What is Self-Advocacy? It is speaking up for yourself. It is making decisions about your own life. It is taking responsibility for those decisions. It is knowing your legal rights and responsibilities. Self-advocacy is understanding your strengths and needs and being able to communicate them to others. Self-advocacy is not just an adult issue. Youth with disabilities can practice self-advocacy skills at home or school. People with significant disabilities can communicate their wants or likes. The adult world requires our children to make decisions. If they don’t, someone else will make those decisions for them. They must become their own best advocate. For examples of individuals practicing self-advocacy, see Self-advocacy: What’s That?
There are many opportunities for adults to practice self-advocacy in Texas. Southeast Texas Self Advocates is a program of the Arc of Beaumont. The program offers opportunities to practice self-advocacy and is operated by people with disabilities, ages 18 years old and older. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities in Southeast Texas. They do this through leadership, education, and community service opportunities. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. They meet in the Foundation for Southeast Texas Auditorium, 700 North Street, Beaumont, TX 77701.
The topics vary for the meetings and they are voted and approved upon by each member. Meetings may have guest speakers, videos, or discussions on topics important to the members. The group also participates in community service projects in their area. Once each year they go on a day trip to places such as NASA, Moody Gardens, or the Lufkin Zoo. The group’s officers visit the Texas State Capitol during legislation. They also attend the Texas Advocates Conference every summer.
For upcoming events, remember to check the Find Events by County on this website regularly.
For more Information on Southeast Texas Self Advocates, contact the Southeast Texas Self Advocates Advisor, Teri Hawthorne, (409)838-9012, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
To check out the Southeast Texas Self Advocates, visit them on Facebook.