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Students studying in the Great Reading Room in Bizzell Memorial Library.


ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Transition Curriculum


The ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Transition Curriculum can be infused into existing coursework programs to teach all middle and secondary students the self-determination skills needed to be successful in adult life.

The ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Transition Curriculum Matrix (.pdf) serves as a guide for using the ChoiceMaker lessons. The results from the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Assessment can be mapped onto the Matrix to identify students' self-determination needs.

Educators and family members of individuals with disabilities may download the ChoiceMaker lesson materials at no cost. Feel free to modify and improve the lessons; however, we ask that you send your modified versions and suggestions to so that they may be considered for posting for others to use.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs supported the development and field testing of the ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Transition Curriculum materials.

Citation: Martin, J. E., & Marshall, L. H. (1995). ChoiceMaker: A comprehensive self-determination transition program. Intervention in School and Clinic, (30), 147-156.

Strand & ModulesTeaching Goals

Choosing Goals

Choosing Educational Goals

Choosing Employment Goals

Choosing Personal Goals

A. Student Interests

B. Student Skills & Limits

C. Student Goals

Expressing Goals

Self-Directed IEP

D. Student Leading Meeting

E. Student Reporting

Taking Action

Take Action

F. Student Plan

G. Student Action

H. Student Evaluation

I. Student Adjustment


The ChoiceMaker Curriculum consists of three strands: Choosing Goals and Taking Action, which can be integrated into a variety of content in both general and special education classrooms, and Expressing Goals, which consists of the Self-Directed IEP module designed for students receiving special education services. Modules and lessons can be used together or separately in the order that best meets students’ needs.

Choosing Goals Strand

These lessons and materials provide students with school- and community-based experiences to help them choose goals in each of the three transition areas by identifying their interests, skills, and limits.

Choosing Goals Video: This video portrays students discussing their experiences with choosing and setting realistic goals based on their individual skills and interests. (Note: each Choosing Goals lesson package uses the same Choosing Goals video.)

The Choosing Education Goals lesson package provides the structure and opportunity for students to develop satisfying personal lives and to spend their free time in safe, legal, healthy ways. It teaches students to identify and then express their personal free time skills, limits, and interests, and to establish and choose personal goals to enhance postsecondary independent living outcomes.

Educators use this lesson package to teach students three sets of skills: (a) how to identify educational interests, skills, and limits, (b) how to identify educational opportunities, and (c) how to develop high school and postsecondary educational goals based on identified interests, skills, and limits, mediated by available opportunities. Through the Choosing Education Goal process, students develop their  plan of study to present at their IEP meeting and for inclusion into educational planning documents (i.e., IEP, ARD). This enables students to fulfill the IDEA requirement that a plan of study be completed at each annual IEP meeting. The last lesson provides students the opportunity to take what they learned and develop educational goals using the choosing goals process.

The Choosing Employment Goals lesson package enables students to identify post-secondary employment goals. It consists of three parts: (1) choosing general goals lessons, (2) experience-based lessons, and (3) dream job lessons. The lesson activities, which take place at community job sites and in the classroom, teach students to reflect upon their experiences, draw conclusions about themselves, and learn about community opportunities that match their interests and skills.

The sections may be taught and experienced in any order, and they may be integrated within the content and opportunities of existing school curriculum, courses, and community-based instructional sites. Students collect and assimilate this information over time in order to make informed career decisions.

The Choosing Personal Goals lessons provide educators a structured means to provide an opportunity for students to develop satisfying personal lives and to spend their free time in safe, legal, healthy ways. The lesson package provides educators the means to enable students to identify independent living transition needs from which annual independent living transition goals may be developed to enable students to experience meaningful postsecondary independent living outcomes.

Expressing Goals Strand

Active student engagement in educational meetings and transition planning discussions predicts post-school education and employment outcomes. The Self-Directed IEP is an evidenced-based instructional practice that teaches students to become active participants in their IEP meetings with coaching being provided as needed by the teacher who teaches the lessons. Overtime, students use their learned skills to lead their IEP meetings. Once the Self-Directed IEP skills are learned and practiced, we recommend educators teach studentsmore detailed IEP engagement using the other ChoiceMaker lesson packages and the instructional materials found at the I'm Determined website.

The Self-Directed IEP contains 11 sequential lessons that typically take six to ten 45-minute sessions to teach. Lessons may be taught in a resource room, study skills class, or other settings. To teach students who are fully included in general education classes, teachers may choose to meet students during a study skills or similar class. Some teachers hold an IEP Leadership retreat day to teach students the Self-Directed IEP skills.  

Self-Directed IEP in Action video (7 minutes) introduces the self-directed IEP to students, parents, teachers, and administrators. The video shows students with different disabilities using the self-directed IEP lessons in their classes and talking about their experiences.

Self-Directed IEP video (17 minutes) depicts a student named Zeke describing how he led his IEP meeting to a younger, reluctant friend, and, through flashbacks, Zeke models each of the 11 steps of the Self-Directed IEP.

Self-Directed IEP in Action Video
Self-Directed IEP Video
Self-Directed IEP Video (no captions)

Jana Hosek (Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency) generously shared the resource, Student-Directed IEP Resources - Elementary, with the Zarrow Institute.

Jana Hosek created this resource after hearing LeDerik Horne speak at the Iowa Decoding Dyslexia conference where referenced your curriculum for developing self-awareness and advocacy in students with disabilities (ChoiceMaker). Jana primarily work with elementary schools and students, so the materials are heavily adapted. Their focus was heavily on empowering students to take a more active role in their IEP meetings and process, and they have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from parents and administrators.


Taking Action Strand

Mithaug et al. (2007) consider goal attainment as the most important self-determination component. Yet, youth who receive special education services possess far fewer goal attainment and other self-determination skills than do secondary general education students who are not disabled.

Goal-oriented performance involves a two-step process where students first set goals based upon their interests, skills, and limits. Second, individuals develop plans and then take action on those plans to achieve their goals (Martin et al, 2008). Active involvement in goal setting may add purposefulness to life, and self-directed goal setting often facilitates improved performance (Bandura, 1997; Mithaug et al., 2003).

Goal setting facilitates performance increases because goals specify the requirements for success and prompt self-monitoring toward the desired outcome (Wehmeyer et al., 2000).

Taking Action Video

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


Self-determination skills, such as self-advocacy and self-awareness, have the potential to increase successful secondary and postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. The ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy curriculum consists of ten units developed for the purpose of teaching critical transition knowledge and skills to high school students with disabilities.

Educators and family members of individuals with disabilities may download the ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy materials at no cost. Feel free to modify and improve the lessons; however, we ask that you send your modified versions and suggestions to so that they may be considered for posting for others to use.

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 Institute for the purpose of developing the ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy.

Citation: Cantley, P., Little, K., & Martin, J.E. (2010). ME! Lessons for teaching self-awareness and self-advocacy. Zarrow Institute on Transition & Self-Determination.

Prior to teaching the lessons, please download and read the following:

Using The Lessons (.pdf)

Scope and Sequence (.docx)

Recommended Resources (.pdf)


Unit 1:

Getting Started

Lesson 1: Understanding Self-awareness & Self-advocacy

Lesson 2: Understanding What It’s all About

Unit 2:

Learning About Special Education

Lesson 1: Learning About the History of Disability

Lesson 2: Learning About Special Education: How & why did I get here?

Lesson 3: Creating My History

Unit 3:

Understanding My Individualized Education Program

Lesson 1: Getting to Know My IEP

Lesson 2: Still Getting to Know My IEP

Unit 4:

Understanding My Rights and Responsibilities

Lesson 1: Learning About My Rights & Responsibilities in High School

Lesson 2: Learning About My Rights & Responsibilities After High School

Lesson 3: Where do I go from Here?

Unit 5:

Improving My Communication Skills

Lesson 1: Learning How to Communicate Effectively

Lesson 2: Knowing What to Share and Who to Share It With

Unit 6:

Increasing My Self-Awareness

Lesson 1: Starting My Self-Awareness Project

Lesson 2: Completing My Self-Awareness Project

Lesson 3: Presenting My Self-Awareness Project

Unit 7:

Advocating for My Needs In High School

Lesson 1: Planning How to Advocate

Lesson 2: Learning From Experience

Unit 8:

Advocating for My Needs After High School

Lesson 1: Using My New Skills on the Job

Lesson 2: Using My New Skills at Postsecondary School

Lesson 3: Reporting My Findings

Unit 9:

Developing My Resources


Lesson 1: Completing My Summary of Performance and Goals


Unit 10:

Assessing My Progress and Portfolio

Lesson 1: Assessing My Progress

Lesson 2: Assessing My Portfolio


Each unit begins with an overview of the unit's lessons and includes detailed step-by-step lesson plans, pencil-paper activities, discussion, and group activities. A student portfolio called the ME! Book is a major component of the curriculum, and each student creates and adds to their ME! Book as each unit is completed.

ME! Units

Unit 1 familiarizes students with the concepts of self-awareness and self-advocacy, provides students opportunities to identify and discuss their strengths and needs, and helps them identify questions they have regarding self-awareness and self-advocacy. Additionally, students are introduced to the KWL chart and the ME! Book, both of which are used throughout the remaining lessons and units.

Unit 2 provides students a historical background of disability by discussing events that have influenced the treatment and societal views of people with disabilities. Additionally, students learn the process of being placed in special education and reflect on their personal educational history.

Unit 4 provides students with crucial information regarding their legal rights and responsibilities during their transition from high school to postsecondary school. Students receive basic information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Major emphasis is placed on student responsibilities, accommodations, and modifications.

Unit 5 improves student communication skills by providing them important strategies, skills, and opportunities for practice and evaluation.

Unit 7 helps students learn and practice the process of scheduling and appropriately conducting a self-advocacy meeting.

Unit 9 encourages students to develop and identify helpful resources for their ME! Books.

Unit 10 provides students an opportunity to analyze and reflect on the new skills and knowledge they gained throughout the ME! Lessons.

ME! Adaptation for Elementary-Aged Students

Shoua Norman (Fresno State) has generously shared her M.A. project with the Zarrow Institute.  

The adapted ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy curriculum (Martin et al., 2010) are intended for elementary-age students in grades four through six with mild-to-moderate disabilities included in the general education classroom in a push-in and pull-out service model.

Since evidence-based self-advocacy curricula is limited with elementary-age students, this project provides educators with a resource to develop their students' self-advocacy skills. The hope is that by introducing self-advocacy skills earlier in life, such as in elementary school, student participation and knowledge of their individualized education programs (IEPs) will increase, leading to increased success in navigating real-world situations and post-secondary goals.

The adapted curriculum was inspired by a student with a self-advocacy goal in a Resource Specialist Program (RSP) at an elementary school in Clovis Unified School District. The adapted curriculum utilizes the Universal Design for Learning framework to create a model that engages students and facilitators.

Prior to teaching the lessons, please read the following:

All adapted materials can be found via this GoogleDrive link.

To maintain the integrity of the files, please make a copy of all files before using them. To make a copy, please follow these instructions:

File > Make a Copy > Save to your Google Drive

The student materials (worksheets, knowledge quizzes) and teacher materials (lesson plans) should be used in conjunction with the interactive slides to give your student(s) the best learning experience.

Pulos' Career Assessment & Exploration Tool Kit (P-CAET)


The Pulos' Career Awareness and Exploration Toolkit (P-CAET) is designed to help students with disabilities build awareness of and explore different career pathways leading to entry-level jobs.

Based on John Holland's structural theory of career development, Holland (Luft, 2012) suggested an individual's personality can be divided into six types corresponding with a variety of overarching thematic work environments: (a) Realistic, (b) Investigative, (c) Artistic, (d) Social, (e) Enterprising, and (f) Conventional. When aggregated, these are known as Holland's Occupational Codes (e.g., RSC). Individuals tend to have dominant personality patterns which fit into two or three common types. By utilizing Holland's career development theory, the P-CAET can be used to determine an individual's occupational matches.

All occupations within the P-CAET require low levels of education (i.e., no special training or only high school diploma or GED) to be successful; thus, all students with disabilities, ages 14 to 21, including those with significant support needs, can use the P-CAET. Many students have already made up their mind as it relates to postsecondary employment; therefore, the P-CAET may support those choices or offer a new lens of occupational discovery students may not be aware of, prompting further career exploration.

The P-CAET was created by Joshua Pulos, PhD, BCBA, LBA-VA (James Madison University) while a PhD student at the Zarrow Institute on Transition and Self-Determination.

Student-Directed Transition Planning


The eight Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP) lessons facilitate high school to adult life planning partnerships between students, their families, and educators. Educators use eight SDTP lessons to teach their students the knowledge needed to actively participate in their transition-focused IEP meetings.

SDTP uses the Student-Directed Summary of Performance as a means for students to learn, organize, and present transition information (Martin et al., 2007). Teachers deliver the lessons using PowerPoint files, and a detailed Teacher's Guide provides step-by-step instructional suggestions. Students can complete these activities online, and the results will automatically transfer to their Summary of Performance Script. Students can take the Summary of Performance Script to their IEP meetings to facilitate transition discussions and decision-making. Student knowledge gains can be measured using pre/post exams available in both true/false or multiple choice formats.

Citation: Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J., D’Ottavio, M., & Nickerson, K. (2007). The Student-Directed Summary of Performance: Increasing Student and Family Involvement in the Transition Planning Process. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 30(1), 13–26.


SDTP Lessons

Additional SDTP Information

No Cost to Use

Educators, university faculty and students, parents, and others teaching the Student-Directed Transition Planning lessons (SDTP) for non-profit endeavors may do so without charge. If use of the lessons will produce a monetary profit, please contact to begin the process of obtaining a usage license with the University of Oklahoma.

Modify as Needed

Those using SDTP for not-for-profit purposes may modify the presentation files, activities, and Teacher's Guides to better meet the needs of their students. Please send your modified versions and suggestions to improve the SDTP lessons to so that they may be considered for posting for others to use.

Self-Directed IEP Instructional Program

Numerous research studies (i.e., Martin et al., 2006) have demonstrated the impact of the Self-Directed IEP (Martin et al. 1996) instructional package to increase student participation in their IEP meeting discussions. As expected, Self-Directed IEP alone did not impact student and family involvement in transition discussions because the Self-Directed IEP did not systematically teach transition knowledge or IEP transition meeting discussion behaviors. Teaching both the Self-Directed IEP and the SDTP lessons may increase student and family participation during the entire IEP meeting.

Time Required for Teaching the SDTP Lessons

We estimate that it will take approximately 15 hours to teach the SDTP lessons. You may schedule the lessons in any manner that best meets your needs. Some teachers use the SDTP lessons for 45 minutes a day until finished, others use the SDTP lessons once or twice a week, and some may want to teach the SDTP in a before- or after-school format. The more time that lapses between lessons, the more time will needed for review. Lessons may be taught as part of existing curricula or as a stand-alone course. Please give us feedback on how you teach the lessons, how long it took, and any suggestions for change. Send your comments to

Instructional Sequence

Regardless of the format for teaching the lessons, we suggest the lessons be taught in a designated order. We recommend that students complete the first two lessons (Awareness and Terms/Concepts) consecutively. Educators can choose to teach the next three lessons (Vision for Employment, Vision for Postsecondary Education, and Vision for Adult Living) in whatever order that best matches the students' educational needs. The Course of Study and Connecting Services lessons must be completed prior to building the Student Summary of Performance.

Before opting out of teaching any SDTP Vision lessons, educators should look at the NSTTAC Indicator 13 checklist used to evaluate IDEA 2004 transition compliance ( The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs supervised the development of this transition compliance checklist tool. To be in compliance with IDEA 2004 transition requirements, the IEP document needs to include an employment and an education/training goal. Completing the SDTP lessons and infusing the results into students' IEP will facilitate compliance with the Indicator 13 Checklist.

Teaching the SDTP Lessons

Prior to teaching each lesson, download the presentation file and the Teacher's Guide. Glance over the Teacher Guide to look at the scope of the lesson and needed materials. The Teacher's Guide includes sequential screen shots of each presentation slide to provide the teacher ample instructional information. We recommend that educators follow the Teacher's Guide step-by-step the first couple times they teach the lessons. After that, we encourage teachers to modify the lessons to better meet the needs of their students. The open format of the PowerPoint and Microsoft Word files allow and encourage easy modifications.

Student's Participation in the SDTP Lessons

We recommend that each student keep completed SDTP materials together for easy reference and review by family members, educators, and support staff, and to serve as a primary transition reference portfolio. We suggest using one three-ring binder per student with dividers for each lesson.

Completing Student and Family Activities On-Line

Most of the student and family activities will be able to be completed online. Students will be able to download and print completed activities to share with their teachers and family members.

Saving Online Student and Family Activities

The files will be saved for up to 30 days in password-protected files that will not include any student identifying information. After 30 calendar days the saved files will be automatically removed from the SDTP server. So, be sure to download and print.


Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J. L., Christensen, W. R., Greene, B. A., Gardner, J. E., & Lovett, D. L. (2006). Increasing Student Participation in IEP Meetings: Establishing the Self-Directed IEP as an Evidenced-Based Practice. Exceptional Children, 72(3), 299–316.

Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J. L., Greene, B. A., Gardner, J. E., Christensen, W. R., Woods, L. L., & Lovett, D. L. (2006). Direct Observation of Teacher-Directed IEP Meetings: Establishing the Need for Student IEP Meeting Instruction. Exceptional Children, 72(2), 187–200.

Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J., D’Ottavio, M., & Nickerson, K. (2007). The Student-Directed Summary of Performance: Increasing Student and Family Involvement in the Transition Planning Process. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 30(1), 13–26.


IDEA 2004 requests that the IEP transition sections match students' interests, capitalize on their skills, and be mediated by their needs and that students and family members provide input into IEP transition discussions and decision-making. For this to happen, students need to be specifically taught transition knowledge and be provided an opportunity to develop their transition plans in partnership with their family and educators. Students then need to be provided the opportunity during IEP meetings to discuss and take a leadership role in the development of their transition IEP plans.

We learned from our research on secondary IEP meetings that adults talk to adults when developing the IEP transition pages and that students seldom join in this conversation (Martin, Van Dycke, Christensen, et al. 2006; Martin, Van Dycke, Greene, et al. 2006). By default, too many transition pages reflect the adults' thoughts about the student and not what students think. This situation needs to change. After all, who's IEP is it? SDTP lessons will teach students needed transition knowledge and provide a script they can take into their IEP meetings to join and perhaps lead the transition discussions.

A singular focus upon the student may inadvertently ignore the interests, concerns, and needs of the family. The IEP team needs to also engage in collaborative transition dialogue with family members to develop a strong and unified transition plan. Engaging both students and family members in transition planning discussions may increase the likelihood of students attaining their postschool employment, education, and adult living goals. The SDTP lessons provide a structured means for educators, students, and family members to form a partnership to build a meaningful and successful transition plan, and for students to learn the information needed to actively participate at their IEP meetings.


Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J. L., Christensen, W. R., Greene, B. A., Gardner, J. E., & Lovett, D. L. (2006) Increasing student participation in IEP meetings: Establishing the Self-Directed IEP as an evidenced-based practice. Exceptional Children, 72, 299-316.

Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J. L., Greene, B. A., Gardner, J. E., Christensen, W. R., Woods, L. L., & Lovett, D. L. (2006). Direct observation of teacher-directed IEP meetings: Establishing the need for student IEP meeting instruction. Exceptional Children, 72, 187-200.

An Outreach Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education awarded to Dr. James Martin at the University of Oklahoma's Zarrow Institute provided funding to develop SDTP (Grant # H324C040136). Dr. Selete Avoke served as the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education's Project Officer to the SDTP Project, and provided valuable guidance along the way.

Lorraine Sylvester, Lee Woods, and James Martin from OU's Zarrow Institute for Learning Enrichment, along with Sandra Poolaw from OU's American Indian Institute and Riverside Indian School wrote the SDTP lessons. When referencing the SDTP project, we recommend using the following citation:

Sylvester, L., Woods, L. L, Martin, J. E., & Poolaw, S. (2007). Student-directed transition planning. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, Zarrow Center. Retrieved from

The following SDTP advisory committee members provided guidance and feedback on lesson scope, sequence, and content:

  • Dr. James Alarid, Professor of Special Education and Director of the Ben Lujan Institute, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM
  • Dr. Ginger Blalock, Professor Emeritus of Special Education and New Mexico's Transition Project Coordinator, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
  • Dr. Carole Brito, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM
  • Tom Fee, Transition Specialist, Kickapoo Nation School, Powhattan, KS
  • Rolletta Sue Gronewald, formerly the Transition Consultant for the New Mexico Special Education Bureau and now New Mexico Special Education Bureau's Deputy Director
  • Dr. Michael Juda, Special Education Coordinator, Bureau of Indian Education, Eastern Navajo Education Program, Crownpoint, NM
  • Kim Nickerson, Project Director and Transition Specialist, Oklahoma Department of Education, Special Education Services, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Marilyn D'Ottavio, Transition Coordinator, Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, NM
  • Sandra Poolaw, American Indian Center for Excellence in Exceptional Education (AICEEE); American Indian Institute at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, and Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, OK
  • Linda Swirzynski, Transition Coordinator, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City, OK

Over a two-year period many people helped establish SDTP's social validity across a variety of venues including national and regional conferences, informal round-table talks, phone conversations, and e-mail discussions. Many secondary and postsecondary educators, adult service providers, and graduate students spent many hours reviewing, editing, discussing, and revising the SDTP lessons. Many people deserve our thanks and at the risk of missing someone we want to give our public thanks to:

  • Frank Boswell, Disability Program Navigator, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Clinton, OK and member of the Oklahoma Transition Council
  • Mary Cash, Lincoln Alternative Academy, Stillwater, OK
  • Janet Cundiff, Special Needs/Compliance Officer; Metro Technology Center, Student Services, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Sharon Isbell, Compliance Officer (now retired), Oklahoma School for the Blind, Muskogee, OK
  • Denise North, Disabilities Specialist, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, Stillwater, OK
  • Linda Swirzynski, Transition Coordinator, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Ralph Wiser, Transition Specialist, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma City, OK

Graduate students from the University of Oklahoma's Zarrow Institute on Transition and Self-Determination wrote, edited, collected data, and provided support while developing and writing these lessons. Our thanks to

  • Penny Cantley
  • Chauncey Goff
  • John Grahmn
  • Chen-Ya Juan
  • Nidal El-Kazimi
  • Juan Portley
  • Stacy Vollmer
  • Pei Fang Wu
  • Rudy Valenzuela
  • Ashraf Hussain

Special thanks go to Ashraf Hussain who helped us get these lessons onto the web, and to Chimène Long who made the web site accessible and put the final touches on the web site.

We also thank the many teachers, students, and their parents who allowed us to pilot the SDTP lessons and tests in order to determine their effectiveness. Due to confidentially requirements associated with the research agreements we cannot list your names, but you know who you are.


Martin, J. E., Van Dycke, J., D'Ottavio, M., & Nickerson, K. (2007). The student-directed summary of performance: Increasing student and family involvement in the transition planning process. CDEI, 30, pp. 13-27.

Multi-pronged research studies will determine the effectiveness of the Student-Directed Transition Planning (SDTP) lessons.

Social Validity

Social validity demonstrates how appropriate and useful the SDTP lessons and methods will be to educators, families, and students. Advisory committee members, teachers and adult service providers, several of whom represent or work with culturally and linguistically diverse students and families, provided input into the SDTP scope and sequence and revisions until they become satisfied with the appropriateness and usefulness of the lessons.

Effectiveness of SDTP to Increase Students' Knowledge

The first study will determine the knowledge gained by students using the SDTP lessons, compared to a group of students who will not use the lessons. We anticipate that the students who will receive SDTP instruction will show meaningful and significant increases in their transition knowledge and transition self-efficacy.

Impact of SDTP on Student IEP Meetings

The second study will examine how students and families who use the SDTP lessons participate in transition IEP meetings discussions compared to students who did not use the SDTP lessons. We anticipate that students who will receive SDTP instruction will show meaningful and significant increases in their transition IEP meeting discussions and transition meeting self-efficacy.

Results from these studies will be posted on this location as they become available. Other research groups who wish to undertake their own efficacy studies using the SDTP materials may certainly do so. Please send the results to so that the findings may be posted.

TAGG Lesson Plans

Transition Bell Ringers


Bell Ringers are designed to be short journaling activities which can be completed independently during the first few minutes of class once a week throughout the school year. Eductors may utilize the slides in ways and orders that best suit their needs and the needs of their students.

Educators and family members of individuals with disabilities may download the Bell Ringers at no cost. Feel free to modify and improve the Bell Ringers; however, we ask that you send your modified versions and suggestions to so that they may be considered for posting for others to use.


Tying the Knot


With Tying the Knot, transition skills and academic skills can be taught simultaneously. The research-identified skills that students need to obtain employment or to participate in further education after high school are aligned to Oklahoma's English Language Arts standards. The activities and annual transition goals are arranged on a continuum to accommodate students with the least support needs to students with more support needs.

This tool is intended to be used as a guide to generate additional annual transition goals using core content standards. Educators may modify the examples given to better suit the needs of their students. Additionally, the measureable statements should be modified to meet the needs of individual students..

Whose Future Is It Anyway?: A Student-Directed Transition Planning Process


Whose Future Is It Anyway? is a transition planning process emphasizing student preferences, needs, and interests. The curriculum provides opportunities for students with disabilities to explore issues of self-awareness and acquire problem-solving, decision- making, goal-setting, and small-group communication skills. The outcome of this process is that students learn how to be meaningfully involved in their transition planning process.

The Whose Future Is It Anyway? curriculum is based on the conviction that: 1) students who are involved in planning for their future will more likely be full participants in the planned educational activities resulting from that plan; 2) students of all abilities can learn the skills to be involved; and 3) students who believe that their voice will be heard will be more likely to participate in the planning process and ongoing educational decisions.

Dr. Michael Wehmeyer of the University of Kansas provided permission to make this package available for no charge (Whose Future Is It Anyway? Permission Letter (.pdf).


Section 1:

Getting to Know You

Session 1: The planning meeting

Session 2: Choosing people to attend

Session 3: Your preferences & interests

Session 4: Disabilities

Session 5: Your unique learning needs

Session 6: Supports

Section 2:

Making Decisions

Session 7: Introduction to DO IT!

Session 8: Steps 1 & 2 of DO IT!

Session 9: Steps 3 & 4 of DO IT!

Session 10: Using DO IT!

Session 11: Real life stories to use DO IT!

Session 12: Giving informed consent

Section 3:

How to Get What You Need

Session 13: Community resources in your plan

Session 14: Community resources for work

Session 15: Community resources for more school

Session 16: Community resources for living

Session 17: Community resources for fun

Session 18: Community resources you want

Section 4:

Goals, Objectives, and the Future

Session 19: Identifying goals in your plan

Session 20: Identifying goals for work

Session 21: Identifying goals for more school

Session 22: Identifying goals for living

Session 23: Identifying goals for fun

Session 24: Keeping track of your goals

Section 5:


Session 25: Communicating in small groups

Session 26: Body language and assertiveness

Session 27: Advocating and appealing

Session 28: Timing and persuasion

Session 29: Keeping your ideas out there

Session 30: Listening and the team

Section 6:

Thank You, Honorable Chairperson

Session 31: Different kinds of metings

Session 32: Steps to planning a meeting

Session 33: Being a good team member

Session 34: Managing the meeting

Session 35: Sessions 1-18 review

Session 36: Sessions 19-34 review


This Coach’s Guide explains what student-directed means, describes the teacher’s role in Whose Future Is It Anyway?, and explains how to use the Whose Future Is It Anyway? materials.

The Guide also describes what students should learn by working through the curriculum and provides some general ideas to increase student involvement for all learners. Whose Future Is It Anyway? has activities in some chapters that may benefit students in general--not only those students with disabilities.

The remainder of the Coach’s Guide includes teacher preparatory activities, key words/concepts, icons, and more tips for engaging students in the Whose Future Is it Anyway? curriculum.

Coach's Guide

Coach's Guide (.pdf)