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  1. 1. Self-Advocacy Who tells people what you need? Presented by Andrea Buening, IL Special Projects Coordinator The Independent Living Center
  2. 2. What is an Advocate? A person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. A representative who will see that a person’s needs are met. They can counsel you, speak for you, help you understand your rights, and help you find services They work to protect people with disabilities against discrimination, abuse, neglect and or exploitation.
  3. 3. Who Can Be An Advocate? Anyone Can be an advocate – If they believe in a cause – If they are a professional or family member – If they have resources to help people with disabilities – If they respect other people’s opinions
  4. 4. Self-Advocacy: is a civil rights movement so that every person with a disability has control over his or her own life and needs so that people with disabilities are treated the same as everyone else.
  5. 5. What is a “SELF”-Advocate? A person with disabilities who speaks up for himself or herself. A person with disabilities who takes control of his or her own life. A person with disabilities who makes decisions for himself or herself. A person with disabilities who is in charge of their own medical care in medical systems. A person with disabilities who takes action about a cause they believe in.
  6. 6. Becoming a “Self-Advocate” If you believe these things you ARE a Self-Advocate – You BELIEVE that you are a PERSON first and NOT your disability – You BELIEVE that you can have the same opportunities as other people – You BELIEVE in and work with others to help them take control of their own life – You BELIEVE that people with disabilities can be independent – You BELIEVE that people with disabilities can make their own decisions from choices available to them
  8. 8. If you are a Self-Advocate, what would you do? You would speak to others about what you believe in You would be a leader and example You would know your rights and stand up for them You would take responsibility and control of your own life You would fight stereotypes and discrimination You would work to improve your life and the lives of others with disabilities. In effect, you would work for the benefit of all people whether they are disabled or not.
  9. 9. How do you start? First, know yourself and learn what you are good at, what you can do and what your limitations are. – Not all of us are good at all things. LEARN your strengths and LEARN your limitations • Do you like to be in groups? • Do you like to work alone? • What do you do well?
  10. 10. How do you start? Brain Injuries cause various problems for people. Professionals can usually tell us what we can’t see ourselves • Anger • Impulsiveness • Memory problems • Balance problems • Organization problems • OVERLOAD • Time management problems • Communication problems • Inappropriate behavior
  11. 11. Where do you start? Accept your disability and work with it. Don’t hide it and don’t ignore it. – Learn as much as you can about the problems you have and ask for and accept help when you need it – BE PROACTIVE ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS AND WORK TO MAKE THEM BETTER – Set goals and write steps to reach them – Learn what accommodations are and how to get them • This doesn’t mean using your disability as an excuse to get out of doing things that you can do for yourself
  12. 12. How do you start? Do you know what you need? Can someone help you decide by giving you choices? Find a resource specialist and let them give you resources, then YOU follow up on them Imagine a list of 5 choices and you can’t decide on one of them. Then what do you do? – TAKE TIME to think about the choices – DISCUSS the choices with someone – TELL the person you are working with what you like, you want, and what your goals are – TELL the person who can help you what problems you might have that are keeping you from reaching your goals – TELL the person helping you if you need more time to answer
  13. 13. How to Advocate for something you believe in or for yourself Have a plan and work your plan Know what you are talking about and why you want to talk to someone Be respectful of the person’s time and their opinions and restrictions Practice what you want to tell them with someone else Speak as slowly as you need to and look into their eyes Repeat back to them what you heard them say to make sure you got the information correctly Be ready to compromise and smile even if is difficult
  14. 14. ALWAYS check back with them Find out the best time for you to contact them again Don’t be a pest ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS tell them thank you for their time and their help
  15. 15. Resources on Self-Advocacy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201 877-696-6775 Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services 800-235-5503 Americans with Disabilities Act (800) 514-0301 TTY 800-514-0383 Center for Self Determination MetroPlace Center 35425 Michigan Ave W. Wayne, MI 48184-1687 (734) 722-7092 www.centerforself- Independent Living, U.S.A. Web site:
  16. 16. Resources on Self-Advocacy Institute on Community Integration Unversity of Minnesota 150 Pillsbury Drive, S.E. Minneapolis, MN 6645 612-624-6300 National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities 1234 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Suite 103 Washington, DC 20005 202.506.5813 Missouri Advocates for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities 573-751-4054 Missouri Protection and Advocacy 800-392-8667 People First of Missouri 800-444-0821 President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities 1331 F Street N.W. Suite 300 Washington, DC 20004 Missouri Developmental Disability Resource Center 800-444-0824 Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities 1716 Four Seasons Drive, Suite 103 Jefferson City, MO 65101 (573) 751-8611
  17. 17. Resources on Self-Advocacy President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities Hubert H Humphrey Building, Room 352 G 200 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20201 Self-Advocacy Groups The ARC Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (S.A.B.E.) P.O. Box 105CI New Fairfield, CT 06812 Self-Advocate Leadership Network ADAPT
  18. 18. Find the Center for Independent Living Nearest You ILRU Nationwide Directory of CILs Missouri Directory: Missouri Directory via telephone: 1-888- 667-2117
  19. 19. Questions? My contact information: Andrea Buening Independent Living Special Projects Coordinator The Independent Living Center 2639 East 34th Street Joplin, MO 64804 417-659-8086 800-346-8951