What is an advocate? According to www.dictionary.com , one of the definitions is: “A person who speaks or writes in defense of a person, cause, etc.” and “A person who pleads for or in behalf of another: intercessor.”
SKIL has long promoted self advocacy. What is a self advocate? It’s standing up for yourself and your rights, and believing in yourself enough to do so. Though many might tell you otherwise, no one, I repeat, NO ONE, knows what you need more than you do. Standing up for yourself, especially when someone else is trying to convince you of what they think you need and refusing to truly listen to you, is not only important, it is vital. And it can be life-changing.
One of the best examples of self advocacy is with your doctors and other healthcare professionals. Often, in the medical model, healthcare professionals think they know best and they can often convince their patients to believe it, too. Doctors and other healthcare professionals need you to be a good self advocate and tell them what is going on with you. And, they need to give you complete information so that you can make your healthcare decisions based upon that information.
Advocacy is not always easy. It’s not always something we are eager to do. Advocating for yourself can be harder than advocating for others. But its rewards are many. I encourage you to start advocating for yourself today.
All Parsons SKIL offices, including our headquarters, the Assistive Technology Southeast Access Site and K-Loan, will be closed until November 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. I’ll be back with you in my next Hello From Shari column on December 4, 2020.
I wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Stay safe.