Leading Edge Resources: EmPOWERment through Leadership Training
"My Voice, My Choice" was developed to provide people with developmental disabilities the information they need about participant-driven supports. http://www.hsri.org/project/my-voice-my-choice/overview/
Self-advocates in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington have used this curriculum. They have demonstrated that self-advocates are ready to help shape policy and practice across the country. Specifically, the curriculum does five things:
- It provides self-advocates with information on what changes are taking place in the developmental disabilities field and why they are happening.
- It helps participants decide what they want from a service system. It explains community integration and self-determination for people with developmental disabilities. It prepares individuals to advocate for changes that are consistent with these principles.
- It encourages self-advocates to investigate what is happening in their state. The manual shows self-advocates how to look at things in their own local communities and states to see what kinds of services exist and how money is being spent.
- It allows participants to compare local action with their own standards for community integration and self-determination. Self-advocates are provided with opportunities to compare the changes that are happening in their local communities and states, with the changes they would like to see happen.
- It explores ways for participants to get involved by educating others or by helping to shape changes in their state. The curriculum informs self-advocates on the many ways that they can become active participants in the planning and decision-making activities in their state - in local and statewide systems change, and in planning their own services and supports.
- Promotes leadership development, education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness among young leaders representing the diversity of race, ethnicity and disability in the United States.
- Fosters the inclusion of young leaders with disabilities into all aspects of society at national, state and local levels.
- Communicates about issues important to youth with disabilities and the policies and practices that affect their lives.