What is Self Advocacy?

Self – Advocacy is

  • Saying what you want and need
  • Saying what affects you so that things get better for you.
  • Learning how to speak up for yourself so you are heard, and things can change.
  • Learning to make your own decisions.
  • Being proud of who you are.
  • Respecting yourself and others.
  • Understanding your rights within the law.
  • Standing up for your human rights.
  • Speaking up about important things.

The Forum of People with Disabilities described Self-Advocacy as:

A way people represent their own needs and concerns to improve their own situation.

A way people stand up for their civil and human rights and develop the skills needed to talk about their views and wishes.

The Self Advocacy Toolkit

The self-advocacy toolkit has a range of helpful information sheets and other resources to help you speak up for yourself and organise an advocacy group

  • Setting up a self-advocacy group

    Download Setting up an Advocacy Group in PDF

    Download Setting up an Advocacy Group

  • What is a Mission Statement?

    A mission statement explains the work of a group. It names a group’s plan for the future.

    A mission statement says:

    1. Who a group is.
    2. What the group wants.
    3. This is called the goals of the group.
    4. The work the group will do in the future.
    5. These are the actions and work the group needs to do to get their goals.

    A mission statement can say who can join a group.

  • How will having a mission statement help strengthen an advocacy group?

    A mission statement can help members understand what the group is about and the work the group does.

    It will help new members learn about the group.

    This can help make an advocacy group strong and clear about the work it wants to do.

    A vision statement can help people outside of the group understand what the group does.

    People like staff and management of disability services and Government departments.

    Having a mission statement could help your group be in a better place to get money.

    Making a mission statement can help a group talk about and agree to the work it will do.

  • What will be in a mission statement?

    1. A description of the group and why the group was set up.

    For Example:

    • We are a group of people with disabilities.
    • We meet once a month.
    • We work on things that are important to us – like our rights being respected.

    2. A vision statement will name what a group wants.

    This is called the goals of the group.

    Goals are the big things the group want to change.

    For example:

    • Make the transport service better for us.
    • Be more involved in how decisions are made.
    • Work together with other advocacy groups.

    3. A mission statement will name the actions the group will do to reach its goals.

    • Actions and tasks are agreed by a group to make goals happen.
    • Actions are jobs done to reach goals.
    • There can be 3 or 4 actions needed to reach 1 goal.

    For Example:

    Goal 1. We want to be more included in decisions made about us.

    • Action 1. Get accessible reports on big developments in the organisation.
    • Action 2. Meet with management 3 times a year and tell them our view and requests.
    • Action 3. Interview staff that work with us.

    4. A mission statement can say how people can join the group.

    For example:

    • We are a rights group for people with disabilities.
    • You can join our group by filling out our application form

    Here is a worksheet that can help write a Mission Statement in PDF

    Download Mission Statement

  • Advocacy Resources