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Transcript of Advocate for Yourself

Slide 1
EQUIP FOR EQUALITY
Advocate for Yourself!
Training Institute on Disability Rights

Slide 2
Self-Advocacy
What is it?
-Protect your rights
-Make sure your needs are met
-Make sure you are supported in making decisions for yourself

When is it time to start self-advocating? Now!

Presenter Notes:
What does self-advocacy mean to you?

Examples:
-Take care of self- even if ‘powers that be’ are bigger
-Do for yourself
-Find your own job
-Respect for self, community, life
-Stick up for own rights

Who has done self-advocacy- what did you do?

Slide 3
Kinds of Self-Advocacy
Individual – Results that help one person
Systemic – Advocacy efforts that help many people through a change in the system, a new law or a better policy

Presenter’s Notes:
What does individual advocacy mean? Who has an example?

Systemic advocacy could mean changing, preventing, or supporting a law or a policy.

Example of both: Individual advocacy would be securing an interpreter for a Dr. visit for yourself. Systemic would be asking the hospital, “What is your policy for hiring interpreters?” If it wasn’t ADA compliant or they weren’t following it or didn’t have one- working on changing that.

Slide 4
Individual Self-Advocacy Examples
-Asking for an interpreter for an important meeting
-Bringing someone you trust to your doctor’s appointment, so they can explain anything you don’t understand.

Presenter’s Notes:
What does individual advocacy mean? Who has an example?

Systemic advocacy could mean changing, preventing, or supporting a law or a policy.

Example of both: Individual advocacy would be securing an interpreter for a Dr. visit for yourself. Systemic would be asking the hospital, “What is your policy for hiring interpreters?” If it wasn’t ADA compliant or they weren’t following it or didn’t have one- working on changing that.

Slide 5
Systemic Advocacy Examples
-Asking the hospital, “What is your policy for hiring sign-language interpreters?”
-Talking to your legislature about changing a law so more people with disabilities can get help finding a job.

Presenter’s Notes:
What does individual advocacy mean? Who has an example?

Systemic advocacy could mean changing, preventing, or supporting a law or a policy.

Example of both: Individual advocacy would be securing an interpreter for a Dr. visit for yourself. Systemic would be asking the hospital, “What is your policy for hiring interpreters?” If it wasn’t ADA compliant or they weren’t following it or didn’t have one- working on changing that.

Slide 6 Why Self-Advocacy is Important
-Make sure your needs are met
-Make sure your rights are protected
-Power in numbers!

Presenter’s Notes:
More people advocating for an issue has more of an impact on legislators.

Slide 7
Steps to Follow to be a Self-Advocate
1. Understand that you are important
2. Decide what needs to be changed
3. Choose a goal
4. Do the most important thing first
5. Get information
6. Make a plan of action
7. Look back

Slide 8
How to Self-Advocate
Understand that you are important
-You are a lawmaker!
-You are a voter!
-You are a PERSON!

Presenter’s Notes:
You are Important
Tell me something about yourself that’s unique about you?
It could be a strength, belief, value, standard, interest, etc.

Go around the room and encourage everyone to contribute.
TIP: Brainstorming sheets on Advocacy Strengths & Values (LINK) can be used to help the group think about their unique traits.

We are not used to being asked about our strengths and sharing them. Remember we are people first- that’s important.

You are a Lawmaker
Just by doing everyday things we make changes & laws.
-If there are traffic accidents at a certain corner, the community calls for a traffic light or a reduced speed zone.
-Work, hospitals, the community become more accessible because we stand up for our rights

You are a Voter
I hope you are registered!!!

Slide 9
How to Self-Advocate
Understand that you are important
-Share something about yourself that’s unique about you.

Presenter’s Notes:
You are Important
Tell me something about yourself that’s unique about you?
It could be a strength, belief, value, standard, interest, etc.

Go around the room and encourage everyone to contribute.
TIP: Brainstorming sheets on Advocacy Strengths & Values (LINK) can be used to help the group think about their unique traits.

We are not used to being asked about our strengths and sharing them. Remember we are people first- that’s important.

You are a Lawmaker
Just by doing everyday things we make changes & laws.
-If there are traffic accidents at a certain corner, the community calls for a traffic light or a reduced speed zone.
-Work, hospitals, the community become more accessible because we stand up for our rights

You are a Voter
I hope you are registered!!!

Slide 10
How to Self-Advocate
Decide what needs to be changed
-What have you been having problems with?
-Is there something that you want to improve in your life?

Presenter’s Notes:
Make self-advocacy part of everyday life.
Think—What am I struggling with, what problems am I having day to day?
What are some examples of problems you are having as a group?
-Lead participants to go from thinking about their individual problems to issues that their group is having, the community of people with disabilities and the wider community.
-Examples might be: Transportation, medical accessibility, accessibility of particular sites or buildings, lack of interpreters or providing interpreter services, lack of services or options, etc.
-Ask someone to help record the group’s brainstorming on a flipchart, whiteboard, etc.
-A computer can also be useful, but keep in mind that seeing everyone’s comments can be helpful for some people when generating ideas.

Slide 11
How to Self-Advocate
Define your goal
-What is going on now that isn’t working?
-What do you need?
-What do you want to be able to do that you can’t do now?

Presenter’s Notes:
Help the group state a goal that they can all basically agree on.
Check to see that the goal is ‘SMART’:
-Specific
-Measurable
-(Uses) Action Words
-Realistic
-Timely

Example: We want public transportation that is accessible, affordable and runs to places and at times that help us get to work, appointments and community events.

Slide 12
How to Self-Advocate
Do the Most Important thing first
-Which issue on your list is most important?
-Which is second? Third?
-Helps you decide what you want to do first

Presenter’s Notes:
You can’t work on everything at the same time. If you have a list of issues, if you get stuck you can move on to the next issue.

-Give an example of prioritizing when one issue seemed like a dead end, but the second priority led to some successful outcome.

Which of your issues is the most important? What comes next? Rank them in order of importance.

-You can have a volunteer rank the priorities on a flipchart, whiteboard, etc.

Slide 13
How to Self-Advocate
Get information
-What do you know about your issue?
-Do you have all of the facts?
-Where can you find information?

What do you know about your issue?
-Using the examples from the groups priorities, discuss what they know about the issue they are interested in.
-Record the information on a flipchart, whiteboard, etc.

Facts & Information
Having all the facts is important for presenting the issue to others

Discuss the internet as a useful tool, but remember to:
-Find trusted sources
-Check the writer’s qualifications
-Ask how current the information is
-Think about the information and draw your own conclusions

Universal Design
Think about Universal Design which is a way of seeing the world and putting things together that make it easier for everyone to access buildings, services, parks, cities, towns, etc.
-An example would be curb cuts used by people with & without disabilities

Slide 14
How to Self-Advocate
Plan of action
-What could you do to reach your goal?
-What steps can you take?
-What is the best plan?
-Where can you find support?
Go for it!

Presenter’s Notes:
Plan of Action
Ask the group to brainstorm about the steps to take to reach their goal.

Have someone record the ideas on a flipchart, whiteboard, etc.

Remind them of the power of voting:
-Check how your legislator voted on a similar issue
-If they agreed with you- great, you want to keep them in office
-If not, do you want to vote for them in the future
-Either way you can call, write or e-mail them to let them know what’s important to you

Lead the group to write a 3-7 step beginning action plan
Example:
1. Send letter to mayor’s council
2. Meet mayor to discuss issues
3. Contact legislators
4. Find money for project

Support
Help the group think of local, state, federal and world-wide places to contact for support

Slide 15
How to Self-Advocate
Look back
-Helps you stay motivated
-Helps you improve
-You will see how much you have accomplished!

Presenter’s Notes:
Look back

If you have gotten off track from your goal
-Regroup
-Get back on point
-Tweak your goal- make small changes
-Make sure it’s still what you want

Decide next course of action

Progress is the key

Always celebrate your successes

Reward yourselves for a job well done

Remind the group of their action plan steps

Example:
Fight for transportation
1. Send letter
2. Meet mayor
3. Contact legislator
4. Find money
5. Reflect and if you haven’t reached your goal- keep working on your action plan

Slide 16
Self-Advocacy
YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Presenter’s Notes:
Congratulate the group on all they’ve accomplished today.

Slide 17
Questions?

Last updated: September 30, 2020

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