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Independent Living Assessments: More Than Just Cooking & Cleaning Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D. University of Kansas Department of Special Education June.

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Presentation on theme: "Independent Living Assessments: More Than Just Cooking & Cleaning Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D. University of Kansas Department of Special Education June."— Presentation transcript:

1 Independent Living Assessments: More Than Just Cooking & Cleaning Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D. University of Kansas Department of Special Education June 2008

2 If a student floated in a lifejacket for 12 years, would he/she be expected to swim if the jacket were jerked off?

3 Independent Living Independent living includes the skills and knowledge an individual needs to direct his or her life at home and in the community.

4 IDEA’s Definition of Transition Services Coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that- (A) is designed to be within a results-orientated process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; (B) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and (C) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

5 Components of Independent Living Home Living Household & Money Management Transportation Law & Politics Community Involvement Personal Safety Recreation & Leisure Interpersonal Relationships Self-Advocacy / Self-Determination

6 Home Living

7 Household & Money Management

8 Transportation

9 Law & Politics

10 Community Involvement

11 Personal Safety & Health

12 Interpersonal Relationships

13 Recreation & Leisure

14 Self-Determination / Self-Advocacy

15 Self-determination refers to an individual’s awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, the ability to set goals and make choices, to be assertive at appropriate times, and to interact with others in a socially competent manner. A self-determined person is able to make independent decisions based on his or her ability to use resources, which includes collaborating and networking with others. The outcome for a self-determined person is the ability to realize his or her own potential, to become a productive member of a community, and to obtain his or her goals without infringing on the rights, responsibilities, and goals of others. (Serna & Lau- Smith, 1995)

16 Teaching Students to be Involved in Transition Skill Development Self Awareness Problem Solving & Decision Making Goal Setting Communication Skills Providing Opportunities

17 Skill Development for Self- Determination Self Awareness Identify strengths, needs, preferences & interests Knowledge of disability, learning styles & accommodations Understand legal rights & responsibilities Take responsibility for actions

18 Self-Awareness

19 Skill Development for Self- Determination Problem Solving & Decision Making Define the problem Gather information Identify pros and cons Make an informed decision Communicate preferences

20 Problem Solving

21 Skill Development for Self- Determination Goal Setting Identify vision and long range goals Identify all possible resources Develop a plan of action to reach goals Evaluate outcomes

22 Goal Setting

23 Skill Development for Self- Determination Communication Skills Body image and posture Clearly express ideas & feelings Listen to what others say Ask questions Plan and organize thoughts Accept comments and criticism

24 Communication Skills

25 Self-Determination Model Know Yourself & Your Environment Value Yourself Plan Act Experience Outcomes & Learn Environment Adapted from Field & Hoffman, 1994

26 IDEA’s definition of Postsecondary Goals …appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills

27 Exercise Chase’s IEP Example

28 The Dignity of Risk What if you never got to make a mistake. What if your money was always kept in an envelope where you couldn’t get at it. What if you were never given a chance to do well at something. What if you were always treated like a child. What if your chance to be with people different from you was with your own family. What if the job you did was not useful. What if you never got to make a decision. What if the only risky thing you could do was to act out. What if you couldn’t go outside because the last time you went it rained. What if you took the wrong bus once and now you can’t take another one. What if you got into trouble and were sent away and you couldn’t come back because they always remember you’re “trouble.” What if you worked and got paid $.46 an hour. What if you had to wear your winter coat when it rained because it was all you had. What if you had no privacy. What if you could do part of the grocery shopping but weren’t allowed to do any because you weren’t able to do all of the shopping. What if you spent three hours every day just waiting. What if you grew old and never knew adulthood. What if you never got a chance. (From a parent whose son is in a support work program in Richmond, VA; published by The Arc.)

29 So it’s important…When is there Time Programs Community-based transition programs are public school programs operated entirely in the community and designed specifically for students ages to help facilitate the movement from school to adult life through a comprehensive approach to community integration.

30 18-21 Programs ARE… In age-appropriate setting Designed for students ages Funded by the Local Education Agency Individualized for each student Interagency endeavors

31 18-21 Programs: Description They ARE located in age-appropriate setting in the community, such as colleges, houses, apartments, businesses, or offices. They are NOT high school classes that go out into the community every once in a while (or even part of every day) for instruction.

32 18-21 Programs: Description They ARE created for students (young adults ages 18-21) who need support to increasing their independence as adults. This could include students with any disability. They are NOT work programs, sheltered workshops, or enclaves.

33 18-21 Programs: Description They ARE designed for students who are served by the Local Education Agency (i.e. still enrolled in high school). They may also include young adults who are supported by adult service providers. They are NOT strictly accommodations or training provided by colleges, vocational rehabilitation, or adult service providers.

34 18-21 Programs: Description They ARE individualized for each student based on the student’s IEP goals which take into account interests, preferences, and desired postschool outcomes. They are NOT self- contained classes with all student having the same schedule or experiences.

35 18-21 Programs: Description They ARE interagency collaborations with the goal of creating a smooth transition from school services to services from adult agencies. They are NOT referrals to Vocational Rehabilitation or other adult service providers without follow-up linkages.

36 “[C-Tran] is more hands-on and real life. You can actually do what you’re learning…I like it better. There’s not very many people, and you can work with the teacher one-on-one.” Everyone could use a little practice dealing with the Big Bad Wolf.

37 Components of Programs Employment experience Postsecondary education and training Community mobility Interagency linkages Social & communication opportunities Self-determination & independent living skills Peer friendships Leisure & recreation activities

38 Online Independent Living Assessments Independent Living Skills Assessment Tool, Ansell Casey Life Skills Assessment, sa.htm sa.htm The Learning Clinic’s Transition & Independent Living Skill Assessment, andForm.pdf andForm.pdf Transition to Community Living Self-Assessment, o_Community_Living.pdf (assessment starts on pg. 20) o_Community_Living.pdf

39 Other Related Assessment Functional Behavioral Assessment, North Central Regional Resource Center’s List of Assessments, alrrc.org/methodsTools.aspx alrrc.org/methodsTools.aspx Quickbook of Transition Assessments, ebox/docs/tb07/QuickbookIEP%20Checklist %20Final.pdf ebox/docs/tb07/QuickbookIEP%20Checklist %20Final.pdf

40 IEP Team Decision Assistance Form Option 1: Go to Choose the Best Practices online learning module Go to ‘My Library’ Option 2: Go to the Missouri Department of Education Website Compliance/specedpost-sectransition.html Compliance/specedpost-sectransition.html

41 Free Self-Determination Assessments American Institutes for Research. (1994). AIR Self-Determination Scale. Available on the Zarrow Center website, uide.pdf uide.pdf Wehmeyer, M.L., & Kelchner, L. (1995). The Arc’s self-determination scale. Arlington, TX: The Arc of the United States. Available online at

42 Self-Determination Websites Self-Determination Synthesis Project. Charlotte, NC: University of North Carolina. Web: Self-Determination Technical Assistance Centers. Colorado Springs, CO; Fountain, CO; Overland Park, KS; Monroe County, NY. Web: Self-Determination Educational Materials. University of Oklahoma, Zarrow Center: Taking Charge: Stories of Success & Self- Determination. University of Washington, DO-IT Self- Determination Videos:

43 C-Tran Manual This manual is based on the development and operation of a community-based transition program in Lawrence, Kansas. The teachers reveal their insights and share many of their resources, programming, and curricula to help others develop community- based transition programs. php?pageId=72 php?pageId=72

44 Learn more about Community- Based Programs See the Database of Programs at under RESOURCES for the most comprehensive list and description of Programs in the United States.

45 Contact Information Amy Gaumer Erickson, Ph.D. Transition Coalition KU Department of Special Education 521 JR Pearson Hall, 1122 W. Campus Rd. Lawrence, KS


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