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At a Glance

Self-Advocacy Principles

We encourage students with disabilities to advocate for themselves. This list of self-advocacy principles can help you do just that.

  1. Know and understand your rights.
  2. Learn all you can about your disability, needs, strengths and weaknesses and be able to describe them.
  3. Ask questions whenever you need clarification. Repeat a question until it is satisfactorily answered.
  4. Remember that you are an equal partner in your education. 
  5. Let people know that you intend to resolve issues. Be a central part of all decision making.
  6. Practice how to approach, explain and negotiate classroom accommodations and needs.
  7. Know what resources are available and use them.
  8. Know who the key people are. Find the right person with whom to talk, and try all avenues.
  9. Keep a copy of all written communication regarding your education. Request copies of all records and documentation and store these in a file for safe keeping.
  10. Praise and thank people when appropriate.