Individuals who speak up for themselves. This includes talking with community leaders about important issues, joining advocacy groups with a similar mission, and educating themselves and others on new issues that arise.
Self-advocacy groups are…
Groups of people with and without disabilities working together and supporting each other in speaking out for the rights of people with disabilities.
- To gain confidence in speaking-up
- To develop self-advocacy skills
- To make decisions that affect their own lives
- To learn about rights and responsibilities
- To become more independent
A Brief History of Self-Advocacy…
- The self-advocacy movement began in the 1970s when groups of people all around the country began to gather together and discuss the injustices experienced by people with intellectual/developmental disabilities in institutions.
- These groups wanted options for people with disabilities to live in their communities.
- In 1984, People First of Washington hosted the first international gathering of self-advocates, called the International Self-Advocacy Leadership Conference, which included participants from Australia, Canada, England, and New Zealand.
- Six years later, the first national gathering of self-advocates with I/DD in the US was held in Estes Park, Colorado. The group now known as Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) was formed at this gathering.
- For more information on the history of self-advocacy and other disability rights movements, check out: