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Self-Advocacy is Important at Any Age

Self-advocacy has become a buzzword in special education. It is the ability to make one's own decisions and learn how to speak up for oneself. While it may sound simple, it can be a difficult concept to teach.

Think of all the mixed messages we sometimes give our children. Although we tell them that they should self-advocate, many of their accommodations are chosen for them and put in place by teachers and the school system. How often do we ask students if they feel the accommodations are effective?

Self-advocacy should begin at a young age. Children learn through day-to-day activities, like picking out what they will wear to school, or what after-school snack they want. As they grow older, the decisions they make should increase in frequency and difficulty.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case for children with disabilities. Oftentimes it is just easier to make decisions for them. Students with sensory disabilities frequently miss out on incidental learning opportunities; thus, parents and teachers must intentionally create educational situations. This takes time and considerable effort. If a student falls behind in learning, it can become easier and easier to make their decisions for them.

Self-advocacy becomes extremely important for students in high school as they begin to consider options for what comes next. The IEP process encourages students to be active participants and be fully engaged in deciding their own futures. However, school personnel are often overworked, and it can be easier to “handle things” rather than teach a student all they need to know in order to make informed decisions.

DCMP has videos for all ages that can help teach and promote self-advocacy. And because they are fully accessible, parents and educators can utilize DCMP to promote independent learning opportunities. These videos can help children from preschool through high school learn self-respect, increased self-esteem, and self-advocacy skills. There are also videos for adults to improve their knowledge and skills in fostering self-advocacy.

Related Resources

Self-Advocacy for Preschool & Elementary Kids

9 minutes
Grade Level: K - 3
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 4
18 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 5
17 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 3
19 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 2
18 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 1
19 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
15 minutes
Grade Level: Ps - 4
15 minutes
Grade Level: Ps - 4
15 minutes
Grade Level: K - 4
13 minutes
Grade Level: K - 3
7 minutes
Grade Level: 1 - 5
Social Skills Cinema
Episode 4
6 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 6
8 minutes
Grade Level: Ps - 2
14 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 6
1 hour 20 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 12
16 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 10
24 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Social Skills Cinema
Episode 8
4 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 5
23 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Short Stories For Children
Episode 2
10 minutes
Grade Level: Ps - 3
Short Stories For Children
Episode 3
14 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 6
Short Stories For Children
Episode 1
10 minutes
Grade Level: Ps - 3
5 minutes
Grade Level: K - 3
5 minutes
Grade Level: K - 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: K - 4
16 minutes
Grade Level: K - 6

Self-Advocacy for Middle and High School Kids

Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 13
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 14
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 18
8 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 15
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 16
9 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 17
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 6
27 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 7
32 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 8
8 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 2
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 3
9 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 4
10 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 5
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 1
36 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 9
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 11
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 12
12 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Achieving Goals! Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Episode 10
9 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 4
18 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 5
17 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 3
19 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 2
18 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
Amazing Kids Of Character
Season 0 / Ep 1
19 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
My:24
Episode 1
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
49 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
My:24
Episode 2
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
My:24
Episode 3
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
My:24
Episode 4
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
19 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
My:24
Episode 5
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
18 minutes
Grade Level: 6 - 9
Social Skills Cinema
Episode 4
6 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 6
My:24
Episode 6
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
2 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
My:24
Episode 7
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
My:24
Episode 8
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
1 hour 20 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 12
16 minutes
Grade Level: 5 - 10
Real Life Teens
Episode 5
23 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 12
20 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 7
20 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 6
21 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 8
21 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 3
18 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 1
19 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 10
20 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 2
17 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 11
16 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 13
22 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 4
22 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Real Life Teens
Episode 9
19 minutes
Grade Level: 8 - 12
24 minutes
Grade Level: 3 - 8
My:24
Episode 19
13 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
20 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
20 minutes
Grade Level: 6 - 12
1 hour 3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
15 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
29 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Getting a Job
Episode 3
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12

Parent Resources for Self-Advocacy

1 hour 11 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 1
17 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 2
15 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 3
16 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 4
16 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 5
16 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Families Growing Together
Episode 6
16 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
45 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
48 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
31 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Successful Parenting
Episode 10
18 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 2
18 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 9
17 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Successful Parenting
Episode 3
20 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 4
16 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
Successful Parenting
Episode 1
20 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 8
18 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 5
17 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 6
19 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
Successful Parenting
Episode 7
27 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12
The Americans With Disabilities Act
Episode 2
23 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -
The Americans With Disabilities Act
Episode 1
34 minutes
Grade Level: PT/TT -

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