What is self-advocacy?
- 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.
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.
- 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.