Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.1 The impact of self-advocacy

Self-advocacy is about people with learning disabilities working together to make change. This could be about personal change, or political change. The main point about self-advocacy is that it recognises that people with learning disabilities are the experts in their own lives.

Watch this film of Kelly Edwards, a self-advocacy support worker at Northamptonshire People First self-advocacy group, talking about the importance of ‘peer support’.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 5
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 5
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now complete Activity 4.

Activity 4 The power of self-advocacy

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

First watch this film about Shaun Picken talking about his involvement in self-advocacy group My Life My Choice.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 6
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 6
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now click the link below to answer the poll on what you consider the most important reason for self-advocacy.

Link: Self-advocacy [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Once you have submitted your choice you can then see how others have voted.

According to Shaun, funding is also a big problem with many self-advocacy groups being forced to close. This is very concerning, especially considering how important self-advocacy groups can be for people with learning disabilities.

It is not just people with learning disabilities who are speaking up for themselves and others though. Family members also have a long history of advocating. You will explore this more in the next section.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371