Self Advocacy- what is it and what’s happening to it

A guest blog by Jenny Carter

Self advocacy is where people with disabilities speak up for themselves.  This doesn’t need to be verbal communication the person can use other ways to communicate but communication is important to self advocacy. Self advocacy enables people to advocate for there rights needs and want they want explain to others what there rights are and enables people to stand up for their rights.

Self advocacy can be done with someone on their own or as part of a group.  Under 2 different governments we have seen the single handed destruction of self advocacy Groups in England.  Which includes the second biggest city in this country doesn’t have a self advocacy Group.  This has happened because the last 2 governments have cut the money going to councils and lots of groups this is where they got most of there money from.

During this period I with some friends of mine set up and run a self advocacy Group in Wirral.  Which hasn’t been easy by a long way but glad still standing there doing what we do.

Self advocacy Groups do talk about difficult subjects but if you give them the right help and support they can help do lots of things including speaking for people with disabilities and supporting people to speak up.  Also can work with professionals to make sure things are right for everyone.

I would argue that not giving people with disabilities a voice is a human rights issue. People can’t get things right without listening to us.  The destruction of self advocacy Groups has a link with the rise of Assessment and Treatment Units I would argue.

Thanks for reading.