Encouraging Advocacy!

People with Disabilities have been fighting for their right to be heard, both in their own lives, as well as in the greater community. This fight continues to this day and I want to bring their voices and needs to the forefront. Having direct input in one’s life has a clear effect on overall health, well-being, and quality of life. Learn how you can have an impact on the enhancement of individual lives, and the community, as a whole.

What does being an ally and reducing ableism look like?

Being an ally looks like fighting against bullies, creating awareness, being assertive, and getting your point across effectively. It’s one way of ‘amplifying community voices’. State their case like it is your case.

While interviewing a disabled substitute teacher she said, ‘I think it is important to be able to speak up and explain our physical challenges to co-workers and others around us. As a substitute teacher, I just talk to my students and co-workers about my challenges and explain what my life is like as someone who uses crutches. I have found that people are much less likely to have “ableist” opinions if I share my story first.’

That is what reducing ableism looks like.

How do we get there?

Don’t be a sceptic!

Ask questions. Never assume.

Think before you speak.

Don’t judge by appearances.

Be friendly.

Get social workers, carers, nurses, doctors and family involved.


Your Self Advocacy Toolkit

Self Advocacy is helping you to speak up for yourself and your rights. Sometimes you just have to make them listen! http://www.advonet.org.uk/.

In part, this is about listening to the voices of those with Disability & Chronic Illness, as they are the experts of their experiences. https://linktr.ee/ashleekelly_iammeblog?fbclid=IwAR0K_licUZMa4YuRqfTXOinH4Dn6UhBspGseLR8X1ftMd_ZUCEEKwkbHBcQ

Self Advocacy in Goal Setting

Effectively address self advocacy in learning or therapy programmes. Self advocacy is a learned skill.

Unintentional Ways to Discourage Advocacy

Bribing is one way to discourage self advocacy in childhood. Masking is another way to discourage self advocacy in adolescents. This includes:

  • Loss of identity
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Hand controlling techniques. This makes them feel helpless. This raises concerns about consent. According to statistics, persons with disabilities are more vulnerable to victimisation than people without disabilities. Self Advocacy is a Life Saving Skill.
  • Don’t Panic

How can we support self advocacy?

  • No means No!- Respect the No.
  • Pulling their hand away.
  • Shaking their head. Non verbal cues.
  • Communication is key. Sign language also works.
  • Follow their passions.
  • Strengths based approach. Instead of asking, ‘What’s Wrong’ ask ‘What’s working Already?’
  • Make space for them to be a decision maker.

Include goals focussed on:

  • Boundaries
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Preferences

Set up meetings for accountability when promises are made. This includes the education system. This includes integration in the mainstream education system instead of special schools. Special schools still have their place in society but integration is better for the sake of fairness and inclusion.

It’s all about Empowering Yourself. I remember as a College student complaining to the directorate of college about discrimination. The learning support department didn’t seem very efficient to me. IEP meetings can also be a pain. This also encourages disability representation.

Speak with Me Not for Me!

I agree with this video because some people think we’re irrelevant and treat us like we’re invisible. Especially us wheelchair users. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGxVz2jijK8.

Support Self Advocacy for Loved Ones.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities deserve a seat at the table! Just because someone can’t talk doesn’t mean they don’t have anything to say. Freedom of speech or expression shouldn’t be a challenge. Advocacy includes speaking up on other people’s behalf. This could also cover unemployment amongst people with disabilities.

This may include:

  • Behavioural Support Plans
  • Person Centred Passports

The service that supports you

This should include a Recruitment Policy, Culture and Structure of an Organisation, and Consultation Process.

There should also be a Partnership Board co-chaired by someone with a disability. It helps to change policy.

Seniors and Self Advocacy

Encouraging seniors to think about their needs and wants to advocate! This includes refugees.

It raises consciousness and helps to organise seniors and local communities. Goals of advocacy should effect change in attitudes, policies, services and actions.

Their needs may include welfare, they may want to work beyond retirement age or become an entrepreneur. Access to healthcare.

Seniors can be or feel marginalised.

Self Advocacy Skills

  • Be assertive vs Aggressive
  • Be direct
  • Be intentional
  • Be accurate
  • Healthcare


Emotional Needs- Social Isolation

Tips for Advocacy

  • Be Persistent
  • Build Effective Coalitions

Advocacy also includes petitions, protests, lobbying, placards, propaganda, elections, party politics, and pressure groups. Being an advocate makes you an agent of change.

Leave a Reply

About Daniella-Jade Lowe

Hello everyone! Welcome to my page. My name is Daniella Jade Lowe. I am a university graduate with a BA degree focused on History and Politics from the University of Bradford, England. Journalism and Politics are my passion. I have even represented Bermuda at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as a reporter for Bermuda’s Paralympian Jessica Lewis. During the games I also assessed the level of Wheelchair Accessibility at the event. I am an emerging Journalist, Politician and Disability Advocate. My motive behind doing this was to be an advocate for people with disabilities. I have a disability. It does not completely define me; it just enhances me in a way which differentiates and strengthens me. My disability should be viewed as an ability: to see the world in a different way. As a wheelchair user, I have advocated for Wheelchair Accessibility in Bermuda, by writing various articles for numerous publications on the subject. I also have a blog where I also write about various disability related issues. During Middle School and High School, I used a Garaventa StairTrac to navigate the school for classes. In fact, one of the reasons why I pursued further education and started my career in England was due to Wheelchair Accessibility. During College, I became the Disability Officer for the Students’ Union and I advocated for the students with disabilities. On July 27, 2007, I was invited by former Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart Brown for a ‘Brown Bag Lunch’ to discuss issues like Wheelchair Accessibility amongst other things. I have also been sporadically involved with WindReach since I was young. This is how I amplify my voice for Wheelchair Accessibility! I am also skilled in Politics, Microsoft Excel, Customer Service, Microsoft Word, and Strategic Planning. Strong media and communication professional with a BA focused in History and Politics from University of Bradford.