It’s important to be a self-advocate because the differently abled need to thrive as valued participants in the community. To be able to speak out about important issues and get more involved with decision making that affects everyone and the disability community. Being a self-advocate, just as our mission states, “improves our quality of life.”
Challenges of self-advocacy
• Knowing the facts
Overcome the challenge by understanding completely what you’re advocating for, do your research, being organized and staying in the know of what your advocating for, understand the issues and the importance of them and how influential these are.
- Identify the individual that makes the decision
Overcome the challenge by researching, not just on the Hill, but with your teacher, next door neighbor, parent, boss or an understanding friend that you can trust. Don’t feel like you’re alone. Someone is always there for you. Talk to anyone that you can confide in.
- Ask for help
Overcome the challenge by asking questions, brainstorming with others. Ask and you shall receive. This is a great motto to live by and easy to remember because you can always find help.
• When they say “no”
Overcome the challenge by advocating more and recruit more people to help you advocate.
Always remember nothing worth doing is easy and nothing is beyond our reach if we all work together! Don’t give up on advocating. We are standing up for what we believe in – staying true to ourselves!