Info Just For You
- New and Expectant Parents
- Parents of School-Aged Children
- Brothers and Sisters
- Fathers (D.A.D.S.)
- Down Syndrome and Autism
- Families of Diversity
- K-12 Educators
- Policymakers and Advocates
- Health Care Professionals
- General DS Information
Did you know?... A self-advocate is someone who:
- speaks up for himself/herself
- stands up for what he/she believes is important
- asks questions if he/she doesn’t understand
- makes his/her own decisions (often with support from trusted family and friends)
While self-advocates may call upon others for support, they remain in control of their resources and how they are directed.
The MDSC believes that every individual with Down syndrome can become not just a self-advocate, but a strong self-advocate. We do this by making the empowerment of self-advocates a major component of all our programs for teens, young adults, and adults. This includes the following:
The MDSC’s Advocates in Motion (AIM) program provides fun, inclusive, interactive events each month for teens and young adults ages 13 to 22. AIM participants develop leadership and self-advocacy skills; build social relationships with peers; and grow confidence in an encouraging environment.
The MDSC’s Self-Advocate Advisory Council (SAAC) is open to young adults and adults ages 21 and up. Council members help direct the MDSC on how our organization should best serve the teen and adult population. In so doing, members develop key skills for becoming future leaders in the MDSC and the community.
The MDSC’s Self-Advocate Workshop Track is one of several tracks available to attendees of our Annual Conference in Worcester every March. During a full day of workshops, self-advocates have an opportunity to network and share experiences, strengthen their self-advocacy skills, and learn about the importance of leading a healthy life and building meaningful relationships.
We hope you will participate in one of MDSC’s programs for teens and adults, but we want you to know that you can start practicing self-advocacy right now!
Want to learn more about self-advocacy? Here are some helpful resources:
SABE - Self Advocates Becoming Empowered is the national self-advocacy organization and works hard for the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities throughout the United States.
M.A.S.S. - Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong’s mission is "to empower self-advocates through education so we can make choices that improve and enrich our lives."
Spread the word to end the word - A campaign to end the use of the R-word.
People First Language - Kathie Snow, author of “Disability is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Children with Disabilities”, provides guidelines of appropriate language.