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Self-Advocacy & Self-Determination


Self-Advocacy means speaking up for yourself, making decisions about your life, finding supports, and understanding your rights and responsibilities. As a self-advocate, it's important to understand the need for self-determination as you problem solve, listen and learn, and reach out when you need help.

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  • An overview of the vital role of Centers for Independent Living (CIL's) in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Although CIL's vary, most provide advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills training and peer support.

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  • This brief article is a good primer on how to relate to people with disabilities and communicate with them in a way that allows everyone to feel comfortable.

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  • Learn more about the Disability and Health Data System: an online interactive system from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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  • 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. Read this fact sheet to learn more.

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  • Members of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) have produced A Comprehensive Approach to Transition to help people work together to support the self-determined transition of youth to adulthood and community life. Self-determination means that people have a say in the important decisions of their own lives. Transition means moving from one place or stage of life to another. As youth leave school, they face several transitions.