What is Self Advocacy?
▹ is about speaking for yourself,
▹ is about speaking out for your rights,
▹ is about teaching others to speak out for their rights, and
▹ is about having input into the decisions about your life.
Some People Need Help to Advocate for Themselves:
▹ Some people are unable to talk or communicate easily with others.
▹ They may need a friend, family or someone else who knows them really well to speak for them.
Self-Advocacy is About Having Choices:
▹ People with disabilities have the right to make choices.
▹ Sometimes people with disabilities need help to make choices.
▹ Family and friends can help people learn about choosing.
Self-Advocacy Means Having a Say About Your Life:
People can have a say by:
▹ participating in the Person Centered Plan of their choice,
▹ letting people know if you are happy or unhappy with your
▹ participating in a self-advocacy group,
▹ sitting on the board of a service agency and if necessarygetting support so that your voice can be heard,
▹ filling in a satisfaction survey, and
▹ making choices about what you want to do and with whom.
Learning About Self-Advocacy:
▹ Everyone has the right to learn to speak for themselves.
▹ People with disabilities can teach others to speak for themselves.
▹ It can be easier to speak out for yourself by forming a group. At Community Living Victoria we support and encourage people to advocate for themselves and to do it in a way that works for them.
It is important that people are included in decision-making that affects their lives:
▹ People have the right to know and exercise their rights.
▹ People have the right to have access to information.
▹ People have the right to represent themselves.
▹ People have the right to be included in their communities and activities of their choosing.
How Community Living Victoria supports and encourages self-advocacy:
The Person Centered Plan (PCP) Process: Everyone is encouraged and supported to participate in their PCP process. We also like to invite family and friends.
Satisfaction Survey: About once a year Community Living Victoria will be asking you questions about how happy you are about services and the support we provide. This is called a satisfaction survey. This helps us know how to improve what is working well.
Upon entry into Community Living Victoria programs and then once a year, a Community Living Victoria staff person will review your rights with you. In addition to A handbook, staff may use videos, group discussions, picture symbols or workshop sessions to review this topic.
Leadership & Self-Advocacy : Conferences/Workshops, Various speakers provide information and opportunity for self advocates to learn more about self-advocacy, explore current issues and practice using self-advocacy skills.
Self Expression: Community Living Victoria arranges for opportunities such as music/lyric writing, recordings, art and musical instrument exploration as a means for creative expression of thoughts, messages and feelings.
Self-Advocacy Group: We have an active group of adult self-advocates who meet regularly with a facilitator (leader). The group explores topics of interest to them, and sometimes will take action on an issue. In addition, this group will provide feedback to Community Living Victoria when requested.
We also have a group called VOCYL. This is a group oyouth with and without disabilities, who share the message about inclusion and acceptance with students in schools and in the community.
Representation on Community Living Victoria’s Board: One or more persons who has an intellectual disability is elected as a member of the Community Living Victoria Board of Directors. These individuals help provide representation and a voice for other self advocates supported by CLV.