What is “self-advocacy?”
Self-Advocacy means speaking up for yourself about your rights, interests, needs and desires. It involves making informed decisions and taking responsibility for them.

Who are “self advocates?”
People who speak up for themselves are called “Self-Advocates” and having once learned how to speak up for themselves can assist others to do so as well.

Our own Scott Finney made the news! Check out his interview about the "R" word with Tennessee News Service HERE. He also speaks at conferences and to groups of self-advocates. Contact Scott Finney to schedule a speaking engagement.

How do I learn more about self-advocacy and becoming a self-advocate?
There are many national, state and other resources that can help you learn more and to become more involved in the self-advocacy movement.

National Resources:
Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) - Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) is the self-advocacy organization of the United States. Founded in 1990, we have been working hard for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the community throughout the 50 states and the world for 21 years.

National Council of Self Advocates of The Arc (NCSA) - Join the National Council of Self Advocates of The Arc (NCSA) and be part of a group of leaders representing the full spectrum of ages and abilities across our national chapter network. This is your opportunity to be part of a group of self-advocates who will unite with a clear and strong voice to create lives that allow them – and you! – meaningful choices for a promising future.

State Resources:
Tennessee Allies in Self-Advocacy (TASA) - TASA provides a forum for members to discuss the strengths and challenges that individuals with disabilities experience in becoming self-advocates in an effort to create better access to the resources and support they need to become self-advocates.

Calling all self-advocates to complete the TASA Survey. We want to know what people, like you, need and want TASA to do to support more individuals with disabilities in becoming self-advocates. Your feedback will make a big difference in the future work of TASA.

Partners in Policymaking - Partners in Policymaking is a free leadership and advocacy training program for adults with disabilities and family members of persons with disabilities.

People First of Tennessee - People First strives to serve as an outlet for people with disabilities to air and alleviate their concerns about disability related issues and to work together to address those issues. They are empowering themselves by learning what their rights and responsibilities are and how to be effective self advocates.

Other resources:
Self-advocacy online - Find self-advocacy groups near you.