Self-advocacy means advocating on one’s own behalf. It means speaking for yourself rather than having professionals, parents, and other advocates speaking for you.
Self determination is about having control of your own life. It means making your
own choices, learning to effectively solve problems, and taking control and
responsibility for yourself.
Teens and young adults with disabilities can make choices and advocate for themselves if they have the information and support they need. Check out these resources for self- advocacy information specifically for young people.
Watch this video from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)and meet Bernard, a person with disabilities who fully participates in life.
People First of Georgia is a self advocacy organization operated by and for people with disabilities. The 3 main goals of People First are to:
1) Free people from nursing homes and institutions,
2) Increase choice and control in the lives of people with disabilities, and
3) Create positive social attitudes toward people with disabilities.
Rock the Vote – Building political power for young people – get all the information you need to register to vote, learn about the candidates and become knowledgeable about the issues. Rock the Vote is the largest nonprofit and nonpartisan organization in the United States driving youth to the polls.
The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace.
The Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia (SILC) is a private nonprofit corporation governed by people with all types of disabilities to promote equal participation of people with disabilities within their communities.
SABE is a national self advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and chances to speak up to empower themselves; have opportunities to make new friends; and to learn from their mistakes.
See this movie trailer for “Wretches & Jabberers”, the story of two men with autism who embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence.
Ever since Joshua began school he has always thought he was going to get his diploma. Sadly we had no idea that there were so many kinds of diplomas. At the end of ninth grade I remember him coming home and asking me, “Mom why can’t I go into the regular classrooms? I am bored!” We talked about the difference of the self-contained classroom and the typical regular education classes. After this conversation Joshua requested that he be taken out of self-contained. Thankfully, we had a wonderful Special Education supervisor at the time that looked past Joshua’s disabilities and all the things that made it hard for him to function at 100% in regular classes. She said, “Why not let’s see where he is with credits.” The decision was made to take Joshua out of the self- contained setting and at the beginning of his tenth grade year he began his education in the regular education classroom.