to ask for help? Here are some things to think about when you consider your passion level:

  • What do you know about what is happening to you?
  • Is it wrong?
  • Do you know if someone is breaking a rule or a law?
  • If you are not sure, is there someone you can check in with to see what that person thinks?

Finally, you might want to check in with someone you trust, if you can, just to make sure that the way you are feeling does call for you to advocate for yourself. Does that person know more about what is happening? Does that person also think it is wrong? Then, the time to advocate is right!

Activity 1B: “What Does Self-Advocacy Look Like?”

Time: 10 minutes or more
Facilitator Script:
“Let’s think of some times when you advocated for yourself. I will read a statement, and let’s share what comes to mind for you when you hear the statement.”

Statement 1: “I feel comfortable speaking up for myself.” This could be anywhere—at home, at school, out in the community, anywhere. What did you think of when you heard that statement? (Reinforce that each instance of speaking up for yourself is self-advocacy.)

Statement 2: “I know how to ask for help when I need it.” What did you think of when you heard that statement? (Reinforce that each instance of asking for help when it is needed is self-advocacy.)

Statement 3: “I know about my legal rights.” What did you think of when you heard that statement? What are some of the legal rights you may have? If you are uncertain about your legal rights, how can you find out about your legal rights?

Activity #2 Art Projects & Musical Expression

Art Projects

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by art activities, such as drawing, painting, collages, murals, etc., you might use art materials to do the following. Please keep in mind the age of your youth as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group. If you have members of your group who will have difficulty manipulating art materials, such as youth who have difficulty using scissors due to limited hand dexterity, consider working in partners or small groups.

If your group is made up of students with varying levels of vision loss, consider having students with low vision work as partners or in small groups with students with total vision loss. Using materials such as magazines, advertising flyers, brochures, pamphlets, etc., have the students with low vision audio describe the pictures and words that the partners or small groups might decide to use in a collage or mural. If your group is made up of students with total vision loss, consider using the Musical Expression activity with your group.

Activity 2A: “My Life in 5 Years”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note (Materials): Use large pieces of drawing paper and any art materials you like.

Facilitator Note: Using any art materials, show what you think your life will be like in 5 years from now.

  • Where will you be living?
  • What will you be doing?
  • Do you have any favorite activities in the community?

This is your picture of the world you would like to create for yourself. When you are finished with your picture of your life in 5 years, turn your paper over and write on the back any changes you will need to make to get there, and possible sources of help that might get you to where you want to be in 5 years from now. When I call time, we will get together to share our pictures of our lives in 5 years.

Facilitator Note: Vary the time frame of “in the next 5 years” according to the milestones that may be approaching for your group and the level of life experiences among the group; use a time frame from 3 years to 10 years accordingly.

Activity 2B: “This Calls for Self-Advocacy!”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note: Using the statements below, have the group use any art materials to show a time when the statement is true for that person. Emphasize that the instance shown in their work could be anywhere, such as at home, at school, in the community, etc., or at any time.

Statements to illustrate in art projects:

  • “I feel comfortable speaking up for myself.”
  • “I know how to ask for help when I need it.”
  • “I know about my legal rights.”

When I call time, we will get back together to share our artwork. (Reinforce each instance of self-advocacy illustrated in the artworks.)

Musical Expression

Facilitator Note: If your group is engaged by musical expression, you might want to use activities such as singing, simple musical instruments, percussion instruments, drumming, etc. The activity of drumming can be done using plastic buckets or containers or using hands on tabletops. Please keep in mind the age of your students as well as the individual skill levels and specific disabilities to allow time frames that are appropriate for your group.

 

 

Activity 2C: “My Song for Me!”

Time: 15 minutes or more
Facilitator Note: For this Musical Expression activity, vary the time frame for “in the future” according to the milestones that may be approaching for your group and the level of life experiences among the group; use a time frame from 3 years to 10 years from now accordingly.)

Facilitator Script: “Today you are going to create your own song that tells about you and what you want your life to be like in 3 years from now. Some of the things you might think about including in your song are:

  • Where will you be living?
  • What will you be doing?
  • Do you have any favorite activities in the community?
  • What changes will you have to make in your life?
  • Where could you get help that might get you to where you want to be in 3 years from now?

This is your song about the world you would like to create for yourself. When I call time, we will get together to share our songs about our lives in 3 years from now. If you need any back-up singers or back-up musicians for your performance of your song, feel free to ask other members of the group.”

 

 

Activity #3 Dramatic Arts

Facilitator Note: If your group is especially engaged by dramatic arts, such as role plays, skits, improvisation, etc., you might use dramatic arts activities.

Facilitator Note: Since the purpose of this series of modules is to build self-advocacy skills while learning about rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, other self-advocacy skills activities have been introduced in other modules. You might want to refer to some of these to build and strengthen self-advocacy skills among your group if you have not previously utilized these other self-advocacy skills activities.

Activity 3A: Self-Advocacy Skills — “This Calls for Self-Advocacy!”

Time: 10—15 minutes

Facilitator Note: Using partners or small groups, have each pair or each small group develop an idea for a skit about one or more of the following statements, and act out the skit in front of the group. Following each dramatic arts performance, ask for feedback from the group about the self-advocacy techniques shown in the skit.

Facilitator Note: If you need prompts, you might ask, “What self-advocacy techniques did you see in this skit?” or “Did you see an example of someone advocating for herself or himself?” or “Did you see an example of someone asking for help?”

Ask the group if they have any suggestions for the situation shown in the skit.

Facilitator Note: If you need prompts, you might ask, “Is there anything you would change about this skit? If so, why?”

Statements for dramatic arts skits:

  • “I feel comfortable speaking up for myself.”
  • “I know how to ask for help when I need it.”
  • “I know about my legal rights.”

Activity 3B: Self-Advocacy Skills – “Is Your Style Working for You?”

Time: 10—15 minutes

Facilitator Note: When people are not using an Assertive Communication Style to get what they need or to ask for help, they sometimes use one or more of the following not-so-productive communication styles. Using dramatic arts skits, review these passive and aggressive communication styles with your group, and then contrast each skit with what the situation might look like using an assertive self-advocacy approach.

Communication Styles

Passive Communication

Sometimes people use communication styles that are passive, and their efforts to get what they need or to ask for help are not effective. Here are some examples of communication styles that are passive and usually not productive:

  • Sometimes people are afraid to say anything or do anything that might offend someone else, especially bureaucrats, so they only say or do what is considered to be “nice” or agreeable. Often, this results in not getting what they need. With a partner or in a small group, create a skit where a person uses passive communication and is afraid to speak up or to disagree with the decisions of others, even though this prevents the person from getting what is needed. After the passive communication skit is presented to the group, have the partners or small group act out the same situation in an assertive communication style to show how the person could speak up for oneself or to ask for help or for what is needed.
  • Sometimes people do not speak up for themselves at all, but they expect others to speak up for their rights and to intervene on their behalf. Often, this results in having to go along with what others have decided for them, and this may not get their needs met. With a partner or in a small group, create a skit where a person uses passive communication and does not speak up at all but allows others to speak up and make decisions for that person, which prevents the person from getting what is needed. After the passive communication skit is presented to the group, have the partners or small group act out the same situation in an assertive communication style to show how the person could speak up for oneself or to ask for help or for what is needed.
Aggressive Communication

Sometimes people use communication styles that are aggressive, and their efforts to get what they need or to ask for help are not effective. Here are some examples of communication styles that are aggressive and usually not productive:

  • Sometimes people respond with anger and forcefulness instead of calmly and methodically building a good case for what they need. Often, this results in not getting what they need. With a partner or in a small group, create a skit where a person uses aggressive communication by responding with anger and forcefulness instead of speaking up calmly and repeatedly asking for what is needed. After the aggressive communication skit is presented to the group, have the partners or small group act out the same situation in an assertive communication style to show how the person could calmly speak up for oneself or focus on asking for help or for what is needed.
  • Sometimes people become defensive of their own words and actions and become critical of or attack the words and actions of others. Often, this results in not getting what they need. With a partner or in a small group, create a skit where a person uses aggressive communication by responding with defensiveness of oneself and criticism of others instead of speaking up for oneself and focusing on what is needed or asking for assistance. After the aggressive communication skit is presented to the group, have the partners or small group act out the same situation in an assertive communication style to show how the person could focus on speaking up for oneself or focus on asking for help or for what is needed..

Activity#4 Role Models

Facilitator Note: For young people with disabilities, it is very important to identify with role models who are people with disabilities living independently in the community. Sources for finding role models that may serve as guest speakers in class include:

Activity 4A: “And Now, A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5 – 15 minutes
Facilitator Note
: Invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to use their self-advocacy skills, either to speak up for themselves and their needs, to ask for help when needed, or to inform others about their legal rights when necessary. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

Activity 4B: Virtual Reality—”A Word from the Real World”

Time: 5 – 15 minutes

Facilitator Note: Using Zoom or a similar platform, invite a speaker or a small panel of 2 to 4 people with disabilities to briefly share about a time when they had to use their self-advocacy skills, either to speak up for themselves and their needs, to ask for help when needed, or to inform others about their legal rights when necessary. Then allow time for the group to ask questions and dialogue with the role model(s).

 

 

 

SECTION 7: Handouts or Materials Needed

  • Audiovisual equipment for PowerPoint presentation and/or videos.
  • Art materials, blank paper, colored pencils or markers.
  • Photocopies of PowerPoint slides, including alternate formats such as large print, Braille, and electronic formats such as a USB drive for students with visual or print disabilities.

SECTION 8: After Class

Homework Possibilities

Interview someone at home, your school, in your neighborhood or in the community.

Ask one or more of the following questions:

  • Can you tell me about a time or situation when you had to speak up for yourself?
  • Can you tell me how you asked for help when you need it?
  • Can you tell me about a time when you had to know about your legal rights?

During the next session, we will share these interviews with the group.

Facilitator Note: You may wish to identify several people in the school or community who would be willing to assist with this homework assignment. Refer to Section 9 – Community Organizations for possible contacts. Students may also want to interview someone they know such as a family member or friend. The contacts for the exercise may be people with and without disabilities.

 

 

Quiz Questions

Use these quiz questions to reinforce learning by giving this pop quiz at the end of class, as a homework assignment, or at the beginning of the next class session. Correct answers are noted with an asterisk (*).

  1. Self-advocacy means speaking up for yourself about the things you want for your life.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. It is always a good idea to get advice from people we trust when we have to make big decisions.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Supported Decision-Making is a way we can involve other people when you need help making decisions.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. One way we are empowered is by being in control of the decisions we make.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Being a good self-advocate means other people, not you, make decisions for you.
  • Yes
  • No*
  1. Being a good self-advocate means asking questions when you don’t understand something.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. It is always a good idea to write things down so you can remember them.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Being a good self-advocate means being a good listener.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. It is ok to ask for time to calm down if you feel yourself becoming upset.
  • Yes*
  • No
  1. Speaking up for yourself is a skill that you learn over time.
  • Yes*
  • No

SECTION 9: Resources for Students

Additional Reading and Videos

Fact Sheet: An Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/factsheet/ADA-overview

Video – Overview of the ADA
Source: ADA National Network and New England ADA Center

Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns7UY8HdPr8 (6:41 minutes)

Video: ADA Signing Ceremony (22 minutes)
Source:
U.S. Department of Justice
Link:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gsGiszvyjQ

The ADA National Network Disability Law Handbook
Source: ADA National Network
Link: adata.org/guide/ada-national-network-disability-law-handbook

Americans with Disabilities Act Information Center

ADA National Network

Phone: 1-800-949-4232 (toll free)

Website: adata.org

Facebook: facebook.com/adanetwork

Twitter: twitter.com/ADANational

National Resources

Community Organizations

The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
Link: www.april-rural.o

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