Instruction in Self-Advocacy (ISA)

The intent of the Instruction in Self-Advocacy course is to assist the student in developing improved self-awareness, which will enable them to take charge of their life, education, and work opportunities.  Students will be better able to advocate for their specific needs or accommodations that will help them to succeed in all facets of life.  They will learn basic life and time management skills to improve their independence.  General communication skills are also taught to help them understand how to relate to different types of people, including peers, teachers, coworkers, and bosses.  It is important for students to understand their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  It is equally important for students to learn how to maximize their participation in school Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, and Section 504 plans.  The Instruction in Self-Advocacy course will increase the knowledge the participants have about their rights.  Finally, students will be provided with information on the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services and other local resources to assist them with independent living and college accessibility. 

Day 1: Modules will teach necessary preparations in self-advocacy for future scholastic and professional success. We will specify preparation in the high school environment to prepare for either post-secondary training/college education. Participants will become aware of different departments and procedures that may be in place in their high school for assistance.
Day 2: Modules will include instruction for more basic skills required in the school or the professional workplace. We will emphasize basic day-to-day skills that need to be mastered in order to ensure peak performance in higher education or employment. Day 2 will also stress the importance of realizing transportation needs specific to the local area and/or related to disability. We will discuss the ADA and other programs/laws that are related to disabilities.
Day 3: Modules will focus on different learning tools and departments that can assist persons with disabilities with academic and professional development. Special focus will be given to the services provided by the Division of Rehabilitation Services regarding future professional/educational development and job placement/accommodations. We will help students understand the world of work in a “realistic” sense, preparing them for situations they may encounter. Initial information about career selection will be discussed with the participants.


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