As mental health consumers and veterans we must learn to speak up. We can make a difference in any community. Sustainability is what we seek, good neighbors are who we are. New FoundMinds is a place on line to visit and advocate, find information and add your 2 cents! Let’s make supported housing and inclusive communities happen.
Definition of Self-Advocacy
Self-advocacy means advocating on one’s own behalf. It is the root of all social activist movements. The self-advocacy movement was started by and for people with developmental disabilities because they wanted to be their own advocates rather than having others, such as professionals, parents and other family members, and advocates with or without other disabilities, speak about their needs and desires. As part of the broader disability rights/independent living movement, the self-advocacy movement is first and foremost a civil rights movement. As with all social activist movements, self-advocacy started at the grass-roots level where local leadership was drawn upon to organize groups of people to stand up and speak with a goal to effect social change. The national self-advocacy organization, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), has defined self-advocacy in 1991 as the following:
” [It] is about independent groups of people with disabilities working together for justice by helping each other take charge of our lives and fight discrimination. It teaches us how to make decisions and choices that affect our lives so we can be more independent. It also teaches us about our rights, but along with learning about our rights we learn responsibilities. The way we learn about advocating for ourselves is by supporting each other and helping each other gain confidence in ourselves so we can speak out for what we believe in.”
The RTC on Community Living works in partnership with Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered and local self-advocacy organizations including People First of Minnesota and Advocating Change Together to support the self-advocacy movement.http://rtc.umn.edu/self/sadefinition.asp