Our Contribution

Social and Ecological Topics in Self Advocacy:

Self Determination, and Social Inclusion & Effectiveness


Istruction in Self-Advocacy (DVR)- Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his/her own interests and/or desires. Instruction in self-advocacy may include development of self-awareness (including understanding of one’s disability, independent decision-making, goal setting, self-determination, understanding, requesting, and utilizing needed accommodations, knowing rights and responsibilities, and leadership.”

Group 1: Social Inclusion

Session 1: What is a disability?

Session 2: Positive attitude

Session 3: Self-awareness- Are you aware?

Session 4: Self-determination- what it means to be self-determined.

Session 5: Overcoming community barriers and stigma

Session 6: Overcoming personal barriers

Session 7: Self-acceptance

Session 8: Living Well with a Disability- in the community

Session 9: Living Well with a Disability- personal living

Session 10: Creating a Wellness Plan

Group 2: Social Effectiveness & Capital

Session 11: What is communication- How do you communicate?

Session 12: What is your communication style?

Session 13: Effective communication in relationships.

Session 14: Boundaries with personal relationships- what are they and effectively communicating boundaries.

Session 15: Boundaries with work relationships- what are they and effectively communicating boundaries.

Session 16: Sharing responsibilities with relationships and using boundaries.

Session 17: Maintaining personal and work relationships

Session 18: What is assertiveness- Asserting one’s desires and interests

Session 19: Implementing assertiveness- scenarios.

Session 20: How does effective communication contribute to your wellness plan?

Group 3: Self Advocacy

Session 21: Realistic goal setting. What is this?

Session 22: Rights and responsibilities- maintaining goals.

Session 23: Decisions- making “good” and “bad” decisions. How do you learn from decisions?

Session 24: Knowing and understanding accommodations to achieve goals.

Session 25: How to advocate for interests and desires.

Session 26: How to advocate for accommodations.

Session 29: Put it into practice- independent decision-making.

Affects of Facilitation on Narrative Identity

Excerpts from Research on ‘Narrative and Deliberation in Small Group Forums’

“From my data, it is clear that strong facilitators tend to short-circuit the storytelling process. The moderator of Groups 4 and 5 (who happens to be the same person) is this kind of facilitator. From beginning to end, she controls the flow of the groups’ conversation. She moves the discussion along by asking questions like, “What bothers you about that?” and, “What is your reaction to that?” She asks participants to respond to her own personal stories and to data mentioned in the guidebook. She summarizes comments: “The comments have reflected so far that we do have this technology, that … it’s confounding. …” When facilitated in this manner, small group forums tend to have a rapid-fire, scattershot quality. Participants tend to say less, to tell fewer stories, and to talk more directly to the facilitator. This makes for a fast pace to the discussions. More people talk over shorter periods of time, and there is less of the thinking-out-loud that characterizes other groups. In short, in the presence of such facilitators, participants themselves tell very few stories.