AWB Online Self Advocacy
Self Advocacy means speaking or acting for yourself. It means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of getting what you want. Self Advocacy means standing up for your rights, your responsibilities and making your own choices in your life. Advocates fight against discrimination that may treat them differently. Scroll to bottom of page to review our Self Advocacy presentations.
Take the Pledge! Disability Awareness/People First Language Pledge. Join this special DDS initiative introduced to us by Natasha Cole, Self Advocate Coordinator, West Region, CT Department of Developmental Services (DDS). Click Here.
Voting is an important right of everyone, including people with disabilities. Here is a presentation by Natasha Cole, Self Advocate Coordinator, West Region, CT Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
There is also a 2020 Candidates’ Forum on Disability Issues, October 7, 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The forum is free, but you must register in advance. Use this LINK.
Watch the video below to see Natasha’s presentation on Voting.
Important Skills to be a Self Advocate
You can communicate in different ways such as:
Body language — can be based on the tone of their voice or looks on their face or position of their body.
Video chat, online conferences, Zoom meetings.
Communicating tablet — assistive technology.
Don’t be shy to ask for help. No one has all the answers.
Making decisions together. Life isn’t easy or a piece of cake, so make sure you have supportive people in your life to help make decisions. These people can include your family, close friends, case manager, etc.
Remember to speak up and speak out!
10 Steps to Being a Strong Self Advocate
These 10 steps can be used by anyone. They may not solve all the problems at first, but they can work and can help you become a great advocate for yourself and others.
Believe in Yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you!
Realize You Have Rights. We have the same rights as anyone else!
Discuss Your Concerns. If you don’t discuss your concerns, no one else will know you have a concern. It is important for everyone to have a safe person to discuss concerns with.
Get the Facts in Writing. Document … document … document.
Use the Chain of Command. Always start your discussion with the person you may be having an issue with and if your concern is not resolved, talk to their boss, and so on up the ladder.
Know Your Appeal Rights. If you do not agree with the outcome, you can appeal the decision.
Be Assertive and Persistent. Speak up and speak out! Don’t stop speaking for what you believe in until you are heard. Your voice counts!
Use Communications Skills. There are many ways to communicate. Technology has made it easier for individuals to communicate. One of the most important tools of communication is listening. Being assertive is the best way to communicate — not passive or aggressive.
Ask for Help. A little help can go a long way. We all need help in our lives from others.
Follow Up. Check in to see if your issue has been resolved. A good advocate follows through until the job is done. If your issue is not resolved, go back to Step 1 and start again.
Self Advocacy Presentations
The following videos were adopted from Slide Presentations. Sharing them as videos is easier for website applications. Simply use your video controls PLAY and PAUSE to view the presentation at your own speed. If you need more time to read a slide, just pause the video and then resume play.
Agency and Workplace Behavior
Staying Safe on the Internet
5 Steps to Self Advocate
Leisure Time Activities
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