Self-Advocacy training and assistance is based on the well-documented fact that individuals often seek out others for help when they are experiencing levels of frustration, concern, worry or an issue or problem. We can then adopt a model of people helping people as a way of being able to advocate.
Here at Cowichan Independent Living, we apply this theory when offering self-advocacy mentoring asserting that the person with a disability is best able to determine which services might meet his or her needs. Many times, the consumer requires information, support and guidance in order to be able to advocate for themselves. According to the Independent Living philosophy, as a consumer, the person with a disability has a right to choose rather than passively receive a service.
Returning the power to the consumer is not an easy task, especially when the institution has a history and a reputation for knowing what is best for the “patient” or “client.” Self-Help Groups, Empowerment Workshops, and Self-Advocacy Workshops are intervention and learning strategies that enhance many of the services offered by other agencies in Cowichan Valley; they “enable persons with disabilities to exercise a degree of control over their lives and over the services they use.
They place power back into the consumers’ hands by giving them awareness and knowledge.
Self Advocacy is standing up for yourself so as to improve your personal condition or situation. It is knowing what you need, how to use that information and then being able to speak up for your- self.
Please come into our office to speak with one of our trained staff to find out more on how we can help you help yourself.