What is Self-Advocacy?

  • Speaking up for yourself
  • Making your own decisions about your own life
  • Learning how to get information so you can understand things that are of interest to you
  • Learning about self-determination
  • Finding support in your journey
  • Knowing your rights and responsibilities
  • Problem solving, listening, and learning
  • Reaching out to others when you need help and friendship

Self-Advocacy provides the knowledge needed to succeed and the chance to participate in decisions that are being made about your life.

Self-Advocacy Training

Charting My LifeCourse is a set of online interactive trainings produced by self-advocates for self-advocates specifically for advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families.

The Charting My LifeCourse trainings are organized around the following topics:

  • Topic 1. Discovering Charting the LifeCourse
  • Topic 2. Discovering the Support Star
  • Topic 3. Discovering Your Good Life

Project Stir

Easy Readers

The Easy Readers were developed to provide individuals and families with plain language, easy-to-read information about the Division of Developmental Disabilities, resources, and supports.


Self-Determination means that individuals are the primary decision maker in their lives, pursue what is important to them, and have a meaningful role in the community. This includes five key principles:

  • Freedom: Individuals will live a meaningful life in the community and make choices about their lives.
  • Authority: Individuals will have meaningful control over a set amount of dollars that can be used to build the supports they need by purchasing only what is needed and paying for what is received.
  • Support: Individuals will have support to organize resources in ways that are life enhancing and assist them in reaching their dreams and goals. Individuals have a circle of supports made up of family, friends, and both paid and unpaid supports.
  • Responsibility: Individuals assume responsibility for giving back to their community, for seeking employment, and for developing unique gifts and talents.
  • Confirmation: Individuals are recognized for who they are and what they can contribute, having a leadership role in developing policies that affect their lives and helping others reach success.
Self-Advocacy Resources
Missouri Quality Outcomes (MOQO)

The Missouri Quality Outcomes encourage people with disabilities to lead a self-determined life. More information on the Outcomes is available on the MOQO webpage.

DD Awareness Videos

Developmental Disability Awareness