April ECC Snapshot - Self Determination

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

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Each month, our team chooses one ECC area to dig deep on with our students! This approach helps us take time to assess strengths and needs, collaborate with parents, and teach skills that are important, but might not be an IEP goal.

For April, our focus will be Self Determination. This ECC area is so important and plays a factor in everything we do. I love exploring Self Determination toward the end of the year when we can reflect on ways we have grown and begin to look ahead to what's next.

What is Self Determination?

Self Determination refers to the individual’s ability to decide what he or she needs, and by extension, make decision about his or her own future.


Self knowledge

Self advocacy and empowerment


Informed decision making

Problem solving and goal setting

Self directed and self regulated behavior

Teaching learners the critical skills that support self determination is a major contribution to helping them learn to make good decisions for themselves, solve problems, and set goals, speak up for themselves, communicate effectively, and in general, develop higher levels of self esteem and self confidence.

Self Determination Check In

The E.C.C. Workbook is one tool I use to gather input from the student and family about strengths and needs in each ECC Area. For Self Determination, other tools I use include:

AIR Self Determination Checklist

EVALS Self Determination Checklist

Self Determination Lessons and FUN!

ECC lessons can be short, individualized lessons targeting a specific student's needs, or group lessons exploring a shared topic. These are some ideas I have for April:

Understanding our Visual Impairment: At every age, students should be able to describe their visual impairment in a developmentally appropriate way. Self Determination month is a great time to asses, teach, and practice this skill. Students should also be able to describe their tools, technology, and basic accommodations.

Offering Assistance Memes: I'm going go to pair students to discuss and create a meme showing how to and how NOT to ask a blind person if they need help!

Requesting/Denying Assistance Role Play: I will create some scenarios for students to run through where they need to practice asking for help or practice politely denying assistance. We will discuss the value of both.

Next Year Prep: I think this is a great time for students to begin planning for the next school year before the end of the year gets too busy. I will have my students create a short video or powerpoint sharing a little bit about themselves, their visual impairment, and needs in the classroom. I love letting their personality shine through. Here is a post I shared on Paths to Literacy on this topic.

All About Me: I love this book from APH as a fun "All About Me" Activity and a way to work on braille skills.

What other great ideas do you have for exploring Self Determination?

Happy ECC-ing,


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