Self-Advocacy

PEOPLE WITH POWER;

A Self-Advocacy Group

Nothing is impossible; the word itself says "I'M POSSIBLE"



A Credo for Support
Do not see my disability as a problem. Recognize that my disability is an attribute.
Do not use theories and strategies on me. Be with me. And when we struggle with each other, let that give rise to self-reflection.
Do not tell, correct and lead. Listen, support and follow.
Do not work on me. Work with me.
Do not admire me. A desire to lead a full life does not warrant adoration. Respect me, for respect presumes equity.
Do not try to be my friend. I deserve more than that. Get to know me. We may become friends.
Do not teach me to be obedient, submissive and polite. I need to feel entitled to say NO if I am to protect myself.
Do not help me even if it makes you feel good. Ask me if I need your help. Let me show you how you can best assist me.
Do not see me as your client. I am your fellow citizen. See me as your neighbour. Remember, none of us can be self-sufficient.
Do not be charitable towards me. The last thing the world needs is another Jerry Lewis. Be my ally against those who exploit me for their own gratification.
Do not hide your uncertainty behind professional distance. Be a person who listens and does not take my struggle away from me by trying to make it all better.
Do not try to fix me because I am not broken. Support me. I can make my contribution to the community in my way.
Do not try to change me. You have no right. Help me learn what I want to know.
Do not try to modify my behaviour. Be still and listen. What you define as inappropriate may be my attempt to communicate with you in the only way I can.
Do not see my disability as a deficit. It is you who sees me as deviant and helpless.
Do not try to control me. I have a right to my power as a person. What you call non-compliance or manipulation may actually be the only way I can exert some control over my life.

What is Self-Advocacy?
It is when people speak up and speak out for their rights. Self-advocates have control over their own lives and express their views. Self-Advocacy groups bring people together to share ideas and support. It is also a way for people to have fun and make new friends.
It means:

  • Fighting for your rights
  • Standing on your own two feet
  • Doing your own thing
  • Telling people what you want
  • Sharing problems
  • Making choices
  • Taking responsibility for your own life

What is a Self-Advocate?
A Self-advocate is a person with a developmental disability who can speak up for his or her rights.

What can Self-Advocacy groups achieve?
As a group they can:

  • Bring people together to share ideas and support
  • Organize training for their members or speak to other groups about self-advocacy
  • Be a powerful voice to government and community living associations about the changes they want to make in their communities
  • Have fun and make friends

What is a Self-Advocate Committee?
A Self-advocate committee is a group of people who work together in learning and talking about their rights and taking action to try to achieve the same goal.

Who is involved in the Self-Advocate Committee?

  • People with different abilities
  • Community Living Espanola
  • Support staff

What happens at a committee meeting?
An attendance sheet is passed around and signed by everyone at the meeting.
The information discussed at the last committee meeting is read out loud so that everyone can remember what was talked about.
Discussion about the meeting minutes are either continued or new information is discussed.
Goals are made and actions are decided.

What are minutes?
Minutes are a written record of the important information discussed at the meeting and any decisions made.

How is a committee run?
A committee meets once a month.
Each member receives a copy of the minutes.
Members of the committee may get involved in taking action towards a goal of the committee.

President Phil Labbé
Vice-President Liz Cooper
Alternate Vice-President Pauline Thibeault
Members to Date
Jason Colleen
Jane Peter
Mike Danny
Paul Denis
Lucas Roger
Ulysse Dennis
Wendy Denise
Jeanette Anna
Beverly Kevin
Penny Dawson
David Sarah
Tom Darlene
Recorder Andrea, staff support

The “Our Hands are NOT for Hitting” Campaign all began with the People with Power self-advocate group. The members talk a great deal about “respect” and have been focusing on treating others with respect and in turn gaining the respect of others. Recently, these members were involved in the CLE Abuse Prevention Training where each […]

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