How to Start a People First Chapter

How to Start a People First
Gatha Logan, Bill Gage, Sam Gage, Christy Cox,
Ruthie-Marie Beckwith May 31, 2013
What is People First?
People First of Tennessee, Inc. is a
statewide disability rights
organization that is run by and for
people with disabilities
What does People First of Tennessee do?
People First of Tennessee helps to start and support local selfadvocacy chapters across the state. We work together to help
build leadership, focus on issues that affect our lives and
promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in everyday life.
What do local People First
chapters do?
Local chapters
 Have monthly meetings
 Learn to speak up for yourself
 Educate the public and community leaders
 Learn about your rights
 Fundraisers like car wash, bake sale, yard sale
 Take trips to conferences and seminars
 Have fun like bowling, picnics, parties and dances
 Community service like helping people in nursing
homes, getting books for children, and recyling
What is Self-Advocacy?
 Self-advocacy means being able to tell people
what you think, feel and want. It means
speaking for yourself. You can learn how to
speak for yourself about problems and ideas you
have on your own or at local chapter meetings.
 Self-advocacy also means getting together with
other people who disabilities and have the same
ideas, problems, and concerns. It means
speaking out as a group. You can learn how to
speak out as a group at local chapter meetings.
What are the steps to
starting a local PF chapter?
Step One:
Make sure everyone understands what
People and Self-Advocacy are and
why people would want to meet
as a group.
Step Two:
• Decide on the responsibilities for
getting the group going, like: A
place to meet, transportation,
publicity and the agenda
Step Three
Find out how other groups work,
and learn from them.
Step Four:
Decide on the rules for how you are
going to work together, like, officers,
dues, voting and who will be the advisor
Step Five:
Develop a ‘team spirit’ and a good
working friendship between the
Step Six:
Decide on the goals for the group, like
issues, education, fundraising, fun or
social events, and community service.
Step Seven:
Decide on ways to reach your goals.
Step Eight:
Develop ‘connections’ with the
Step Nine:
Evaluate how well the group is working
and make changes.
What do local chapter
advisors do?
 Show respect for members by communicating
with them as adults, elders, or peers.
 Attend a People First meeting monthly.
 Help members learn how to run a meeting.
 Coordinate educational programs, speakers for
the chapter.
 Help members with projects in between
What do local chapter
advisors do?
 Assist with the meetings until members can run
them on their own.
 Keep members on task with meetings, projects,
 Present ideas for fundraising and community
 Assist with community projects and fundraisers.
What do you do next?
 Volunteers Advisors should read training material
on People First of Tennessee website.
 Schedule a presentation for old and new
members from People First of Tennessee officers.
 Hold your first meeting!
 Go to our facebook page and share your stories!
 Email [email protected] for
more information

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