The Bridge School

Self-Determination Program

Activity 4: Contacting Support Person

Text on screen within image: It is really cool that you are thinking about ways to set up plans for going more places and doing more things

Learning to follow a plan: Students use information from the My Goal Planning Guide activity to begin working towards their goal.


Mentees contact the person they identified in the My Goal Planning Activity


  • Internet access
  • Email contact information
  • Alternate input method
  • Step-by-Step communication device

Mentor Preparation


  • review mentee’s goal plan and who they contact for support
  • prepare questions to help guide mentee in writing their email (e.g., How do you want to begin your email?; What’s a good question to ask since you want information?, etc.)


Contacting a support person is one way for a student to ask for help and gain advice in working toward their personal goal.

Mentors introduce the activity. Mentees review the reasons why they chose their support person and discuss how they will contact them (e.g., Collin chose to email his teacher, Ms. Holly, because she works with him on a daily basis. He knows she would be someone who can help him brainstorm ideas and choose the appropriate vocabulary related to his goal).

Mentees move to their workstations to work one-on-one with their mentors and write their emails. Mentors guide students as needed as they compose their emails. Everyone comes back together and mentees share their emails using their Step-by-Step communication devices.

As a follow-up activity, students read the email responses they receive from the individual they contacted. SDP staff and mentors assist with documenting any suggestions the student would like to explore.


  • Students can generate their responses using their speech-generating devices, or they can use partner-assisted strategies with communication boards
  • Provide student with a talking word processing program and/or word prediction for spelling support
  • Provide alternate input methods (e.g., speech-generating devices, AccessIt, etc.) so students can type responses directly into an email
  • Use partner-assisted strategies with communication boards so students can dictate their responses
  • Students access the internet with their speech-generating devices and/or by using computer interface hardware to input email web page, email login and password
  • Break down activity into multiple session (if necessary)
  • Offer dictated writing strategy for students who do not have access to independent writing tools, where the student communicates a response to someone, who then writes it down for them