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What is Self-Advocacy?
Self-advocacy is a form of advocacy in which individuals are empowered and informed to represent themselves in a number of settings.
Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem solving, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination (Wrightslaw.com).
- Learn About Self-Advocacy: Speaking Up: www.selfadvocacyonline.org/learning/speakingup/.
- Stories from Self-Advocates on Variety of Topics (Self-Advocacy Online): www.selfadvocacyonline.org/stories/?story=vXNEO7lDAUs
- Wrightslaw: www.wrightslaw.com/info/self.advocacy.htm
- Youth in Action! Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate: www.ncwd-youth.info/publications/youth-in-action-becoming-a-stronger-self-advocate/
- Self-Advocacy Guides (Arizona Center for Disability Law): www.azdisabilitylaw.org/guides/
- Kids as Self-Advocates: www.fvkasa.org/index.php
- The Youthhood: www.youthhood.org/index.asp
- Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered: www.sabeusa.org/
- ME! Lessons for Teaching Self-Awareness & Self-Advocacy: www.ou.edu/education/centers-and-partnerships/zarrow/transition-education-materials/me-lessons-for-teaching-self-awareness-and-self-advocacy
- On Disability Disclosure (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability): www.ncwd-youth.info/publications/the-411-on-disability-disclosure-a-workbook-for-youth-with-disabilities/
What Do I Need to Remember:
- Participate actively in the process, whether it is your IEP or transition, school or work or community.
- Express clearly what your needs are
- Set goals that you can realistically achieve
- Find the information you need to make choices
- Look for options or resources
- Remember to bring an advocate, friend, or family member to a meeting to help and support you, if you prefer
- Keep a folder of all communication.
- Take notes at meetings or during calls
10 Steps to Effective Self-Advocacy:
- Self-Advocacy (Autism Speaks): www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits/transition-tool-kit/self-advocacy
- Action Model for Self-Determination: www.beselfdetermined.com/self-determination-model/
- 10 Steps to Effective Self-Advocacy (Disability Rights, Florida): www.disabilityrightsflorida.org/documents/Disability_Rights_Florida_10-Steps_english.pdf
Teaching Self-Advocacy Skills to Your Child or Student:
- Teaching Self-Advocacy at School and Home (Understood.org): www.understood.org/en/friends-feelings/empowering-your-child/self-advocacy
- About Special Kids (ASK): Parent Liaisons
- Answers for Autism
- Arc of Indiana
- Easter Seals Crossroads
- Insurance Advocacy Resource Center
- Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
- Indiana Resource Center for Autism
- Public Policy Advocacy
- Self-Advocates of Indiana
- Autism Society of Indiana
- Autism Ally Program
- Autism Resource Network of Indiana (ARNI)
- Early Learning Indiana’s Partnerships for Early Learners: Training Central
- Family Voices Indiana: Advocacy and Partnerships
- Indiana Disability Rights
- Indiana Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
- Indiana’s Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities
- MAAP Services