Mentor Tip: Rights and Responsibilities

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Subject: Mentoring tips on rights and responsibilities

A "right" is something you are entitled to. A "responsibility" is something you are expected to do. As young people mature, they need to take increasing levels of responsibility. Knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, as well as those of others, will help them make plans that will lead to success. Below are comments of successful young people and adults with disabilities about taking responsibility. Let's see how the reactions of participants in our electronic community compare with these.

  • I accept responsibility for my own actions, decisions, and feelings. Taking responsibility makes me feel that I have control over what is happening. I obtained this trait from my parents and by realizing that it generally makes me feel good when I accept and take responsibility. (Ph.D. candidate who is blind)
  • I accept and take responsibility for myself. My mother and teachers have helped me to see that this skill is important. I have come to realize that a person must be responsible in order to succeed in life. (college student who is blind)
  • I think that when a person finally realizes that he can't get around his disability and that he might as well make the best of things is when he truly begins to take responsibility for himself. I know that might sound pretty harsh, but from my experiences it's true. My mother is the one person who has helped me see this. She has been my supporter and advocate throughout my life, but she never let me think that it was not my problem. (high school student with a learning disability)