What does it mean to self-advocate?

disability rights

When you advocate for yourself as an adult with disabilities, you are speaking up for yourself. Self-advocacy can be something as “little” as deciding how you want your bedroom decorated and what you wear, to “larger” things like whether to have a medical procedure.

Those who learn to self-advocate go on to become confident individuals who can not only speak for themselves, but extend those skills to others.

Understand your needs and develop a plan

As an adult with a disability, you deserve to live life to the fullest. Ask yourself, what needs do you have? What is needed to meet those needs? Do you have a plan in place? Self-advocacy help you understand what you need in your everyday life to live well and develop a plan to attain it.

Understand your rights

Unfortunately, much of our society isn’t built to accommodate people with disabilities; we see this in the way a bank may not be wheelchair accessible, the lack of accommodations when traveling, and even the lack of disability training in law enforcement.

Self-advocacy means understanding your rights and what you are entitled to. This could be anything from a safe work environment that accommodates you, being able to rent an apartment, and traveling by air.

At Delta Center, we teach people how to articulate and discuss a situation that needs to be addressed. We also help you know your rights and provide resources to help you gain greater access to disability services and accommodations. We also work with at the community and state level to advocate for services to benefit people like you.

Understand how to navigate agencies and benefits

Navigating agencies and other benefit programs on your own can be difficult. Self-advocacy training at Delta Center can help by identifying programs you may qualify for and guiding you through the application process—all while coaching and providing the skills training needed to improve your ability to self-advocate.

At Delta Center, our trained team of advocates will work with you one-on-one and always for free.

Learn more about the Americans with Disabilities Act HERE.

For more information about advocacy, please call our Information and Referral Hotline at 636-926-8761, extension 228, or you may contact us by email at [email protected].

Learn more about disability advocacy at Delta Center

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