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Speaking Up For Yourself or Self-Advocacy

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What is self-advocacy?

  • Self-advocacy is:
    • Knowing your rights and responsibilities.
    • Making your own choices and decisions.
    • Speaking up for yourself.

Speaking up for yourself makes you stronger.

  • Making choices helps you know what you want.
  • Making your own choices gives you control over your life.

To learn more about speaking up for yourself:

  • Make choices and decisions for yourself every day, like:
    • When to get up or when to go to bed at night.
    • When to get a haircut.
    • When to eat dinner.
    • What clothes to wear.
    • What shampoo to buy.
    • What to do for fun.

To learn more about self-advocacy:

  • Work with decision makers.
  • Help an agency decide:
    • Which staff to hire.
    • How well staff are doing their jobs.
  • Be on a board of directors.
  • Join a local People First chapter.
  • Lead your own Individual Program Plan (IPP) meeting.

Speaking up for yourself means . . .

  • Making the biggest choices and decisions in your life, like:
    • Where you will live.
    • Who you will live with.
    • Where you will work.
    • Who you want to help you when you need it.
    • What you want to do in the future.
  • Living the life you want.

What will change if you speak up for yourself more?

  • You will become more independent.
  • Being independent means:
    • Doing more things for yourself.
    • Having more choices.
    • Making more decisions.
  • You will also get better at:
    • Making good choices and decisions.
    • Staying healthy and safe.

Self-advocacy groups

  • In many areas of California, there are groups of people who get together to talk about:
    • Exercising their rights.
    • Having responsibilities.
    • Speaking up for themselves.
  • Self-advocacy groups have different names like:
    • People First.
    • Consumer Advisory Committees.

How can I find out about groups?

  • Check with your:
    • Regional Center Consumer Advisory Committee.
    • Area Board.
  • Ask if there are self-advocacy meetings near where you live.
  • Ask if there is training to learn about self-advocacy.

People First

  • In some places, there are People First meetings.
  • People First says: We Are People First, Our Disability is Second.
  • Here’s what a self-advocacy group in Santa Barbara says:
    • I am IMPORTANT.
    • I KNOW what I want.
    • I will WORK HARD to get what I want.
    • I am RESPONSIBLE for the choices I make.

To learn more about speaking up for yourself:

Last updated on Mon, 05/24/2010 - 10:59