LC Journal of Special Education


Self-determination describes people acting as the primary causal agents in their lives through their own volition (Wehmeyer, 1998; Wehmeyer, 2005). Volition means making choices with intention and consciousness. Self-determination consists of four essential characteristics related to volition: Autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self realization (Wehmeyer et al., 2007). Acting autonomously, in a manner to achieve specified goals, problem solving to meet those goals and being aware of the possible outcomes describe some of the activities related to volition and the characteristic of self determination (Light & Gullens, 2000; Wehmeyer et al., 2007). Self-determined people influence their own lives. People with physical and cognitive impairments need supports to act volitionally, and to act as causal agents in their own lives, where causal agent refers to the individual behaving in a specific ways to influence events in their environment, activities and other people (Light, 1997; Light & Gullens, 2000).