Teaching Disability Self-Awareness and Self-Advocacy Using the Me! Lesson Materials





self-advocacy, self-awareness, disability awareness, transition education, self-determination


Many educators use the Me! Lessons to teach high school students with disabilities self-advocacy and self-awareness knowledge and skills. We conducted a mixed-methods study to examine the usefulness of the lessons, obtain student and parent perceptions of the lessons and to examine the lessons’ impact on student knowledge. This study indicates the usefulness of the Me! Lessons for teaching high school students with various disabilities needed self-awareness and self-advocacy knowledge. Qualitative findings suggest that students and parents value the content in the Me! Lessons and parents want students to learn about disability awareness and self-advocacy at school. 

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Author Biographies

Penny L. Cantley, Oklahoma State University

Penny Cantley, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the School of Teaching, Learning and Educational Sciences at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Cantley taught elementary and secondary special education for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools and the Oklahoma public school system. She was the lead writer on Me!. a curriculum developed to help educators teach transition skills to students with disabilities. Dr. Cantley has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to transition and her primary research interests include transition supports and services for secondary students with disabilities and postsecondary opportunities and outcomes for adults with disabilities.

James E. Martin, University of Oklahoma

James Martin, Ph.D. is an Emeritus Zarrow Family Professor from the Department of Educational Psychology's Special Education Program at the University of Oklahoma.  Dr. Martin earned his Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Illinois with a focus on secondary transition. His professional interests focus upon the transition of youth with disabilities from high school into postsecondary education and the workforce and facilitating success in high school and postsecondary environments. He examines identifying, assessing, and teaching secondary-aged youth and adults with disabilities generalizable self-determination and other skills that when learned will increase the likelihood of desired educational and employment outcomes. Dr. Martin has authored several books, numerous chapters for edited books, journal articles, several curriculum lesson packages, and instructional assessments. Most recently he and colleagues co-authored the on-line Transition Assessment and Goal Generator (TAGG) and wrote supporting materials, which a research grant from IES’ National Center on Special Education Research supported.