Self-advocacy means speaking or acting for yourself. It means deciding what is best for you and taking charge of getting what you want. It means standing up for your rights as a person. The Division of Developmental Disabilities believes that all of the people can benefit from learning and using self-advocacy skills.
In 2008, Advocacy Specialist positions were created in each region to help expand and enhance self-advocacy throughout Missouri. The Advocacy Specialists are responsible for providing leadership, coordination, role modeling and mentoring of self-advocacy to individuals in their assigned geographic area. They do this by supporting existing self-advocacy groups and helping start new self-advocacy groups; by providing self-advocacy and self-determination training to individuals, staff and families; by creating self-advocacy and self-determination materials that are written for and by people with disabilities, and by participating on division and other statewide committees to influence change that will result in the enhanced empowerment of people with disabilities.