Understanding and Teaching Self-Advocacy
Are you a parent, guardian, or loved one caring for a person living with a disability? At Hope Services, we specifically work with those living with disabilities to discover and nurture their potential in the job environment and help them find work that accentuates who they are as a person. We know that it can be challenging to navigate through unknown territory to both care for and maximize the quality of life for your loved one living with a disability, so we began a podcast to engage in this conversation and help transform the way that we all think about disabilities.
In this episode, Cindy and Nicole explore the importance of self-advocacy. Understanding the importance and necessity of self-advocacy is vital not only in the workplace, but at home, in the community, and other areas of life. Helping build self-advocacy skills allows those living with disabilities to speak up for themselves, empower them, and succeed. Join Cindy and Nicole as they explore various forms of self-advocacy and why it is essential.
Self-advocacy takes on many forms such as speaking up for yourself, maintaining good eye contact, shaking hands when you meet an employer, or even asking for reasonable accommodations to make sure you can perform tasks you may need to do. Being willing to learn and stand up for yourself while focussing on your positives is another form of self-advocacy that Nicole and Cindy stress is important.
Self-advocacy doesn’t just have to be at the workplace, it can start at home! Allowing your child to self-advocate by helping around the home such as assisting with dinner or chores is a crucial step to getting involved.
A great way to begin self-advocating for yourself is to begin understanding who you are and getting to know yourself, where your strengths are, and to focus on strengthening those. The second step is to learn your rights and responsibilities in the workplace and school; be responsible. Last, speaking up for yourself and being able to take on reasonable tasks while maintaining eye contact, using appropriate language, and other factors help build confidence and understanding.
If you are looking for more information on self-advocacy, Hope services offers a specialized self-advocacy class targeted at 15 – 22 year olds that features a variety of different approaches from worksheets, small groups, presentations, and more!
Take-Away: Be Willing to Learn
- Self-advocacy is essential for success and helps build self-confidence and social skills. By understanding who you are, you’re able to speak up for yourself and interact with the world in a new light and build your strengths.