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Self-Advocacy

Contact: Sheila Collins

SelfpAdvocacy Spotlight
Sharon Jodock-King

Sharon Jodock-King
Read about her accomplishments here

image of group presenterSelf-advocacy means…

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 image
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.

Self-Advocates want…

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  • 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:

Self-Advocacy Resources


University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 • chdd@uw.edu

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