Self advocacy means speaking up for oneself. It refers to your ability to effectively communicate an interest, desire, need, or right — and negotiate to resolve it. It also means making informed decisions and taking responsibility for them. Effective self-advocates understand individual strengths and needs, identify personal goals, and recognize legal rights and responsibilities.
This self advocacy resource describes effective practices and communication styles for you to best represent yourself and your interests throughout life. It also provides resources, tools and templates for you to utilize as you become a more effective self-advocate. Whether you or a loved one lives with multiple sclerosis, effective self advocacy is a life skill sure to improve outcomes, regardless of the need or situation.
Self advocacy in your life
The principles, tactics and resources that support self advocacy vary a great deal by setting, situation and context. Below, you will find collections of resources that have been developed to support your efforts in settings that include:
- Community - to improve accessibility related to transportation, places of business, and public facilities including parks and walkways.
- Family - to explore and address a variety of issues which may arise within the family context.
- Employment - to evaluate options and proactively use legal protections and resources to maintain employment or re-enter the workforce.
- School - to understand the differences in rights and responsibilities both for students and the schools they attend.
- Health Insurance, Appeals and Medicare - to gain and maintain access to health care coverage.
- Medical Care and Long Term Care - to better understand and guide your medical care and long-term care.
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - to obtain the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits to which you are entitled.