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Understanding Advocacy Through the DD Council Lens

Understanding Advocacy through the DD Council Lens Resource – NACDD/ITACC, in collaboration with AIDD, and NACDD’s Self-Advocacy Committee (SAC) developed this resource designed to enhance the understanding of advocacy from the unique perspective of DD Councils. PDF Version | Word Version

Self-Advocacy Committee’s Survey Results & Best Practices

Part 1: Survey

In 2014, NACDD’s Self Advocacy Committee completed a survey of DD Councils on self-advocacy in their states, including barriers and issues for sustainability. The executive summary shares what NACDD has learned from the Council’s responses to the survey.

They reported that their states had seen noticeable changes in the self-advocacy movement during the past five years. These changes involved shifts in recruitment of members, collaborations with other groups, age of participation, and other factors. Some states have seen progress in the growth of self-advocacy, where other states have experienced major declines.

Topics include:

  • Changes in Self-Advocacy in the States over Time
  • Demographics and Diversity of Self-Advocacy Groups
  • Sustainability of Self-Advocacy Groups
  • Barriers to Self-Advocacy
  • Major Themes and Concerns

“Nothing About Us, Without Us” Resource Summary Survey – NACDD/ITACC “Nothing About Us Without Us” Best Practices to Support Statewide Self-Advocacy Organizations User Feedback Survey Summary. We hope this summary will inspire you and your Council to use the resource for the first time or provide ways to continue sharing it with Council members, colleagues and advocate leaders in your state and territory. PDF Version

Part 2: Best Practices

The “Nothing About Us Without Us” Best Practices for Supporting Statewide Self-Advocacy Organizations was developed by NACDD’s Self-Advocacy Committee and numerous self-advocate leaders from advocacy organizations around the country. It includes an executive summary of the self-advocacy survey completed by DD Councils and a list of best and promising practices that NACDD believes will result in the growth and sustainability of effective self-advocacy organizations. It is the opinion of its developers that these practices should be implemented to the greatest extent possible in advocacy organizations of all size and scope.

To read the full document, click here for the PDF version, or here for the Word version.

DD Council Resources

Advisor Training

The Advising Through Self-Determination Guide provides advisors with a variety of resources, from general information regarding disability and advocacy to specific examples of activities that promote self-determination. Multiple organizations and individuals contributed to this guide, providing first-hand information from detailed traits of effective advisors to advice from both advisors and self-advocates.

People First of New Hampshire announces revisions to their book, “Large Pepperoni Pizza With An Advisor On The Side: How To Hire, Supervise, And Train An Advisor” – now with audio narration and training movie! This is a book which helps self-advocates learn how to hire and interview advisors, where to look for advisors and how to supervise and train advisors. 

This is a publication for purchase and can be ordered here! 

Advice for the Advisors (written by Bill Worrell)
This handbook was written mainly for people who are currently advisors to self-advocacy groups, such as People First, or similar self-advocate committees, such as the Consumer Advisory Committee of C.A.C.L. If you’re thinking of becoming an advisory, this handbook will also be useful.  Finally this handbook is a good resource for friends and supports of self-advocacy who are looking at ways to support self-advocacy.

(Chapters 5-12 deal specifically with advisor strategies/best practices – starting with STRENGTHENING PEOPLE FIRST – THE CHALLENGE OF BEING A GOOD ADVISOR)

People First Advisor Handbook | A Toolkit for People First Advisors PDF version, download for free
For more information and resources for advisors, see the People First of Utah website

Self-Advocacy Organizations

Sample materials for describing Self-Advocacy Groups, Committees & Organizations

Hawaii Self-Advocacy Advisory Committee (SAAC)

Resources for Accessible Meetings

Resources from Our Community Standing Strong (OCSS) and Our Community United (OCU)

National Resources

National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities

University of Delaware

The Leadership Institutes run by The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities offer a select group of future leaders from organizations across the United States and internationally, the opportunity to come together with a renowned faculty of national experts on progressive supports for people with disabilities. The Institutes support the development of skilled leaders who are passionate about quality, have the leadership, management and financial skills needed to run solid not-for-profit businesses and government agencies, are capable of assembling top-notch teams of caring staff, and have a solid commitment to progressive values that assure lives of meaning and impact for people who choose to receive support. The Leadership Institutes emphasize participation and collaboration. Extensive reading and structured assignments are required in advance. Written assignments and individual and group participation during the week are essential.

A highlight of the course for past participants has been the relationships that are built over the week-long experience. Participants will leave with a network of colleagues and enduring relationships with some of the most influential leaders in the field.

The focus of the Leadership Institutes is on supporting participants to determine and set direction to move their organization to a high-performance model and build a lifetime network of peers and leaders to sustain career growth.

To learn more about the Leadership Institute visit their Website or e-mail the director, Nancy Weiss