What is a Self-Advocate?
A self-advocate is someone who speaks up for his or her self. Self-advocates ask for what they need and want, and try to have as much of a say as possible in making their own life decisions.
Why Should I Become a Self-Advocate?
Until now, adults have made most of the decisions about your life for you. However, now that you are becoming an adult yourself, you should have a say in what you do, in what you want, and in where you are going. Being able to make your own decisions is important because it allows you to:
- Live as independently as possible
- Do the things you like
- Pursue goals after high school
- Get a job in the career field you want
- Have healthy relationships
- Control your own body and health
- Manage your own money
- Get the services and supports you need
Being a self-advocate is especially important if you have a disability, because you need to:
- Understand your rights in different education settings and the workplace
- Know how and when to ask for accommodations to do your best
- Know how to navigate the community and access the services and supports you need
- Advocate for friends and family members who also have disabilities
Adapted from Youth in Action! Becoming a Stronger Self-Advocate, National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability.
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Youth Leadership Training
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Youth Fact Sheets
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- Disability Disclosure – Advantages and Disadvantages
- Disability Disclosure in Postsecondary Education
- Disability Disclosure on the Job
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Tips for Parents
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