Self-Advocacy is a program that supports people with disabilities and helps them to develop the skills they need to speak and act for themselves.
Individuals may use the program to learn how to stand up for their rights to choose their own friends, or decide whether to have a job in the community instead of working in a sheltered workshop or activity center. They may want support from an advocate when they ask to be treated just like everyone else, or to receive the services they need to live as independently as possible.
Self-Advocacy is led by and for people with developmental disabilities. In its most familiar form, it is involves local groups of self-advocates who work together to learn about taking charge of their lives, fighting discrimination, making decisions and choices, and becoming more independent.
Self-Advocacy is not the same as advocacy for people with disabilities. Self-advocacy is about people with disabilities advocating for themselves. It is about civil rights and supporting people in speaking up for themselves in order to bring about changes in policies, attitudes, and opportunities.