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Self-Directed Employment

Self-Directed Employment: A Handbook for Transition Teachers and Employment Specialists provides step-by-step instructions on how to infuse self-directed employment strategies into your school transition or agency-supported employment programs. First, you will read about the evolving nature of employment supports for individuals with disabilities and the important role that self-determination plays in this evolution. After the steps are stories and data demonstrating the effectiveness of the Self-Directed Employment (SDE) methodology.

Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP)

Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP) lesson materials systematically teach students to complete their student-directed summary of performance. Using student, family, and educator information, students determine their postschool goals and learn other aspects about themselves. SDTP offers a detailed Teacher's Guide with step-by-step instructional suggestions. Tools include PowerPoint presentations, pencil and paper activities. Two research studies found that SDTP increases students transition knowledge. SDTP works best when used alongside the Self-Directed IEP.

Timeline of Transition Activities

Provided by the Oklahoma Transition Council

This timeline is a recommended list of programs, services, and activities that you can use to begin helping your child prepare for the future.  The items listed in each age group are considered “best time to start”; however, they are not the only time.  You can always revisit something that you did not have an opportunity to do at an earlier time.

Timeline of Transition Activities

Elementary Transition Resources

*Please email with any suggested resources related to Elementary Transition.**

Presented at the 9th Oklahoma Transition Institute (2014)

Presented at the 8th Oklahoma Transition Institute (2013)

Links for Additional Elementary Transition Resources

Links on this page to non-University sites do not represent endorsement by the University of Oklahoma or its affiliates.

Significant Disabilities Transition Resources

**Please email with any suggested resources related to transition for students with significant and/or multiple disabilities.**

Preference Indicators

Developed by the Center for Learning and Leadership at the OU Health Sciences Center, the Child Preference Indicators, Personal Preference Indicators, and Employment Support Indicators are tools for educators, professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities. The tools are designed to collect information about an individual’s preferences and support needs from the individual and those people who know him or her best, in order to improve service delivery and guide the planning process. These tools are provided at no charge with permission from the Center for Learning and Leadership. (This link will open in a new window.)

Dr. Valerie N. Williams, Director of the Center for Learning and Leadership and Associate Vice Provost, provided permission (permission letter (.pdf)) to make the Child Preference Indicators and Personal Preference Indicators available for no charge. Dr. Williams has now also provided permission (permission letter (.pdf)) to make the Employment Support Indicators available at no charge.   

For more information about these products please contact the OUHSC Center for Learning and Leadership's Dissemination Coordinator, Melissa Fenrick, by e-mail at



Child Preference Indicators

Developed by the Center for Learning and Leadership, Oklahoma’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

The Child Preference Indicators guide is a tool that can assist in developing individualized learning plans. It is designed to help professionals access a family’s expertise about their child and to help families in giving that expertise to professionals. The Child Preference Indicators guide provides information that formal assessments typically do not address, and can be used by family members to identify and communicate what motivates their child. It covers seven domain areas that provide prompts for discussing important considerations with the child and his or her family members.

Child Preference Indicators (.pdf)



Personal Preference Indicators

Developed by the Center for Learning and Leadership, Oklahoma’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

The Personal Preference Indicators guide is a tool to assist in planning with and for a person with a developmental disability.  It is a guide, not a checklist, for accessing information about the person's preferences. This guide enables members of the planning team to identify and focus on interests and preferences connected to seven domain areas, including self-determination and socialization.

The individual with a disability, family members, friends, and knowledgeable professionals can use this guide for planning in the areas of education, transition, health management, and others. If used by any member of the interdisciplinary team in their interaction with the person with a disability, this guide has the potential to provide a picture of the person that will guide the planning process in a considerate, appropriate, and positive manner.

Personal Preference Indicators (.pdf)

Download the PPI Supplement (.doc)



Employment Support Indicators

Developed by the Center for Learning and Leadership, Oklahoma’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).

The Employment Support Indicators guide is designed to help the person seeking employment and the employer identify supports that will promote a positive experience in the work setting. The indicators are organized into three domain areas to help determine what supports the person may need to manage the work setting, learn job tasks, sustain work activity, and get along with co-workers and supervisory personnel.

Employment Support Indicators (.pdf)


As a means to disseminate the work being conducted at the Zarrow Institute, we have conducted numerous workshops and conference presentations at international, national, regional, and local venues. The following materials provide a representative sample of the many presentations and workshops we have delivered. Please feel free to use or modify these materials to improve self-determination oriented transition educational practices.

Published articles

Deardorff, M. E., Pulos, J. M., Suk, A. L., Williams-Diehm, K. L., McConnell, A. (2020). What do transition assessments look like for students with significant cognitive disability? A multistate survey of educational stakeholders. Inclusion, 8(1), 74-85. 10.1352/2326-6988-8.1.74

Hott, B. L., Morano, S., Peltier, C., Pulos, J., Peltier, T. (2020). Are students with mathematics learning disabilities receiving a FAPE?: Insights from a descriptive review of individualized education programs. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 35(4), 170-179. 10.35542/

Peltier, C., Lingo, M. E., Deardorff, M. E., Autry Schreffler, F., & Manwell, C. R. (2020). Improving word problem solving of intermediate, generalized, and combined structured problems via schema-based instruction. Exceptionality 28(2), 92-108.
doi: 10.1080/09362835.2020.1727336

Peltier, C., Lingo, M. E., Deardorff, M. E., & Palacios, M. (2020). Schema-based instruction implemented under routine conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 37(3), 246-267. doi: 10.1080/15377903.2020.1821273

Peltier, C., Morin, K. L., Bouck, E. C., Lingo, M. E., Pulos, J. M., Autry-Schreffler, F. A., Suk, A., Mathews, L. A., Sinclair, T. E., & Deardorff, M. E. (2020). A meta-analysis of single-case research using mathematics manipulatives with students at risk or identified with a disability. The Journal of Special Education, 54(1), 3-15. doi: 10.1177/0022466919844516  

Peltier, C., Sinclair, T. E., Pulos, J., M., & Suk, A. L. (2020). Effects of schema-based instruction on immediate, generalized, and combined structured word problems. The Journal of Special Education, 54(2), 101-112. doi: 10.1177/0022466919883397

Peltier, C., Washburn, E. K., Pulos, J. M., & Peltier, C. (2020). Measuring special education preservice teachers’ knowledge, reflective ability, and tutored student outcomes on foundational literacy skills. Insights into Learning Disabilities, 17(1), 1-33. link to article

Pulos, J. M., Peltier, C., Williams-Diehm, K. L., & Martin, J. E. (2020). Promoting academic and nonacademic behaviors in students with EBD using the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction: A mathematics example. Beyond Behavior, 29(3), 162- 173. doi: 10.1177/107429561981009

Rodriguez, A. M., Taub, D., Scott, L., Copeland, S. R., Williams-Diehm, K. L., Landmark, L. J., Sinclair, T. E., Black, R. S., Palmer, S. B., & Thoma, C. (2020). Reflecting on the education position statement of AAIDD and The Arc. Inclusion 8(1), 6-26. doi: 10.1352/2326-6988-8.1.6

Suk, A. L., Martin, J. E., McConnell, A. E., & Biles, T. L. (2020). States decrease their required secondary transition planning age: Federal policy must change. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 31(2), 112-118. doi: 10.1177/1044207320915157

Suk, A. L., Sinclair, T. E., Osmani, K., & Williams-Diehm, K. L. (2020). Transition planning: Keeping cultural competence in mind. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals 43(2), 122-127. doi: 10.1177/2165143419890308



Published Book Chapters

Martin, J. E., Pulos, J. M., & Sale, P. (2020). Assessing and teaching critical self-determination skills to transition-age youth with disabilities. In P. Wehman & J. Kregel (Eds.), Functional curriculum for elementary and secondary students with special needs (4th ed., pp. 53-74). Pro Ed.

McConnell, A. E., Williams-Diehm, K. L., Sinclair, T., Suk, A., & Willis, D. (2020). Transition Assessment and Goal Generator (TAGG): Useful Tool to Assess Non-academic Skills. In Careers for Students with Special Educational Needs (pp. 263-281). Springer, Singapore.

Williams-Diehm, K. L., & Deardorff, M. (2020). Middle school transition education planning and services. In K. A. Shogren & M. L. Wehmeyer (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent transition education for youth with disabilities, (pp. X-XX). Routledge.

Williams-Diehm, K. L., Lingo, M. E., & Deardorff, M. E. (in press). Infusing behavior analytic practices into transition planning. In R. N. Carr (Ed.), ABA in Schools: Realistic implementation of evidence-based interventions, (pp. X-XX). Slack Books.

Williams-Diehm, K. L., McConnell, A. E., Lingo, M. E., & Choiseul-Praslin, B. (2020). Strategies to promote effective secondary special education and transition content into teacher preparation coursework. Careers for Students with Special Educational Needs—Perspectives on Development and Transitions from the Asia-Pacific Region.