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Watch our 60th Anniversary video that honours and remembers the civil rights history of people with developmental disabilities in BC. Read more about our history here.

For Self Advocates

Welcome to the self advocacy page. If you have any questions or comments about information on this page please contact Tina Dam at tdam@inclusionbc.org or 604-777-9100 extension 508.

For advocacy support from Inclusion BC:

Call our free advocacy line: 1-844-488-4321

Email: Tina Dam (tdam@inclusionbc.org)


What's on this page:

What is self advocacy?

Self Advocacy means speaking up and speaking out for your rights. Many people with developmental disabilities who are speaking up for their rights call themselves "self advocates." In this video produced by The Works Films, people talk about what self advocacy means to them.

...Read more about self advocacy here.

How does Inclusion BC support self advocacy?

Inclusion BC works with self advocates and self advocacy groups in many different ways, including through the Self Advocacy Advisory Committee to the Inclusion BC Board of Directors and the BC Self Advocacy Foundation.

  • We work in partnership with the BC Self Advocacy Foundation on projects and activities that help self advocates organize for change.
  • We offer events, conferences and training for self advocates and self advocacy groups.
  • We lend and give away videos, booklets and other plain language resources that self advocates need.
  • When a self advocate is having trouble in their life and wants help, we connect them with local groups for support, or act as an advocate with them.
  • We keep BC Self Advocacy groups and advisors up to date on important issues in community living.
  • We work in partnership with BC People First, a strong provincial organization run by self advocates.
  • We lobby government for changes that self advocates want.
  • We offer guidelines on how to include self advocates in decision making.

Self Advocacy Resources

Training and workshops: The ESATTA Co-op (Empowering Self-Advocates to Take Action) provides workshops and training across BC for self advocates and staff. They have covered topics on self-esteem, internet safety, loneliness, barriers faced in everyday life,  personal and supported decision making, staying healthy physically and mentally, and building confidence to help with finding employment. 

If you are interested in ESATTA training sessions, creating a custom made workshop for your agency or group, of if you have any questions, contact esatta.coop@gmail.com

Click here to look at some resources for self advocates.

Click here to look at some self advocacy websites.

Are there any other self advocate groups in B.C?

There are many local self advocacy groups across B.C., but there are also a few big groups that represent self advocates all over the province. You can visit their websites below for more information.

BC Self Advocacy Foundation is an independent organization whose sole purpose is to assist people with developmental disabilities to become full, participating citizens in their own communities.

BC People First is an independent group of people who have been labelled, and have been a provincial voice for rights since 1981. The president of BC People First is Joanne Gauthier. Ariel Pavic is the BC People First advisor and can be reached by email at bcpfcoordinator@gmail.com.

Self Advocate Net (www.selfadvocatenet.com)- This is a great website written and created by self advocates, for self advocates. The website has information about things like employment and advocacy as well as fun stuff like recipes and horoscopes.

Disability Alliance BC (www.disabilityalliancebc.org) - Raises awareness about issues that affect people with physical and intellectual disabilities in B.C. You can go to the website for things like community alerts, events, and resources.

People First of Canada (www.peoplefirstofcanada.ca) - People First of Canada supports people who have been labelled to speak for themselves and to help each other, and helps make sure that what people who have been labelled have to say is heard. It is directed and controlled by people who have been labelled. The website keeps track of disability that are happening across Canada and the world.

Self Advocacy Groups Across B.C. - There are many self advocacy groups across B.C. There may even be one in your town or city! Visit this link to read a list of groups.

How to get advocacy support from Inclusion BC

Inclusion BC has advocates on staff who help people with developmental disabilities get the support they need. We also may connect you with a different group that can help you. Visit our Advocacy Support page for more information: www.inclusionbc.org/advocacy-support.

You can also phone our free advocacy line at  844 488-4321 or email advocacy@inclusionbc.org.

Self Advocacy Events

The Inclusion BC Event Calendar has many events for self advocates in communities across B.C. Many of these events have special rates for self advocates. Inclusion BC also provides scholarships for self advocates to attend events.

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