This session will take as it’s frame the General Principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of “respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and the independence of persons.” The importance of strengths-based understandings of disability to achieve this vision will be emphasized, and the central role of self-determination and choice in enabling people to fully participate in society will be discussed. The role and conceptualization of autonomy will be examined. Finally, the session will identify strategies, policies, and practices to promote self-determination, autonomy, and choice as a means to fulfill the vision established in the General Principles of the CRPD.

Michael L. Wehmeyer
University of Kansas

Biography: Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D. is the Ross and Mariana Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education; Chair of the Department of Special Education; and Director and Senior Scientist, Beach Center on Disability; all at the University of Kansas. His research and scholarly work has focused issues pertaining to self-determination, positive psychology and disability, transition to adulthood, the education and inclusion of students with severe disabilities, conceptualizing intellectual disability, and technology use by people with cognitive disabilities. He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He is an author or editor on 42 texts. Dr. Wehmeyer is Past-President and a Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD); a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Division 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division). He has been recognized for his research and service with lifetime achievement awards from numerous associations and organizations, including the American Psychological Association, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children, and The Arc of the United States.

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