Self advocacy means that people with disabilities, individually or in groups, speak or act on behalf of themselves or others, or on behalf of issues that affect people with disabilities. Self advocacy can also apply to anyone who speaks up for, defends, or advocates for himself or others.
Self advocacy groups often give people with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities their first and most consistent opportunities to develop leadership skills. Within the group, members can learn about leadership skills, and their rights and responsibilities. They can develop confidence in their abilities, and practice the skills of speaking in public, and studying an issue. Self Advocacy group members can also learn about voting, group decision making, problem solving techniques, and assertiveness skills. They can also give and receive personal support from people who have experiences like their own. Even group members who do not communicate verbally can participate and learn ways of advocating for themselves and others.
Just as parents’ groups give parents the opportunities and skills they need to make effective changes on behalf of their family member with a disability, self advocacy groups give people with mental retardation these opportunities too. Involvement in a self advocacy group is, for many people, the best way of participating in the self advocacy movement.
Phone code: 1506