Creating your best life.

A person is smiling at the camera. We can see their eyes and nose, but the photo is cropped above their mouth.

“You gain a sense of freedom when you have independence. You gain peace of mind. It says a lot when you can pave a path for yourself.”
– A Hub user

Independence topics:

Self-advocacy

You are your own best advocate. Share your story, give feedback, ask questions and speak up for yourself. Use your strengths and skills to help others understand the impact of policies and change on you. Use your confidence and power to assert your rights as a member of your community.

Resources to develop self-advocacy skills 

  • Partners in Policymaking. This leadership training program is designed for adults with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities.
  • Self-Advocates Minnesota (SAM). This network of self-advocacy groups from around the state offers many chances to get involved, from Disability Power Day to coffee chat check-ins and disability equality training.
  • The Arc Minnesota. Self-advocacy opportunities through the Arc include committees, panels, trainings and chances to share your story.  
  • Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. Click Find open positions under the Boards and commissions heading to see opportunities on state councils, boards, task forces and commissions.  

Katie's story: The road to self-advocacy
"I am an advocate and a sister, an aunt and a voter," says Katie, a Hub user. "I don’t let my disability define who I am or my ability to do what I can do best. I do not let people push me around or try to control me because I have my own voice."

Since Katie was 18, she has been dealing with memory loss. As a result, she needed some legal help and turned to Disability Hub MN. "That was a hard time in my life," she says.

Since then, Katie has started her own self-advocacy journey and has learned how to be a leader. At a recent leadership conference, Katie led a session on dignity and what "disability" means. "It is a fear of many people with disabilities to talk about their disability," Katie says.

The focus of the conference was to teach people with disabilities how to speak up for themselves. "So many people are afraid to speak up because they are afraid people will judge them," Katie says. "By working together, we can teach them that it doesn’t matter if you have Asperger's or autism or cerebral palsy. It's OK to speak up."

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