One of our great pioneers of the self-advocacy movement in theUnited States was Roland Johnson. He has been an inspiration tofind passion and voice.
Video Clip From TheThird International Self-Advocacy Conference, 1992 “Who’s In Control” by Roland Johnson
In order for YOU to be in control, you have to feel some emotionabout what is happening to you.You have to be concerned, worried, afraid about your own life. Thatis called “passion”.You also have to know what is best, what you love, what you want.That is also called “passion” “Instead of reading about the problem and worrying about it, I should do something!”
In order for YOU to do something about the way you feel, you haveto have a “voice”.You can have a voice by sharing your concerns, speaking-up, makingplans, supporting others to also have a voice together!Having a voice means you are advocating about what you believe in! “We have to speak-up andvoice our thoughts! It is the only way to get what wewant in life! Remember, you are often not alone! Speak-up together!”
Here is an example of what People First of NewHampshire has done:• Last winter, we were concerned that budget cuts would take away our services.• We got together and talked about this and shared our emotions, our worries, fears and our anger.• Then, our emotions turned into action and we began to plan.• We planned to get together with others to share our concerns.• By sharing our concerns we had a larger voice.• We wrote individual letters to our legislators, but we also took action as a group.• We helped to organize a big rally in front of the statehouse.• Thousands of people came to share their voices.• As a result, we were heard and the budget cuts did not happen as was planned.