College, Disabilities, and Success

#26 Disabilities and Self-Determination with Dr. Richard Chapman

July 13, 2021 Mickie Hayes Season 1 Episode 26
#26 Disabilities and Self-Determination with Dr. Richard Chapman
College, Disabilities, and Success
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College, Disabilities, and Success
#26 Disabilities and Self-Determination with Dr. Richard Chapman
Jul 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 26
Mickie Hayes

Dr. Richard Chapman is a Post Doctorate Fellow at the University of Kansas, and one of my former students from his early days as a college freshman.  Today he is sharing his story about his journey to earning his Ph.D as a student with a disability, the accommodations he used in college, and his favorite assistive technology (hint: Dragon Naturally Speaking).  He talks about the challenges with his Cerebral Palsy. He shares the importance of his work with self-determination, and and the need for parents to give their kids with disabilities high expectations to succeed. He is part of the team led by the work of Dr. Karrie A. Shogren and Dr. Michael L. Wehmeyer and their Causal Agency Theory pertaining to self-determination.

Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Richard Chapman is a Post Doctorate Fellow at the University of Kansas, and one of my former students from his early days as a college freshman.  Today he is sharing his story about his journey to earning his Ph.D as a student with a disability, the accommodations he used in college, and his favorite assistive technology (hint: Dragon Naturally Speaking).  He talks about the challenges with his Cerebral Palsy. He shares the importance of his work with self-determination, and and the need for parents to give their kids with disabilities high expectations to succeed. He is part of the team led by the work of Dr. Karrie A. Shogren and Dr. Michael L. Wehmeyer and their Causal Agency Theory pertaining to self-determination.

Mickie  0:00 
Is your teen with a disability able to formulate realistic future plans and goals? As a parent, have you thought about the importance of high expectations for your child with a disability? These are just two of the questions we're going to talk about today. Today you're going to meet Dr. Richard Chapman. Dr. Chapman has his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision with a focus on Quantitative Research and Disability Studies. He's a licensed Mental Health Counselor and a certified Rehabilitation Counselor. He has presented at conferences. He has written and co authored several peer review articles and book chapters on topics around disabilities, mental health, self determination, and high expectations. Dr. Chapman is somebody I've known since he was working on his associate degree, so for me to talk to him today is a special treat. He's going to share with you his experiences becoming a PhD and what that was like and the accommodations for cerebral palsy and how those worked at the PhD level. And he is also going to share with you the impact of his disability on his education and he is going to talk to you about his particular expertise and that is self determination. So without further ado, I would like to introduce Dr. Richard Chapman on College, Disabilities, and Success, Episode 26, "Disabilities and Self-Determination with Dr. Richard Chapman" by Mickie Hayes. The opinions in this podcast are my own, but please reach out to your college, physicians, or legal services for any additional information.

Mickie  1:57 
Today, I am going to introduce you to Dr. Richard Chapman. That's so cool. Dr. Richard Chapman. When I knew you, you were 18 or 19, just starting out at community college. So to see you as Dr. Richard Chapman is very exciting. Why don't you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?

Richard  2:17 
Thank you, Mickie. Let me first off, say that I am so excited to be here. I have known Mickie for a long time. It probably makes her feel old, so I am not going to do that. My name is Richard Chapman and I am a post doctoral fellow at The University of Kansas, and I grew up in Florida all my life. I graduated from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida, then went on to USF to get my bachelor's degree. But that wasn't enough for me. I went on to get my master's degree immediately in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling where I specialized in marriage and family therapy, I am a certified rehabilitation counselor and a licensed mental health counselor. After my master's degree, I had the doctorate idea in the back of my mind. Like, you know what, I'm not gonna do my doctorate right now. So I went out and I worked for a couple years as a working mental health counselor. And then in 2015 or maybe it was 16, I decided to pursue a PhD in counseling, education and supervision. And I have focused on the study of self determination for individuals with disabilities, self advocacy and self determination and that's where my work  is now.

Mickie  4:17 
Could you share a little bit about your own disability?

Richard  4:21 
I  am diagnosed with Ceregral Palsy. For those of you that don't know, Cerebral Palsy is a condition that the muscle in your body. It is the result of lack of oxygen at birth. Cerebral Palsy for me, affects my fine motor skills, my speech and how I walk.

Mickie  4:48 
Do individuals with cerebral palsy often show learning disabilities as well?

Richard  4:48 
Yes, yes, they do and I have struggled when I was younger with a Reading learning disability and issues affected with fundamental skills

Mickie  5:06 
But clearly Dr. Richard Chapman is able to handle the reading and figure out ways to accommodate and compensate for it.

Richard  5:15 
I must say, one class, Mickie, where you had to read six books, it was at the doctorate level. I grew up in the public education system. I'm a proud graduate of the Florida public education system. And I grew up getting accommodations at both my undergraduate math course and  my graduate level. And it's been definitely interesting.

Mickie  5:51 
What kind of accommodations did you get as a graduate student?

Richard  5:57 
I've always registered with Disability Services. That was no problem. But as a graduate student, I'm basically needed someone to write, take notes In classes, and if I had an actual  test I had to take, I would get double time. But that's about it.

Mickie  6:24 
So basically they were the same as your undergraduate all along.

Richard  6:28 
Yes, yes. But But let me let me talk about this, because I think this is important at some point, and you're gonna probably slap  me for this.

Mickie  6:43 
I can't reach through the computer.

Richard  6:44 
At some point, I decided there were classes where I didn't even present my accommodation. Just Just because they weren't really necessary. I mean, I felt like in my graduate curriculum,  there was something important to do, but I needed to do it.  At some point, all your, your graduate level classes that you're asked to write 25 page papers, and you can't really make accommodations like that. Undergraduate,, not like at the master level, but at the doctorate level, it doesn't compare unless you're doing like mathematics, or something like that.

Mickie  7:41 
I don't think a lot of people realize that. Because once you get into the master's level and doctorate level, the number of tests you take diminishes significantly. So you're doing more research and paperwork, writing essays and

Richard  7:59 
writing on papers,

Mickie  8:00 
writing papers, right? Yes.And now the assistive technology for that is, is better too for that sort of thing.

Richard  8:08 
I love dragon. And that's basically my best friend, and my voice to read at the computer, and so I love it.

Mickie  8:21 
I was gonna ask you what you recommended, because I know a lot of people don't know what some good assistive technology is. And so dragon is the one you like Dragon Naturally Speaking or  Dragon Perfectly Speaking, 

Richard  8:38 
Naturally Speaking.

Richard  8:39 
And you need to  use a good microphone. So what I do

Mickie  8:45 
very good.

Mickie  8:47 
So throughout your time as not only a graduate student, but since you graduated and the jobs that you had in between,  how involved were you with self determination and self advocacy,

Richard  9:01 
Self determination and self advocacy is my area of research and, I am privileged to to be part of a team of individuals that study that here.

Mickie  9:18 
Could you define self determination for people and explain to them what you did and why it's important?

Richard  9:25 
Yeah, that's a big question Mickie. So let me take a minute, kind of explaining that. Absolutely. I started out as a individual in the disability rights movement, advocating for Community Living and competitive and integrated employment in a more just and inclusive community. So that's kind of how I got my start with self-advocacy and self-determination, because self determination. I just realized that I didn't even answer your question, self determination, plain and simple in how it's been defined by people like Kellie Shogren and Mike Wehmeyer who were part of a team, that that often this idea of Causal Agency Theory, which is  basically my, is  basically a theory of self determination. If we look at if we look at Causal Agency Theory, self determination is  defined  plain and simple. The ability to make stuff happen in your life and  that's the key definition of self determination.

Mickie  11:04 
Richard, I will let the audience know how to get information about Dr. Kerrie Shogren and Dr. Mike Weymeyer and Causal Agency Theory at the end of the podcast. So currently, you are a disability studies scholar at the University of Kansas. Would you talk about that for a moment

Richard  11:27 
I am a disability  studies scholar.  I consider myself a  disability studies scholar and what that means to me, is I have been involved in standard disability advocacy stuff. And I've also been involved in standard scholarship research on self advocacy, self determination for individuals with disabilities, and that is what I do today, I am a post-docorate fellow at the University of Kansas studying self determination in the self determination research  group here at KU, and  I am part of the Kansas Center  on Developmental Disabilities.

Mickie  12:28 
Do you run into a lot of young adults who need understanding and encouragement to determine their own futures?

Richard  12:37 
I do. It is something that happens. It all depends. I think it starts out much earlier than you know with having high expectations for everyone, I think the ability to have higher eexpectations for everyone is is absolutely critical that and that is really critical.

Mickie  13:14 
I agree. I really do agree. I know that I have seen that over and over and over in students, that the students who instinctively have high expectations seem to be more successful, in my experience. And have you found that to be the case?

Richard  13:31 
And I'm gonna talk about my own experience.

Mickie  13:35 
Oh, would you please? thank you.

Richard  13:37 
I mean, because I think that is important here because my family had high expectations for me. They were into academics and stuff like that. So my, my family, were the ones that had high expectations for me, and that's where I get this inspiration. It's from my family.

Mickie  14:09 
I think that's a really important point, because many of the audience I know are parents of teens that are transitioning into college from high school. And making that switch from high school to college is an enormous jump in having to take care of yourself as an 18 year old at college and solve your own problems. I think that really starts early, like you mentioned early on in the child's development, encouraging them to speak up when they need to and do what they can, attend the IEP meetings, whatever they can do, to be aware of their situation and how to accommodate the situation so that they can be successful. Yeah. What do you plan for the future. Have you any new plans afoot that I should be sharing? Or do you want to?

Richard  15:08 
Nothing new yet? To be determined. No, all seriousness I am. I envision myself continuing in academia, that's what I continue.

Mickie  15:25 
And will you be doing more research? You think more? Yes, yes. Very good. I think that the University of Kansas is very, very lucky to have you there.

Richard  15:37 
I am humbled to be here. I just want to say that our research team is great. Not just, it's, it's the team and people. It's the team of people.

Mickie  15:51 
Yeah. And I say that's very important, too. Because going back to the very beginnings of your college experience, part of understanding how the whole game of college works, is working with other people, in teams, in in groups, on projects, on committees, whatever you need to do. You're always out there working with others. You had to chat about that for a minute.

Richard  16:17 
I yeah. This idea of team-based science, there are people that, especially in undergrads, you give a group project and there's always one or two students that come on and say, Can I do my project by myself? Like, if I were the assigned teacher, I would say sure, you could do your project by yourself, you'll get a C or a D because the importance is the team-based aspect of everything.

Mickie  16:49 
You're right, you're right. You're absolutely that and I have had students who wanted to work alone. And I think understanding that you are going to be working with others is a sometimes it's a shock to the system with the new kids when they're first starting out in college. But it is so very important.

Richard  17:07 
Yes,yes. Yes, it is. Yes, it. I think everything that we do we do as a team, and I think that is one of the biggest lessons that I have learned this year is that we do it as a team.

Mickie  17:26 
That's right. Well, Richard, this has been wonderful to have this opportunity to talk to you.

Richard  17:31 
And thank you for having me on.

Mickie  17:33 
I am honored that you were here today with me. Thank you so very much, Dr. Richard Chapman, everybody. So thank you, Richard.

Mickie  17:41 
As Dr. Chapman pointed out, self determination is critical for individuals with disabilities. They have the right to plan and determine their own future and offering your children high expectations will help them grow in their ability to determine their future. If you would like to know more about Dr. Kerrie Shogren, and Dr. Michael Weymeyer at the University of Kansas and their work with Causal Agency Theory and self determination, I will be sure to include those links in the show notes. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Mickie teachers@gmail.com.  That's Mickie m i c k i e teaches@gmail.com Have a great rest of the day and I will talk to you soon. Bye.

Mickie  18:34  
Information contained throughout this podcast has been gleaned from my own personal experiences, but to ensure accuracy, please contact the Disability Services at the College of your choice to have first hand information and the most up to date policies and procedures followed by your particular institution of higher education. The content in any of these podcasts is not intended as a substitute for information from legal, educational or medical professionals. Always seek the advice of your attorney or qualified health care provider with any questions you may have with regards to legal, educational, or medical concerns.