Self-Advocacy - High School District 214

Report
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Parents & Teachers Talking Together (PT3) Session last year
identified 4 priorities within Special Education
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Self-advocacy
Welcoming Environment
Parent Mentoring
Professional Development
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Action Teams for Partnership were formed to address the needs
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The Self-advocacy team developed tonight’s program to
 Help special education students and parents understand the
importance of self-advocacy behavior
 Provide practical self-advocacy tips to students
 Help parents learn how to encourage self-advocacy
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Self-advocacy is the ability to effectively
communicate and appropriately pursue one’s
needs, rights & desires
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In other words, Sticking Up For Yourself
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Everyone needs self-advocacy!!!
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Self-advocacy is a critical life skill
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Many people struggle to self-advocate
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Especially important for people with special needs
due to:
 extra needs
 society’s lack of understanding
 potential challenges communicating needs

Powerful tool to deal with bullying
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Self-advocacy isn’t just for school or the IEP process
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Self-advocacy serves you throughout your whole life
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What do you do when?
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A doctor isn’t listening to your concerns?
You need time off from work for an important appointment?
You’re trying to choose a good college fit? A good job fit?
The waiter brings you the wrong meal?
A peer is pressuring you to do something unhealthy?
Someone is bullying you?
Your teacher forgets you need accommodations?
Your teacher posts the wrong grade?
You don’t understand a class and need to ask for help?

You’re in charge of your life.

Once you leave high school, you lose
much of your formal support.

Independence is the goal
Know
yourself
Know what
you need
Know how
to get it
Know
yourself

Know what
you need
Know how
to get it
Understanding yourself is the foundation for self-advocacy
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Know your strengths
Understand your disability/challenge
Know the terminology
Research your condition
Read your IEP and evaluations
Understand how your condition impacts different situations
Examine what has & hasn’t worked for you in past
Ask for feedback
Knowledge is power
Know
yourself

Know how
to get it
You can’t ask for something if you don’t know what you
need
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Know what
you need
Interventions, accommodations, modifications
Information
Extra help or support academically or socially
Advice
Change in behavior
Remember we all need different things to be successful
Know
yourself

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
Know how
to get it
Be prepared. Make a plan. Practice!
Believe in yourself. If that’s too hard, fake it!
Communicate your needs
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Know what
you need
Choose communication method  Be prepared to negotiate or give
Clearly describe problem
alternatives
Have a solution
 Listen, stay factual, & remain calm
Explain the reasons why
 Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable
Be persistent. Follow-up.
Understand you won’t always get what you want

What did we just hear?
Know
yourself
Know what
you need
Know how
to get it
 Bullying isn’t new.
 Key things to remember:
 No one deserves to be bullied.
 You are not alone, it just feels that way.
 High school doesn’t last forever.
 You can’t control the situation but you can control your reaction
 Different approaches work for different people.
 Ignore the bully and walk away.
 Protect yourself.
 Take charge of your life.
 Know that bullies have their own problems.
 Talk about it.
Model appropriate advocacy behavior!
 Start early.
 Encourage self awareness. Openly discuss child’s
disabilities & rights.
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 Share information
 Require involvement. Involve them in IEP, etc.
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Reframe your desire to help your kids.
 Let kids help themselves.
 Don’t do anything for them they can do themselves.
 Do it jointly as an intermediate step.
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Coach/Help/Encourage:
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Communicate needs & wants, strengths & weaknesses.
Role play
Practice in real world
Set appropriate & realistic goals
Prepare for a range of realistic outcomes
Engage in problem solving
Find a supporter or coach
Believe in them, and help them believe in themselves
 Celebrate success.
 Stay positive!

Goals of the “Welcoming Environment” Group
Build self-advocacy skills.
 Empower and encourage students to get involved.
 Provide “tools and resources” to navigate this process.
 Promote student and parent engagement.
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How to Join a Club or Activity at School…
Flow Chart
 Student Template: “How to join a club or activity”
 Screen Recording Demo: “How to join a club or activity”

Step 1:
Log onto your school's website.
Step 2:
Click on "Activities" heading located on the menu
bar to view a list of activities, clubs and sponsors.
Step 3:
Read through the list of activities to find one that
sounds intersting. Look for the sponsor's name
and write it down.
Step 4:
Next, go to "Parent Resources" located on the
menu bar and select "Staff Directory."
Step 5:
Find the sponsor's name and select "Send an email" to e-mail them for information relating to
that activity (such as meeting times and locations.)
CLUB/ACTIVITY 1
WHO IS SPONSOR/COACH?
WHAT SEASON OR ALL
YEAR?
ARE THERE TRY-OUTS?
HOW OFTEN DO THEY
MEET?
HOW LONG IS THE
MEETING/PRACTICE?
WHERE DO THEY MEET?
WHAT ARE THE
REQUIREMENTS SHOULD I
JOIN?
DO I KNOW ANYONE
ALREADY IN THE ACTIVITY
OR INTERESTED IN JOINING
WITH ME?
CLUB/ACTIVITY 2
CLUB/ACTIVITY 3
SELF-ADVOCACY
WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT
Karen Schwartzwald
Danielle McCarthy
District Special Education Coordinator
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847-718-6583
[email protected]
District Coordinator of Guidance Services
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847-718-7740
[email protected]
Mary Cottone
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[email protected]
Lisa Dalke
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[email protected]
Marcia Perkins
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[email protected]
Theresa Collins
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[email protected]
Linda Sevilla
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[email protected]

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