Self Advocacy

Self Advocacy

Self-advocacy is about persons with intellectual disabilities speaking up for themselves and making their own decisions. It is about having a voice (even when we cannot speak); being listened to and taking control of our own lives.

Self-advocacy is about growing our confidence and belief in our abilities. It is about knowing our rights and that the self-advocate must be included in all parts of community and about working together to make change in our communities.

For persons with intellectual disabilities, self-advocacy begins with building confidence and control in decisions about our lives. Learning about the right to decide is an important step in the lives of individuals. Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that all people have the right to make decisions about their own lives and they have the right to support in making and acting on those decisions.

A voice from a self-advocate

  • I want to have my voice heard and acknowledged!
  • I want to be accepted for who I am!
  • I want to make my own decisions!
  • I want to be asked for my view and opinion on things!
  • I want to be treated the same as other people!
  • I want to have the same rights and opportunity to do things, with support only when needed!

Key Programs

Self-advocacy training

Self-advocacy is about growing confidence and belief in the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. It is about knowing their rights and that the self-advocate must be included in all parts of community .

Self-advocacy begins when the people with intellectual disabilities build confidence and control their decisions about their lives. Learning about the right to decide is an important step in the lives of self advocates.

In addition, Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that all people have the right to make decisions about their own lives and they have the right to supportive decision making.

Peer Support
The self-advocates support each other in day to day difficulties. The self advocacy provides a chance for self-advocates to explore issues and difficulties in their lives (relationships, employment, housing etc.)

As self-advocates get to know each other and learn from each other they help each other to build the skills to speak up.

Families and Self advocacy

Self-advocacy starts at home. Families can support self-advocates to feel confident about themselves and speaking up.  By promoting inclusion, choice and speaking up, families can support self-advocate being a part of a self-advocacy group that is working for change.

Families and self-advocates in Kenya are advocating for the following:

  • Communities which are inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Communities where people with intellectual disabilities are valued.
  • A society where people with intellectual disabilities and their families are given equal chances

Advocacy for Action
When self advocates come together and share their experiences and difficulties they begin to identify common injustices and issues that are important priorities for the group peer support.

In most activities self-advocacy groups have developed and emerged with support from families to become independent self-advocates support groups. Increasingly we have self-advocacy groups which are made up of people with intellectual disabilities.

As people with intellectual disabilities go to regular inclusive schools they have become part of groups that work together on social issues.