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Self Determination and Disability

Hello. My name is Robert Bruce Scott. I'm an assistant professor of special education here at Fort Hays State University. And this is just a short statement I want to make about the course that you are starting, that you are reviewing, whatever point you are at in the course. It's truly been a wonderful pleasure and honor for me, to be developing this course on transition, planning, implementation of plans, envisioning an individual's future, their career vision, personal vision, building the workplace skills, both vocational and communication and social skills related to workplace functioning, the community participation skills, the daily living skills, lifestyle skills, social communication skills, participation in the community, lifelong learning, recreation skills, building up the skill set necessary to enjoy the fullest adult life that is possible for an individual that we are talking about, any individual that you are working with, to help in that process of transition to adult life in their local community. It's all about self-determination, all about self-advocacy skills. It's all about healthy habits, healthy routines, healthy practices, safety, understanding the transportation system, or the transportation that's available in your area, building up that supportive network that is, to the extent that it's required, figuring out again whether it's independence--and living completely on your own--or semi-independent living, or whether the focus is more, as it is often today in a number of different cultures, in the tapestry that is America, self-sufficiency, in a stay-at-home, or within an extended family, under one roof--but the self-sufficiency skills that are included there, as in budgeting, money-management, again, the sense of responsibility, the sense of ownership, all of the things that are packaged together, that are bundled together, in being able to handle what comes your way in life. So this is what the course is about. We've broken it into eight modules, divided into two stages--one that has primarily to do with career and personal development, and the other stage that has to do more with social interaction and communication, in society, in a person's community. Once we've put these skill sets together, once we've gotten a clear understanding of how to help an individual, help a person we care about--help a student, help a family member--help someone reach for their full potential, and have at their command these skills for successful adult life in their community--once we have that understanding, then we will be looking, in our third stage of the course, we'll be asking you to write extensively, to do some personal research in your area, bringing together some of the pieces that you've accumulated through each of the modules, and also give you an introduction to the assessments, the assessment packages that are available, the perspective on assessment that is unique to transition, transition services, transition planning--the assessments that have more to do with personal growth, with skill development, with imagining a future and putting together what is needed to take steps towards realizing ones potential. So that's the course in a nutshell. We're talking about something that you care a lot about, that I care a lot about, which is successful transition--whether it be from adolescence or from an early adult age, to successful participation in the community. Thank you very much for enrolling. I'm looking forward to working with you through the three stages of the course and the modules that are part of putting together the skill sets that I've laid out for you in this introduction. Thank you.

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