Self Advocacy

What is self advocacy?

Self advocates at the statehouseYou may see self advocacy also referred to as self determination. Both these terms describe people making choices and decisions for their lives based on their own preferences and interests. 

How does being a self advocate help me?

Self advocacy and self determination improve independence, productivity and inclusion for people with developmental disabilities and their families in community life. 

Are there support groups to help me advocate for myself?Self advocates speaking to a class of students.

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council advocates, initiates, demonstrates, and educates the community to achieve self advocacy/self determination. This is done by advocating for people with developmental disabilities and their families through initiating programs that enrich their lives, demonstrating a consistent commitment and educating about disability rights and the importance of self-determination.

To learn more about the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, visit their website by clicking here.

The Ohio Self-Determination Association focuses on the following principles:

    • Freedom, support, control, responsibility, confirmation, relationships, dreams, and choice.
    • Providing self-determination and training resources.
    • Promoting and recognizing advocacy efforts and assist in organizing advocacy efforts throughout Ohio.
    • Assisting advocates with connecting and educating policymakers and achieving leadership positions.
    • Providing best practice input to state and local governing organizations.

To learn more about the Ohio Self-Determination Association, visit their website by clicking here.

Self advocates speaking to a class of students.The Ohio Self Determination Association encourages people to engage with Project STIR (Steps Towards Independence and Responsibility). Project STIR is a training program for self-advocates designed to provide individuals with the tools to advocate for themselves, mobilize others in advocacy and gain leadership experiences. Project STIR includes:

    • Knowing yourself
    • Communicating assertively
    • Problem solving and negotiating
    • Rights and responsibilities
    • Self advocacy and self determination
    • Being part of the community
    • Starting a self advocacy group

To learn more about Project STIR, visit their website by clicking here.

You can also get involved on the local level:

LCBDD facilitates the Licking County chapter of the Kiwanis Aktion Club, please click here to find out more about the club. 

LCBDD provides grant funding for several Licking County self advocacy groups which are organized by day service providers, please click here to learn more.

LCBDD also contracts with Mental Health America of Licking County to provide self advocacy education in local high schools, as well as the YMCA All For One camp, please click here for more information.

 Be sure to let your Service Coordinator know that you are interested in self advocacy opportunities.