What is Advocacy?
People with disabilities want the same things as those without disabilities but often they need support in pursuit of their civil rights and personal needs in accessing local businesses, employment, transportation, education, housing and the ability to vote. People with disabilities can receive assistance from center staff with advocacy (both personal and systems change) to facilitate policy changes in their communities for themselves and others. Our goal is to teach Individuals to advocate for themselves with assistance from their Independent Living Specialist or the Life Skills Trainer.
Individual consumer advocacy involves center staff working one on one with Individuals to learn necessary skills to in obtaining necessary support services from other community agencies to increase self-sufficiency and independence. Consumers have the opportunity to learn skills to enhance their ability to be assertive when faced with obstacles in pursuit of their independent living goals. They are empowered through education of advocacy methods and they are encouraged to take directing roles in advocating for their own issues as well as the issues that affect others.