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Instruction in Self-advocacy

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Instruction in Self-advocacy

Self-advocacy refers to: an individual's ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his/her own interests and/or desires. Self-determination means that individuals with disabilities have the freedom to plan their own lives, pursue the things that are important to them and to experience the same life opportunities as other people in their communities1. It means taking the responsibility for communicating one’s needs and desires in a straightforward manner to others. The development of self-advocacy skills should be started at an early age.  These skills will be needed in education, workplace and community settings.

Self-determination

Self-determination is a concept reflecting the belief that all individuals have the right to direct their own lives. Students who have self-determination skills have a stronger chance of being successful in making the transition to adulthood, including employment and independence. To accomplish this goal, students must be prepared to participate in planning for their future.

Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring is a process through which a more experienced individual encourages
and assists a less experienced individual develop his or her potential within a shared area of interest. The resulting relationship is a reciprocal one in that both individuals in the partnership have an opportunity for growth and development. Peers are individuals who share some common characteristics, attributes or circumstances. These may relate to age, ability, interests, etc. Peer mentors are individuals who have more experience within that common area along with additional training in how to assist another in acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes to be more successful.

  • Instruction in self-advocacy (which may include peer mentoring): Self-advocacy refers to: an individual's ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his/her own interests and/or desires. Self-determination means that individuals with disabilities have the freedom to plan their own lives, pursue the things that are important to them and to experience the same life opportunities as other people in their communities. It means taking the responsibility for communicating one’s needs and desires in a straightforward manner to others. The development of self-advocacy skills should be started at an early age. These skills will be needed in education, workplace and community settings.

  • Self-advocacy skills include:

    • self -awareness

    • disability understanding

    • disability disclosure

    • decision making

    • set goals

    • evaluate options

    • identify independence

    • accommodations

    • request & utilize accommodations

    • know your rights & responsibilities

    • self-determination

    • know how to request & accept help

    • intrinsic motivation

    • taking a leadership role

    • in support plans

    • assertiveness

    • listen to others opinions

    • problem solving

    • monitor progress

    • positive self-talk

    • Self-determination

Self-determination is a concept reflecting the belief that all individuals have the right to direct their own lives. Students who have self-determination skills have a stronger chance of being successful in making the transition to adulthood, including employment and independence. To accomplish this goal, students must be prepared to participate in planning for their future.

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