Self-awareness is generally the first step in self-advocacy. As you become an adult and seek independence, it is important to determine what is important to you. You can begin by determining what it is you need, speaking up for yourself and learning how to describe your needs and wants.

Know your rights. There are laws and regulations to provide guidance and clarification about what must be provided to you. A number of federal laws address accessibility and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. These laws cover access to a wide range of facilities and services, including housing, transportation, employment, telecommunications and voting. Knowing your rights under the laws, or complying with their requirements, means getting the right information from the proper source. Don’t be afraid to ask for help at navigating this process!

“Who is rich? He/she who rejoices in his/her portion.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers

Disability Rights Florida
Provides statewide advocacy for persons with disabilities, offering information and referral, advocacy, investigation into complaints, negotiation and mediation.

Family Care Council Area 10 Office
A voluntary advocacy and educational council, committed to educating, advocating for and empowering every Florida family that has a loved one with a developmental disability.

Florida’s Voice on Developmental Disabilities
A statewide advocacy and networking agency comprised of families and friends of persons with developmental disabilities, with the mission to share information and resources.

People First of South Florida
A self-advocacy group run by and for adults with various disabilities to raise awareness of and campaign for the rights of people with learning disabilities and to support self-advocacy groups across the country.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability