Self Advocacy is speaking up for yourself. It is making your own choices in life, big and small. It is learning about your rights and responsibilities. It is living the way you want to, and respecting the right of others to do the same. Individuals with the challenge of a disability have the same rights and responsibilities of citizenship as any other member of the community. This includes the right to participate in decisions that affect their own lives and the right to have their voices count, such as
Where we live: Self-advocates applaud the current plan to close all developmental centers. Institutional care should not be an option or necessity for any individual with a disability. Smaller homes, apartments and work place locations allow many more opportunities for self-advocates to be part of their community.
Where we work and spend our days: Like everyone, people with disabilities want to be involved in meaningful and productive activities within their community. Whether itís going to school at regular schools, working competitive jobs or having other interesting daytime activities, we want opportunities to develop and use our skills and talents and pursue our interests.
Participating in decisions that affect our lives: Over the last several years, self-advocates have begun to play an important role on committees and boards which make decisions that effect services that are provided for individuals with disabilities.