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Advocacy is when you identify something that needs to change and then take action to make the change occur. One person can advocate on behalf of themselves for what they need. The kind of action that people take to engage in advocacy is:

1. Identify the problem or change that needs to occur.

2. Identify what has to happen for the change to occur. For example, sometimes there needs to be a change in laws, regulations, policies, or behavior. Sometimes it is necessary to identify where money will come from so that a change can be made.

3. Advocating for yourself can be as simple as making sure someone knows what you need and asking them to provide it to you.

4. Identify who can make the needed change. For example, your doctor may need to change his/her policy of using notes and arrange for you to have an interpreter or assistive device.

5. Take action to contact the person that controls the change and explain why the change is necessary. Action can include meeting, writing letters and emails, telephone calls, and educating others about why the change is important.

The resources in this part of the website are intended to help you understand your rights and how to advocate for them. It also includes information about issues important to people who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing.

This article is last updated on Monday, October 6, 2008

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