“My definition of self-advocacy is being able to want the answers to the hard questions about you. No matter who it is, a doctor, someone in public, in your job or livelihood, educational opportunities It is knowing what you desire and being willing to ask for it.”
Ideas on how to always be the best advocate for yourself:
- It always helps to have a plan of what you need. Write it out, including questions, make a list! (on your phone or on paper, whatever works best for you)
- Know what communication style works best for you, in-person, email, phone first…
- If you need help, ask! You and your needs are important.
- Who directly affects what you need? If you can speak to them directly, choose that.
- Educate yourself as much as possible about the need you have through research OR someone in the community who you trust that has personal knowledge and has gone through the experience already.
- Gather documentation, organize it and if it is on paper remember to take pictures of it in case you misplace it. It is great to write dates next to things to track information.
- Keep peoples contact info, save key words that will help you remember who they are. Example: Dr. V, Doctor at clinic.
- Ask them to explain what you are saying to make sure that they understand what you are asking for.
- Ask for documentation of medical visit so that your community and friends can help you with paperwork if you feel intimidated at first.