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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:
    • Rights
    • 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.

More Information About Speaking Up for Yourself

  • People First of California
  • Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
  • The Consumer Corner
Last updated on Mon, 05/24/2010 - 10:59