National Support for Self Advocacy

Learning and Practicing Self-Advocacy is one of the greatest obstacles in transitioning to independence. Parents tend to take on many of the advocacy roles for their students and may have a hard time letting them go. This is often because early on, we are the only ones who can successfully advocate for our children. However, as they grow, mature and move toward independence, the need for self-advocacy becomes more and more important.

Last week, Federal officials announced that they are allocating funds for the development of a National Resource Center for Self-Advocacy. This is very good news! While the real work of self-advocacy training happens at the family level, the fact that the government is recognizing the need for additional resources can only be a good thing.

The self-advocacy movement is a human and civil rights movement, stemming from the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, but led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to ensure they have the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities as people without disabilities. Starting internationally more than 40 years ago, the movement has empowered individuals to make choices in their lives, provided opportunities to have a voice, and opened pathways for leadership development.


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