Looking for organizations that support self-advocacy? We explain what self-advocacy is and give you some suggestions on where you should donate your time and financial resources.

What Is Self-Advocacy and Why Is It Important?

Self-Advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your decisions about your life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you. It also means finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem-solving, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination. This is important so that you have the knowledge required to succeed and are given a chance to participate in decisions that are made about your life.

– Adapted from: Wrightslaw

What Organizations Support Self-Advocacy?

Here are some excellent organizations that support self-advocacy for people with disabilities. We encourage you to check them out, donate, and participate.

  1. Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) provides support, community, and public policy advocacy, by and for people on the autism spectrum. autisticadvocacy.org
  2. Autism Women’s Network (AWN) seeks to share information which works to build acceptance and understanding of disability while dispelling stereotypes and misinformation which perpetuate unnecessary fears surrounding an autism diagnosis. autismwomensnetwork.org
  3. Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) works to ensure that people with disabilities are treated as equals and are given the same decisions, choices, rights, responsibilities, and the chance to speak up to empower themselves like everyone else. sabeusa.org
  4. TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy. Founded in 1975, TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect, and institutionalization. TASH works to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy, and information and resources for parents, families, and self-advocates. The inclusive practices TASH validates through research have been shown to improve outcomes for all people. tash.org
  5. The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes. thearc.org