Our last area of Personal Daily Living is an overarching concept that involves something we all do every day – make decisions. We all have the right to make decisions for ourselves regardless of ability level. In the world of disabilities, we call this Self-Advocacy, and everyone has a right to advocate for themselves. At the most basic level, we plan our schedules, what we are going to eat for each meal, what we wear and who we see. It is important that each individual with a disability have a way to express their wishes daily regardless of communication skills – sign language, picture choices, electronic communication devices, etc. It is helpful to remember a quote from Rosemary Crossley, “Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.” Schedule planning gives us the opportunity to help individuals learn and practice self-advocacy every day. Constant practice is the only way anyone can become proficient at self-advocacy. The following are examples of videos that can be useful in reminding both those we serve and staff about the importance of self-advocacy and what it means in daily life.
Ohio DD Bill of Rights - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB0xFEO3Dkk
Self-Advocacy Skills: Self-Advocacy Strategies - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74G_Zpz-7Bk