This work was supported by a grant from Shalem Fund
This study examined self-determination and autonomous decision-making of adolescents with disabilities. The quantitative part compared between the perceptions of teenagers and their parents. The qualitative part examined the experiences of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) adolescent users and their parents regarding their experiences of self-determination and autonomy. This study highlights the important role that the environment plays in the cultivation of self-determination and autonomous decision-making. Specifically, parents play a central role in their development. Use of AAC and especially typing was found to be a life-changing experience. The interviewees in this study conveyed the message of the existing need to bring about a change in social awareness regarding their difficulties, and the importance of technology to overcome existing barriers to communicate their thoughts and to construct their self-identity.
Keywords: promotion of autonomous decision-making, self-determination, capacities, opportunities, adolescents with a disability, parents of adolescents with a disability, AAC users, self-identity, the ecological model of self-determination, typing