What is self-advocacy?

Self-advocacy means a lot of things. It means standing up for yourself, taking control over your own life, and fighting for your right to live how you want to live. We self-advocate in ways that are both big and small.

For example:

Milo is an autistic high school student. They live in the United States. Their school has meetings to talk about what Milo needs. Milo’s teachers and parents go to these meetings, and so does Milo. They speak up if they want a new kind of help, or if they disagree with their teachers or parents. This is one kind of self-advocacy!

Self-advocacy doesn’t always look like that, though. There is no one “right” way to be a self-advocate. Here are some other kinds of self-advocacy:

  • Saying “No!”
  • Asking for help
  • Telling someone to leave you alone
  • Deciding what you want to do today
  • Talking to other people about your disability

Self-advocacy can be something that you do by yourself, or with other disabled people.

Self-advocacy isn’t just speaking up for yourself. It can also mean speaking up for your whole community. The self-advocacy movement is when we all speak up together. The self-advocacy movement is part of the disability rights movement, where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities fight for our rights.