Advocacy is…

Speaking up for yourself or someone else.

There are 3 kinds of advocacy

• Self-Advocacy
• Individual Advocacy
• Community or Systems Change Advocacy
• One form of Community Advocacy is Political Action

Advocacy is one of the core services that Centers for Independent Living provide.  ABILITY360 and all other Centers for Independent Living promote and provide all three kinds of advocacy.

People with disabilities, if you see …

• 1 person – that person needs help
• 2 people – it’s a race
• 3 people – it’s a party
• 4 people – it’s a protest
• 5 people – it’s a national movement
• 15 people – it’s a revolution!

Source: IL NET: NCIL/ILRU National Training & Technical Assistance Project – “Building A Strong Foundation in a Rapidly Changing Environment”

 Asking for what you want

• Talking to someone who has the power to make a change
• Sending a letter
• Asking to talk to the supervisor or person in charge

Taking an action

• Make a call
• Send an email
• Send a letter – always sign it!


• Write a letter to the editor
• Write a newsletter article on an issue to inform & mobilize
• Talk to the media (news reporter, radio announcer, etc.)

Talking to a policy maker

• City Council member, Mayor, State Legislator, U.S. Congressmember
• Testifying at public hearings & meetings

Join a policy-making body:

• A Governmental Council or Commission
• An Organizational Board of Directors

 Using your Civil Rights

• Filing an appeal or grievance when you don’t agree with a service provider’s decision
• Filing an ADA complaint with the AZ Attorney General or U.S. Department of Justice
• Learn your rights and responsibilities

Get involved with your favored political party at the local level

• Volunteering on a political campaign gets you their ear if they win!
• Starting or signing a petition

Joining or organizing a rally, press conference or demonstration

Register to vote… and vote!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.”- Margaret Mead

Advocacy Tips

• Don’t do it alone – If it is a concern to you – it is most likely a concern for others too
• We all started out as self-advocates – all babies are natural self-advocates
• You’re worth it! You are valuable.
• Showing up half the battle
• Everyone is unique, everyone has different skills – there is something for everybody to do
• There are “shy” self-advocates