Topical Guides

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Knowing your available time and your audience, choose one or many of the dialogue starters below.



Reaction Questions


1.    Currently in your building/district, what is done to inform and educate students with disabilities about the transition process? 

  • About self-advocacy?
  • At what age or grade level does this begin?
  • In your opinion, is the current process effective?  Please give examples.


2.    From your perspective, why is self-advocacy important to the individual student?

  • To professionals who support students with disabilities?
  • To families who support students with disabilities?


3.    What are the components that are necessary for self-advocacy to be learned and practiced effectively? 

  • What information do students need?
  • Do families need?
  • Do school personnel need?


4.    What are the barriers that exist in students becoming more involved and becoming better self-advocates?

5.    At what age or grade level should we begin promoting students in becoming self-advocates and being involved in their education and transition process? 

  • In your opinion, what effects would we see if students were more informed and self-advocacy skills were enhanced?
  • Effects on IEPs?
  • Behavior and discipline issue?
  • Graduation rates?
  • Other?



Application Questions

1.    What mechanisms can we put in place to support self-advocacy skills at early levels?

2.    What process can we put into place to ensure that self advocacy knowledge and skills are available to students with disabilities? To families and professionals to support student self-advocacy?

3.    What can we put into place to overcome the barriers to student self-advocacy that we identified earlier?



These questions were developed by the following
stakeholders working together within the IDEA Partnership:

Role:  State Service Agency
Location:  Arizona

Role:  State Technical Assistance Provider
Location:  Kansas

Role:  Higher Education
Location:  New Hampshire

Role:  Transition Coordinator
Location:  North Dakota

Role:  Family Member
Location:  Virginia

Role:  Higher Education
Location:  Virginia




The IDEA Partnership, located at the National Association of
State Directors of Special Education, is sponsored by the
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Special Education Programs.   2009