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Thank you for attending one of our Youth Leadership trainings! In this month's issue, we are sharing resources to help you learn more about self-advocacy, employment and your rights.


Self-Advocacy: Find the Captain in You! Video

Follow two hosts with dry humor on their morning news talk show, Midday In The Valley, as they explore and discover the powerful force of a term called: Self Advocacy. Covering two interviews and speaking with their ever helpful side kick, Captain Self Advocacy (yes he is really wearing tights!), they come to understand why understanding what you’re good at, what you need assistance with, and how to effectively communicate with people in life is very important for everyone, especially youth with disabilities. Remember: Nothing About You Without You!

Your IEP Meeting: A Great Place to Practice Self-Advocacy Skills

Self-advocacy skills are needed over a lifetime, and everyone has to learn them. Here is some great information that can start you on your way!

Speak Up! Using What You’ve Got to Get What You Want

Learn how to speak up and advocate for yourself!. This booklet from the US Department of Health and Human Services can help you map out personal goals, learn about your rights and responsibilities, learn the best way to ask for help, and get organized.

Map It: What Comes Next?

Map It: What Comes Next is a free, online, interactive training designed for transition-aged students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Video vignettes signed in ASL with spoken English and written transcription, self-assessments, and a series of interactive questions guide students as they identify their goals and develop strategies to achieve them.   All interactive materials are saved and compiled in an electronic portfolio.

Tips for Parents

Personal Preferences Indicator: A Guide for Planning
This is a tool to assist in planning with and for a person with a developmental disability. It’s a guide, not a checklist, for accessing information about the person’s preferences across 7 domain areas. The items are used as cues or prompts for discussing with the person or their family/friends the important considerations in developing a plan of support. Domains explored include the individual’s favorites, emotions, socialization, self-determination, physical self, health, and family roles. 
Download the guide >

10 Ways to Involve Young Adults in their IEP Meetings
When students with disabilities and young adults are involved in their own IEP meetings, it helps them understand their own disability, strengths, areas to work on, goals, and modifications. Ultimately, this practice leads to greater confidence and increased self-advocacy skills for our students.
Read full article >


Disability Disclosure | Video

Introduction to Disability Disclosure for youth with disabilities in school or at work.  Watch the video at

To learn more about disclosure, check out the NCWD's The 411 on Disability Disclosure:

Starting with Me: A Guide to Person-Centered Planning for Job Seekers

Starting with Me: A Guide to Person-Centered Planning for Job Seekers is a career development guide to help you make satisfying job choices. Finding satisfying work doesn’t usually just happen by applying for a job in the newspaper. The process involves several phases– and it all begins with you.

On the Job: Stories from Youth with Disabilities

And there’s nothing like hearing success stories about your peers! 

This booklet compiles the stories of six young people with significant disabilities on the job, for whom early work experiences have played a vital role, as did an emphasis on using natural supports.

Career One-Stops | Your Pathway to Career Success

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, this website organizes a great deal of info under one roof. Explore different careers, take self-assessments, find out about the education and training you need, and use the Service Locator to find workforce development services in your area.

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills — Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success

Soft skills are important traits that make you marketable in today's rapidly changing workplace. ODEP has created a set of lessons and videos for youth ages 14 to 21 to learn about the six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Youth @ Work

Youth@Work, a website from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC), is geared towards youth in the workforce. The EEOC's goal is to eliminate illegal discrimination from the workplace for all workers.  This website, which includes videos, is designed to teach you about some of your rights and responsibilities as an employee.

Tips for Parents

The Most Important Member: Facilitating the Focus Person's Participation in Person Centered Planning
This brief summarizes research on the participation of young people in person-centered planning and gives specific recommendations to help facilitators in maximize student participation.  
Read full article >

Set an Employment Destination and Map a Course to Get There
People usually plan journeys with a specific destination in mind and map the way accordingly. Your young adult needs a place to start, but parents need to also help their son or daughter realize that it’s okay to change the destination and select a different job. Many people change careers several times in their lives. 
Read full article >


People with Disabilities: Know Your Voter Rights

The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities is hosting a webinar that will cover voter registration and education. Disability Rights Texas and ADAPT of Texas, both non-partisan groups, will share information related to voter registration and community engagement. This dialogue will help ensure equal opportunity and full participation in the voting process for people with disabilities.

Jul 17, 2018 10:00 AM in Central Time (US and Canada)
Register for this free webinar at

IDEA MANUAL - 2016 Edition

A manual for parents and students about special education services and supports in Texas.  Download the IDEA manual at

Southwest ADA Center Website

The Southwest ADA Center is the Southwest's leading resource on the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability rights laws. The Center is part of the ADA National Network funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).  They offer technical assistance and training materials.

Tips for Parents

Supported Decision Making
Most people with disabilities can manage their own affairs with assistance and guidance from a person whom they trust and do not need a guardian. There are many alternatives to guardianship that give people with disabilities support to make decisions without taking away their rights. During the 84th Texas Legislative Session in 2015, legislators passed new laws that make Texas the first state to have laws recognizing supported decision-making agreements as an alternative to guardianship. 
Learn more about supported decision making >

Adult Services: What Are They? Where Are They?
In addition to the regular players at the IEP table, when transition is going to be discussed, representatives of outside agencies may be invited, especially those who are well informed about resources and adult services in the community.  
Read full article >

Featured Resource

College or Training Programs: How to Decide

With so many choices after high school, it can be challenging to decide which path to take. Here are some ideas you may want to consider before you graduate.

Download the guide >
The contents of this newsletter were developed under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150022, #H328M150023, #H328M150024. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government..
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