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Self Advocacy



What is Self-Advocacy?


Self-Advocacy is involvement in your own life. It is standing up for what matters to you.  On behalf of yourself, you identify an unmet need, promote change, or remove a barrier.

Self-advocacy includes research. It also includes outreach and follow-up. Most of all, it includes dedication.

 


Who is a Self-Advocate?


You can be a self-advocate and work for change in your life. Sometimes changes are needed in relationships, the community, or at work.  A self-advocate uses a five-step process.

Five Steps:

1. Know the Law

2. Develop and Use Your Resources

3. Assert Yourself

4. Ask for Change

5. Follow-up

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How you should expect to be treated


You should expect that agencies and people who provide supports or services to you in Virginia will use the following principles:

ListeningYou are listened to.  You have a voice. You listen to others. Your choices and your description of what a good life means to you are respected and followed.  

Self-DirectionYou have choices. You are responsible for your choices.  You are respected.  Your personal choice and control are supported. 

CommunityYou have friends and family you see often. You are a part of your community. You find groups, organizations and social activities that interest you.  Your relationships with families, friends and people in the community are very important and at the center of planning. 

AbilitiesYou contribute to your family and your community.  You learn new things.  You are respected.  People are nice to you.  You respect others.  You are nice to others.  Your experience, talents and contributions, and those of your family and community are strengthened and supported.

ResponsibilityYou are responsible for your choices.  You receive quality support.  You and the agency or person who provides your support have a shared responsibility.

 

If you are interested in becoming a member of a Commonwealth of Virginia Board or Commission, visit the One Community--the Olmstead website.



Where can I find out more?



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Virginia Division for the Aging
Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
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Henrico, VA 23229
aging@dars.virginia.gov
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