7 STEPS TO SELF-ADVOCACY
Self-advocacy is the ability to identify and explain your needs.
In high school, your advocates were your parents and teachers.
In college, you must become your own advocate.
A successful self-advocate recognizes the need for self-direction and independence.
Step 1: Recognize that college success or failure is your responsibility.
Step 2: Understand your disability and learn ways to compensate. Learn how to explain your disability and needs to others.
Step 3: Develop good communication skills to request accommodations and services.
Step 4: Know when you need help and ask for it. Understand that it is OK to use appropriate accommodations.
Step 5: Know and understand your strengths and areas where you need to improve.
Step 6: Develop and use mature social and personal skills.
Step 7: Be organized. It relieves stress and demonstrates good planning ability.
Here are some helpful suggestions to help you be a successful self advocate:
- Use a calendar or day planner to record appointments, class schedules, work schedules, exam dates, and assignment due dates.
- Plan a reasonable school, study, social, and work schedule. Allow time for rest and recreation.
- Establish a regular student schedule and study 2-3 hours for each hour you spend in class.
- Organize long term projects in a step-by-step manner. Schedule deadlines for each step in your day planner. Learn and practice time management skills.
- Pay close attention to important information provided in the class syllabus, typically given to you on the first day of class.
- Attend class each day and on time. Participate and ask questions.
- Discuss and arrange DSPS-approved classroom or test accommodations at the beginning of each semester, with your instructor during their office hours.
- Allow time for the unexpected, such as illness, transportation glitches, or work schedule changes.
- Meet with your instructors and/or DSPS counselor when you are first having difficulty – do not wait until “disaster strikes”.
From City College of San Francisco DSPS