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ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy

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ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness & Self-Advocacy

Developed by Penny Cantley, Karen Little, & James Martin

Self-determination skills, such as self-advocacy and self-awareness, have the potential to increase successful secondary and postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities.

Welcome to the ME! Lessons. All of the lessons and supplemental information needed to teach the lessons can be found on this page. Prior to teaching the lessons, please download and read

The unit overviews, Common Core State Standards, and lesson plans are arranged by unit in one file each and may be downloaded by clicking on the link. Student and teacher materials, and additional resources may be downloaded by clicking on the appropriate links.  

In addition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) listed within each Unit, the Oklahoma Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) (pdf) standards aligned with ME! Units 1 through 10 are also available.

Educators using the ME! Lessons may modify all lesson materials as needed to better meet individual student and teacher needs. The Word documents and PowerPoint presentations can easily be modified by users, or the entire lesson package is available to download in PDF format.

Educators may download, use, copy, and modify the ME! Lessons at no cost. The ME! Lessons may not be reproduced for sale.

Please send your modified versions and suggestions to so that they may be considered for posting for others to use.

ME! Lesson Plans and Materials

All links are Word documents, unless noted otherwise.

More information about ME!

We would like to acknowledge the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) for their generosity during the development of the ME! Lessons. The ODDC provided funding to Dr. James Martin at the University of Oklahoma's Zarrow Center for the purpose of developing the ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy.

When referencing the ME! Lessons, we recommend using the following citation:

Cantley, P., Little, K., & Martin, J. E. (2010). ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy. Retrieved from

A 20-year longitudinal study by Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins, and Herman (1999) found that six attributes, including self-awareness and use of support systems, were more powerful predictors of students’ post-school success than any of the demographic variables examined in their research (IQ, socio-economic status, age, gender, or academic achievement).

Thoma and Getzel (2005) interviewed successful postsecondary students with varied disabilities to identify which skills are important to support success in postsecondary educational settings. These students with disabilities identified “problem solving skills, learning about oneself (and one’s disability), goal setting, and self-management” (p. 237). Thoma and Getzel noted an additional theme from the interviews indicating young students would benefit from information about other successful adults with disabilities, information about disabilities, accommodations, and available resources. Goldberg, Higgins, Raskind, and Herman (2003) in their qualitative study of success predictors found that the adults with disabilities who were characterized as successful had the ability to understand their disability as only a part of their identity, and not the defining attribute.

Effectiveness of the ME! Lessons to Teach Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy to Increase Students' Knowledge

In 2010, a small–n multi-element design study examined the effectiveness of the ME! Lessons to Teach Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy when used with high school students with disabilities. Six 9th grade students, one special education teacher, and six parent/guardians participated in the five-week study. Results from the study indicate the ME! Lessons increased students’ self-awareness and self-advocacy knowledge and behaviors. We anticipate that students in future studies who participate in the ME! Lessons will also show meaningful and significant increases in their self-awareness and self-advocacy knowledge and skills. Click here to download the complete small-n study.

Future Research

We anticipate completing further research with the initial student participants to examine the long-term impact of the lessons. Results from the follow-up study will be posted on this website as they become available. Other research groups who wish to undertake their own efficacy studies using the ME! Lessons to Teach Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy may certainly do so. Please send the results to so that the findings may be posted.

User Feedback

We are excited and interested to learn about your and your students’ experiences with the ME! Lessons to Teach Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy. Please email your comments, suggestions, and questions regarding the lessons to Your feedback plays an important role in future improvements to the lessons.