Finding Your Voice: Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination

Aquí puede leer este artículo en español.

We often highlight observances for specific disabilities or under-represented communities, sharing relevant information and resources from the NIDILRR community and other sources. One of our biggest reasons for shining a spotlight in these areas is so that advocates in these communities are recognized for their achievements and know their voices are heard, especially those who are advocating for themselves.

Self-advocacy and self-determination are two important skills that people with disabilities can develop to get access to the services, supports, equipment, and care they need. Self-advocacy is learning how to speak up for yourself, making your own decisions about your own life, learning how to get information so that you can understand things that are of interest to you, finding out who will support you in your journey, knowing your rights and responsibilities, problem solving, listening and learning, reaching out to others when you need help and friendship, and learning about self-determination (Wrightslaw). Self-determination is the capacity to make choices and express preferences, solve problems, engage in making decisions, set and attain goals, self-manage and self-regulate action, self-advocate, and acquire self-awareness and self-knowledge (AAIDD Issue Brief: Self Determination and Self-Advocacy by People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities [PDF]).

These two concepts are not new, but they are becoming increasingly important within the NIDILRR community and the greater disability and rehabilitation community. We searched our collection to see what kinds of research has been done and what resources have been developed to help self-advocates find and amplify their voices:

Learn more about self-advocacy and self-determination from these organizations:

These are just a few examples of the resources available to help you find your voice. Please call our center at 800/346-2742, email us at, or visit us at to chat with an information specialist if we can help you find more (disponible en Español).

Encontrar su voz: Autodefensa y la autodeterminación

A menudo destacamos observancias de discapacidades específicas o comunidades subrepresntadas, compartiendo información y recursos relevantes de la comunidad de NIDILRR y otras fuentes. Una de nuestras mayores razones para brillar un foco en estas áreas es por lo que los defensores de estas comunidades sean reconocidos por sus logros y para que conoscan que sus voces son escuchadas, especialmente aquellos que están abogando por sí mismos.

La autodefensa y autodeterminación son dos habilidades importantes que las personas con discapacidades pueden desarrollar para conseguir el acceso a los servicios, apoyos, equipos, y atención que necesitan. La autodefensa es aprender a hablar por sí mismo, tomar sus propias decisiones sobre su propia vida, aprender cómo obtener información para que pueda comprender las cosas que le interesan, averiguar quién le apoyará en su viaje, saber sus derechos y responsabilidades, solver los problemas, escuchar y aprender, llegar a otros cuando usted necesita ayuda y amistad, y obtener más información sobre la autodefensa (Wrightslaw). La autodeterminación es la capacidad de tomar decisiones y expresar preferencias, solver los problemas, participar en la toma de decisiones, fijar y alcansar metas, automanejar y autoregular la acción, autodefensa, y adquirir conciencia de sí mismo y autoconocimiento (AIDD Tema Breve: Autodeterminación y Autodefensa por Personas con Discapacidades Intelectuales y de Desarrollo [PDF]).

Estos dos conceptos no son nuevos, sino que se están convirtiendo cada vez más importantes dentro de la comunidad de NIDILRR y en la mayor comunidad de discapacidad y rehabilitación. Hemos buscado en nuestra colección para ver que tipos de investigaciones se han hecho y cuales recursos se han desarrollado para ayudar a los autodefensores encontrar y ampliar sus voces:

Obtenga más información sobre la autodefensa y autodeterminación de estas organizaciones:

Estos son sólo algunos ejemplos de los recursos disponibles para ayudarle a encontrar su voz. Por favor llame a nuestro centro al 800/346-2742, envíe un correo electrónico a, o visitenos a para charlar con un especialista en información si podemos ayudarle a encontrar más información (disponible en español).

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8 Responses to Finding Your Voice: Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination

  1. Dale Reardon says:


    I publish an Australian website on disability news and opinion at:

    and was wondering if it might be okay to republish this article and any other relevant ones on our website, with appropriate credit and a link back of course.

    It would help spread your work and gain a wider audience for you.

    Hope we can work together and I am quite happy to publish other articles you may have written that aren’t on your blog also.


    • mpgarcia says:

      Hi Dale,
      It is ok to republish our article on your website with appropriate credit and a link back. We really appreciate you doing that!
      The NARIC Team

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