Deepening Your Self-Advocacy – Distance Learning

Deepening Your Self-Advocacy is a basic level course that builds on the results from Self-Advocacy Basics . The twelve one-hour sessions in Deepening Your Self-Advocacy to help your group members:

build personal power,
learn about the rights movement for disability equality and how it applies to them, and
act together to contribute to the community.

These participatory, fun exercises will continue to strengthen your members’ identity as “self-advocates.”

Session 0
Title: Participant Orientation

Description: An engaging and fun overview of the coming 12 sessions. Also a chance to set up technology and communication protocols.

–Review the material in the Participant Kits.
–Build participant anticipation and enthusiasm for the coming 12 sessions.
–Get everyone’s commitment to attend and participate in all 12 sessions.
–Facilitator learn how the group works together and make adjustments so that everyone is comfortable with the distance learning format.


Session 1a
Title: Name and Motion

Description: Easy energizer to start every session, each say your name and invent a motion, all repeat.

–Fun and easy warm-up.
–Engage everyone in the group.
–Build energy quickly.

Session 1b
Title: Something About Me

Description: Draw a picture of something important in your life, then show/tell others about it.

–Build comfort and community as people share a bit about themselves.
–Build a good foundation to do deeper work on assertiveness.
–Practice speaking from the heart.

Session 1c
Title: I Want To Try This Sometime

Description: People look at the photos in their participant kits and choose one that shows something they might want to try in their life, then talk about the support they would need to do it.

–People share something that appeals to them.
–Compare their interests to those of others.
–Lay groundwork for acting to try it sometime.


Session 2
Title: Practice Assertiveness

Description: Volunteers take turns role-playing simple situations three times: once passively, once aggressively, and once assertively.


–Understand the difference between communicating passively, aggressively, and assertively.
–Experience which communication method is most effective


Session 3
Title: Practice Using “I” Statements

Description: Participants play simple games to practice noticing and using I Statements for effective communication.

–Learn the difference between You Statements and I Statements.
–Pay attention how it feels to give or receive each type.


Session 4a
Title: Dear Abby

Description: Participants play gossip columnist, where they hear about conflict situations, and give advice.

–Participants see conflict as a normal part of life.
–Get participants talking about what options they have to resolve conflict in their life.

Session 4b
Title: Guess What I’m Good At

Description: Participants use this charade exercise to silently show something they’re good at, while others guess.

–Know and name your strengths.
–Understand and practice how you use your facial expression and body to communicate.


Session 5a
Title: Rights Around the World

Description: Participants hear about the 2007 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by looking together through a plain-language summary.

–Become familiar with the idea that we have rights protected by laws and treaties.
–Learn about the United Nations CRPD treaty.
–Become familiar with the human rights textbook we’ll be using.

Session 5b
Title: The Right of Privacy

Description: Breakout teams study the right of privacy, develop skits to show the lack of this right, and tell each other what the CRPD calls for.

–Learn about the right of privacy.
–Consider how this right applies to participant’s lives.
–Practice telling others about this right.


Session 6
Title: The Right of Independent Living

Description: Breakout teams study the right of Independent Living (with support), make art to show the lack of this right, and tell each other what the CRPD calls for.

–Learn about the right of Independent Living (with support).
–Consider how this right applies to participant’s lives.
–Practice telling others about this right.


Session 7
Title: The Right of Political Life

Description: Breakout teams study the right of Political Life, talk about their voting experiences, and tell each other what the CRPD calls for.

–Learn about the right of Political Life.
–Consider how this right applies to participant’s lives.
–Practice telling others about this right.


Session 8a
Title: Rights Quiz (Review Game)

Description: Teams make up quiz questions for a short review game, then take turns asking and answering together.

–Review learning from Sessions 5-7.

Session 8b
Title: Pick a Right, Make a Song

Description: Breakout teams pick a right and make up a simple song to a familiar tune.

–Review and reinforce human rights learning by using a creative group process.
–Everyone get involved in creativity.


Session 9
Title: Poetry Power

Description: Participants use sentence starters to create poems that describe how our communities could be better.

–To engage participants to dream of a community without negative attitudes and barriers.
–Participants practice naming the power of self-advocacy.
–Participants practice working together on a common goal.


Session 10
Title: You Be the Legislature

Description: Participants act together as a legislature: introducing some new rights laws, then discussing, amending, and passing them, or not.

–Understand the importance and power of new laws to make change.
–See themselves as someone who has the vision to propose a new law.
–Connect issues in their life to laws, existing or needed.


Session 11
Title: Zoom an Elected Leader

Description: Participants invite a legislator to join on a distance learning (Zoom or other program) call, then ask questions about the legislative process.

–Make participants comfortable talking to leaders.
–Make leaders comfortable talking to people with disabilities.
–Begin/build on an ongoing relationship with an elected leader.


Session 12
Title: Review and Celebrate Our Achievement

Description: Recognition and celebration of participants’ successful completion of all 12 sessions.

–Mark the completion of this 12-session course with a ceremony presenting certificates.
–Raise community awareness of what we are doing.