Learning to Advocate for Yourself
Home BlogProgram NewsLearning to Advocate for Yourself
no image

Learning to Advocate for Yourself

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the program’s website.

Learning to become an advocate for yourself can serve you across all areas of your life – work, school, living, health and relationships. It is about knowing yourself, what you need or deserve, and how others can best help you.

Figuring out how to be an advocate is the trickier part because it includes learning about yourself, and then finding ways to communicate this to others.

advocateSit down with a family member or teacher you feel comfortable with and identify:

  • What your disability is – not just the name, but how you could describe it to someone else
  • Your strengths or how you can use traits about your disability to your advantage.
  • Your learning style – do you need written and verbal instructions? Should instructions be brief? Would you like to have someone show you an example or model first? Need extra time to process new information?

Sometimes it can be beneficial to involve others for help. Start asking these questions of your family, teachers, or friends so they can help you identify them.

Now is the tough part… start practicing!

    Make a cheat sheet or a note on your phone that highlights the different things you have learned

  • Practice speaking about your needs to different people, but start off easy
  • First try with a family member you feel comfortable with
  • Next try someone in the community who knows you such as a teacher, doctor, or family friend
  • Now here is the hardest part – the next time you are introduced to someone brand new, practice your skills

By practicing now, you can build communication skills that will be invaluable to you in college and beyond!

Boulder in Spring Break

By failing to disclose a disability, students risk receiving the accommodations that would grant them the best opportunity to succeed. However, when disclosing their disability, students may face being fitted with stigmatizing and often misunderstood labels.

The post Learning to Advocate for Yourself appeared first on College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future.