What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a policy or position. Advocacy can be focused on achieving a specific goal for a single person, or it can be part of a larger effort to change a part of society, like a law. The access and rights we have as people with disabilities is founded in a long, rich history of both self and systems advocacy. As Centers for Independent Living, one of our core services is to provide training and support for both self and systems advocacy so you can live the life of your choosing.
The term self-advocacy, which means speaking up for oneself and one's interests, is used as a name for civil rights movements and mutual aid networks for people with disabilities. The term arose in the broader civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and is part of the disability rights movement.
At it's core, self-advocacy is the ability to communicate your needs. We know that people who self-advocate are more likely to thrive in school, work, and life. We also know that self-advocacy skills can be learned at any age.
If you need self-advocacy support or training, LINC can help. An IL Specialist will work with you to identify specific needs and goals, develop a plan, and support your efforts to achieve those goals. Self-advocacy is NOT about someone else doing it for you. Self-advocacy is about empowering you to do it for yourself.
When people work to change what happens for a whole group or community of people, it is called systems advocacy. Systems advocacy is about changing policies, laws or rules that impact how someone lives their life. These efforts can be targeted at a local, state, or national agency. The focus can be changing laws, or simply written or unwritten policy.
Systems advocacy can happen through the work of a small group of committed individuals, through a larger more organized campaign, or through participating of an individual on a board or committee of an organization or agency.
For example, if your town's sidewalks are dangerous to navigate with a wheelchair, you can join a city or county committee and advocate for changes in how sidewalks are build or maintained.
Self-Advocacy & Leadership Training Program (S.A.L.T.)
We believe that all Idahoans have the right to speak up for ourselves, to choose the services we want, and to change our society for the better. Decisions about our lives should not be made without us. To achieve these goals, we need to be self-advocates. We offer a nine week training program to introduce you to self-advocacy.
Who Should Apply?
Anyone with a disability who wants to make decisions about your own life should apply.
You may already be a self-advocate if:
You have ever spoken up for what you believe in
You have taken responsibility for your life in some way
You have ever questioned people’s expectations of you
You have ever joined a self-advocacy group and believe that the group’s work is going to make life better for people with disabilities
What Will I Learn?
You will learn how to:
Speak or act for yourself
Decide what is best for you and taking charge of getting it
Standing up for your rights as a person
When and Where Is the Training?
Trainings can happen in-person or online using Zoom. We will provide technology training and technical support to all self-advocates in the training, and if needed, we will work with self-advocates to secure technology, like a laptop or iPad.
How Do I Apply?
Applying is easy! All you need to do is complete the application. You can print the application and mail, fax, or email it back to us, or you can complete the application online. If you need support filling out the application, just let us know and we can help.
Check back soon for the next S.A.L.T. training!
If you have a question or need more information, call Emily Petersen at (208) 336-3335 ext. 103 or email email@example.com.