Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Rachel Diamant, PhD, OTR/L, BCP


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 list occupational therapists (OT) as transition service providers in schools under the related services category (PL 105-117, 1997) able to provide interventions to help students develop skills to access the school curriculum and transition-related activities (Cleary, Persh, & Spencer, 2015). However, OTs are currently not fully participating in providing appropriate services in the areas of secondary education, vocational training, employment, community participation, and independent living to the extent allowed by the law (PL 108-446, 2004). Self-determination is the best predictor of successful transition to adulthood in students with disabilities. Self-determination can be defined as volitional behavior (Stewart, 2013) or the ability to “act as a causal agent in one’s life,” (Shogren, Wehmeyer, Palmer, Rifenbark, & Little, 2015). Increases in self-determination have immediate, positive effects for students with disabilities while they are still in high school as well as in achieving greater post-secondary outcomes. The Whose Future Is It Anyway? program is one evidence-based program for students with disabilities that fosters development of self-determination skills appropriate for occupational therapists to implement in schools to increase OT’s role in transition services. The implementation of this self-determination program and examination of the effects of self- determination on student outcomes was the focus of this doctoral capstone project.