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Advocacy and You: What is Advocacy?

Do you sometimes feel like people are not listening to you? It can be upsetting, and sometimes you might feel like you aren’t being taken seriously. People might think they know what you want and need and may not listen to how you feel.

This is why knowing about advocacy is important. (1) Advocacy can help you make sure that you are being heard, especially when you are the main topic of conversation.

Advocacy is one way to make sure other people listen to what you have to say. It means having more control over your life, but it can also be a positive change for the people around you.

“Advocate” is another way to say “stand up for something.” Standing up for something may mean talking about what you think is right and wrong, voting, or joining groups of people who also want to stand up for something. Advocacy helps other people learn what you care about. By standing up for things that you care about, you can make a difference. You can change how other people think and feel and maybe even change how the world around you works.


Self -Advocacy is when you stand up for yourself. It happens when you know what you need, trust how you feel, and know how to say this to the people around you. By standing up for yourself, other people can learn what you want for yourself. That way, you can all work together to make sure YOU decide how YOU live and what happens to YOU.

Self-Advocacy means telling others:

  • How you feel

  • What you believe in

  • What you want

Third-Party Advocacy

Self-advocacy can be hard to do. You might need someone else to help you. This is called third-party advocacy.

Third-Party Advocacy is when someone is on your side and can ask for help for you.

This person can be someone you know, part of your community, or a part of a group of people that work in advocacy. It is important that they help you, listen to you, and are on your side ONLY. Third-party advocates can also help you with something called ‘supported decision-making'. You can read more about supportive decision-making in our blog article: What is Supported Decision-Making and Why is it Important?

Knowing Yourself

To be able to advocate for yourself, you have to know yourself. What does it mean to know yourself? Ask yourself:

  • What are things I like and do not like?

  • What are things I want to do and do not want to do?

  • What am I good at?

Answering questions like these can help you learn about yourself. They can also help prepare you for what you can say when it's hard to tell people what you need. Completing LifeCourseOnline's LifeCourse Charting Session can help you answer these questions.

If you want to learn more about what you want and how to get what you want, check out LifeCourseOnline. Work with your team to define and design your plan.




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