Choosing our own jobs, homes, and friends.
“People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) must have the right to and be supported to act as self-advocates. Self-advocates exercise their rights as citizens by communicating for and representing themselves, with supports in doing so, as necessary. This means they have a say in decision-making in all areas of their daily lives and in public policy decisions that affect them.” – The Arc
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 learn to stand up for their rights to choose their own friends and 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 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.
Self-Advocacy Support Groups include:
Tulsa People First: Tulsa chapter of Oklahoma People First, a non-profit, state-wide, self-advocacy group run by, and for, people with developmental disabilities. (Check out Tulsa People First on Facebook.)
DayMakers: Two separate activity groups for adults with developmental disabilities. Each group meets weekly, one in Broken Arrow and one in Tulsa.
Links: A support and social skills group for adults with high-functioning autism. Monthly gatherings are designed to help participants build positive social skills as well as enjoy a variety of fun activities.