State Themes in Self-Advocacy

This page highlights current state themes in self-advocacy. These themes include topics that state teams identified in their presentations and state plans at the summits, and are presented here to support information-sharing. States who are working on a particular topic, might want to contact states who have had success in that area. Click on a theme below to find states who have goals and accomplishments in that area.


Community Access

  • Accessible Transportation
  • Accessible Housing
  • Assistive Technology


  • Inclusive Practices in Public Schools/IEP
  • Transition from High School to Adulthood
  • Disability History Taught in Schools
  • Postsecondary Educational Opportunities
  • Bullying


  • Increasing Employment Opportunities, Promote Hiring People with Disabilities
  • Employment First Legislation Passed

Grow Individual Self-Advocacy

  • Self-Advocacy Training for People and Families, Including Peer Mentoring
  • Youth Advocacy Training, Leadership, and Chapters
  • Family Support
  • Voting Training and Initiatives
  • People Speaking for Themselves/Being Own Guardians


  • Sensitivity, Disability Awareness
  • Participation on Boards and Committees of Decision-Making Entities
  • Disability History Recognition
  • Self-Advocates Working at DD Organizations

Organizational Development

  • Becoming a 501(c)3 Established Nonprofit
  • Establish Statewide Self-Advocacy Network or Organization or Unify/Coordinate Self-Advocacy Efforts
  • Establish or Build on Existing Partnerships/Collaborations
  • Hold State Conferences
  • Hold SABE Conference
  • Increase Funding
  • Leadership-Building
  • Paid Executive Director
  • Professional Support Staff
  • Continue Meeting and Planning After the Summit
  • Statewide Advocacy Summit
  • Creating Own Agendas/Leading Own Meetings
  • Outreach to Increase Membership
  • Increase Communication In and Out of the Group
  • Create Strategic Plan
  • Embracing Technology/Use Social Media
  • Focus on Issues Rather than Populations
  • Start a Self-Advocacy Resource Center
  • Become a Self-Sustaining Organization


  • Self-Advocacy Coordinators in Government
  • Self-Advocacy Radio Show


  • Access to Legislative Process
  • Olmstead – Either Involved in Council or Plan Development
  • Moving People Out and Closing State Hospitals/Institutions
  • Getting rid of the R Word/Passing Respectful Language Law
  • Protests against Medicaid/Medicare Cuts or Advocating for More Waiver Funding
  • Self-Directed Supports and Responsive Providers
  • ADA Compliance


  • Develop Summer Camp for Self-Advocates
  • Recreational Opportunities