Self-advocacy is based on the belief that people are their own best advocates. Thus persons with learning disabilities are their own best advocates to tell others what they want.
What is Self-Advocacy
Persons with learning disability are often not given the opportunity to speak up or make choices that affects their life. Self-advocacy is where persons with learning disability speak for themselves. They tell us their needs and interests. They speak to us and we need to listen to them.
Given the right, many persons with learning disabilities can and will self-advocate. A person with mild learning disability self-advocates by voicing out his or her views. A person with severe learning disability self-advocates by his or her presence in a public meeting. Their inherent right to be in and part of society must be seen and upheld by everyone.
- Having Self-awareness and self-confidence
- Making choices
- Speaking up
- Knowing your Rights
- Be involved in an Inclusive Society
Starting A Self-Advocacy Group
Self-advocacy believes that an individual can grow and advocate for their rights through various experience that they gain in a group. United Voice mission is to help form self-advocacy groups throughout Malaysia.
Why is it important to setup self-advocacy groups:
1. To encourage persons with learning disabilities to learn self-advocacy skills.
2. To gain leadership skills by learning how to lead a self-advocacy group.
3. To have the opportunities to voice up in a group
4. To provide a common ground for persons with learning disabilities as they feel more comfortable speaking up amongst their peers.
5. To be given the opportunity to plan and organise activities
6. To promote peer support between members of the group
7. To speak up for the rights of persons with learning disabilities as a group
Importance Of Self-Advocacy
- To enable persons with learning disability to develop to their maximum potential.
- To instill in society the human value and dignity of persons with learning disability.
- To integrate and involve persons with learning disability in the community.
The need for persons with learning disability to have a strong voice of their own is important to their well being and interest. Persons with learning disability are their own best advocates. Through public education, self-advocacy is possible. Self-advocacy centres on the interests and well-being of persons with learning disability as significant persons in the community. This makes self-advocacy vital for persons with learning disabilities in Malaysia.