Students in the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class had the opportunity to participate in the “Nuts and Bolts of Self-Determination Skill Building” workshop hosted by Luke Wilson with Family Network on Disabilities (FND). The focus of the workshop was to help students learn how to develop Self-Determination and  Self -Advocacy skills  as they begin to transition from high school to their post -secondary journey.

Luke focused on how important it is to make your own choices and decisions, while also learning how to deal with the consequences of these decisions. Luke gave the students a new way to look at the word FAILFirst Attempt in Learning. This acronym gives students the ability to make mistakes, learn from them and then move forward.

The focus on communication skills is a key element in being able to Self-Advocate. Luke spoke to the students about how important it was for them to Self-Advocate to make their needs known to others. He also stressed that Self-Advocacy can range from a small scale of events to larger ones. Several of the students gave examples of how they could Self-Advocate for things they wanted in school.

Next, Luke spoke to the students about Self-Determination. He focused on how important this skill was as they begin to transition to their post -secondary journey. He explained that Self-Determination revolved around making choices on how to live your life, such as choosing hobbies, making plans to see friends, or picking a career path. Students participated in an interactive session where they were given different scenarios and how the students would handle them.

Luke stressed to the class to plan and set realistic expectations as they begin their transition process. He also focused on having the students engage in various life skill activities at home, such as doing their own laundry and making a meal, which will help them in the future.

A special thanks to FND, Luke Wilson for attending the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class and sharing with them some very important tips on Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination! The students worked on their Development, Empowerment and Social Skills during this Community Based Instruction.