Self advocacy – what’s that?

By Jenny Carter

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Hi, I’m Jenny Carter I’m a self-advocate from the Wirral and I am one of the leading ones. I also jointly won the Derick Russell Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2019. Self Advocacy to me is about the way people communicate to speak up for themselves. Some People think that people who are none-verbal can’t speak up for themselves. I know they can just use a different form of communication to say what it is that they want. This includes through using social media, for which I was recognised by being given lifetime membership of Learning Disabilty England.

Self Advocacy is changing though we have to be careful it doesn’t become tokenistic or meaningless. Though not all change will be bad. We must make sure we support and protect existing self-advocacy groups and help people to create new ones. Self Advocacy can only be delivered by self-advocates with the right support. We can only reframe social care if people with disabilities speak up for themselves and show what they can do.

Self Advocacy enables me to do things I never thought I would do, to meet people I would never would have done. Also, because of self-advocacy I can connect people up and help people. We can’t let that disappear.

Thanks for listening.


Jenny Carter is leading on self-advocacy in Wirral and is Director of Together All Are Able


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