Advocacy and Self-Advocacy
"Sometimes I feel that my disability is a manifestation of my inadequacies."
- In/Valid art exhibit, OISE, Toronto, Canada
Individuals with disabilities and their families need information, people to talk to who share similar experiences, and help in advocating for their rights. Individuals with disabilities should understand their strengths, weaknesses, abilities, as well as rights when advocating for services or accommodations. Likewise, community, teachers, service providers and political decision-makers must be equally well informed.
There are a number of different advocacy organizations - consumer-based, issue-based and family-based. Many advocacy organizations are formed and run by people with disabilities.
Some advocacy organizations advocate on disability issues such as gender or education. There are also a number of family organizations, alliances, and networks for families that have children with disabilities.
Source: Canadian Health Network
"I am constituted by a social world I never chose."
- Judith Butler
Disability Studies is a new field of study offered in universities around the world at the undergraduate level but mainly at the graduate level. Disability Studies examines the systemic social, political, legal and economic barriers to the full societal inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Because it is interdisciplinary, disability studies intersects with sociology, education, political science, critical race studies, gender studies, queer (gay and lesbian) studies, economics, history, and more. Investigating oppression and its sources, disability studies primarily entails research and teaching but also artistic production with the aim of social change.