Self-Advocacy

What is Self-Advocacy?

Self-Advocacy is the process of speaking up on your own behalf and asking for what you need. Self-Advocacy can happen anywhere from the bus stop to your classroom. This is an important skill for people with learning difficulties. It allows individuals to get support and services they require to perform at their best. Furthermore, self-advocacy helps to build self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem.
 
Why is Self-Advocacy Important?

Learning to self-advocate is important for people with learning difficulties because it allows individuals to speak for their own needs and/or preferences when there may not be anyone to advocate for them. 

Barriers to Self-Advocacy

People with learning difficulties and/or ADHD often lack the ability to clearly communicate their strengths and challenges appropriately. This may be a result of language difficulties, weak social skills, or lack of practice/experience in describing their needs.  Often with limited confidence in their abilities and low self-esteem, they are reluctant to ask questions, or to request extra assistance.
 
It is important to remember that people with learning difficulties and/or ADHD often have to work harder to achieve the same result as their peers. Accommodations and supports help to level the playing field for people with learning difficulties so they can rise and reach their full potential.
 
How LDAY can help!

LDAY can help support individuals in developing their self-advocacy skills through mentoring, modeling, advocating for/with clients, assistive technology training, awareness of strengths and challenges, communication skills, etc.  Everyone is unique and requires support in different areas. Please contact us and together we can make your action plan!

 

The 3 Main Steps of Self-Advocacy

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1. Know yourself as a learner.

Strategies for success: 

  1. Understand how learning difficulties and/or ADHD affect your learning. More importantly, understand your strengths and challenges;
  2. Everyone has strengths and challenges. LD’s and/or ADHD does not define you as a person;
  3. Gain information to broaden your knowledge of LD’s. Also research strategies that may help you reach your potential;
  4. Seek community resources (LDAY and other organizations).
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2. Know what supports you need to be successful.

Strategies for success:

  1. Identify short and long term goals;
  2. Continue using supports that currently help you;
  3. Research new strategies/supports and could work for you;
  4. Implement recommendations from your assessment;
  5. Work with a coach/mentor to develop an action plan to support your needs. 
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3. Communicate your needs appropriately.

Strategies for success:

  1. Learning to self-advocate is a process. Working with a coach/mentor can break this process into smaller steps over a period of time;
  2. Start with small goals and lots of support;
  3. Over time move towards larger goals with less support.