Living life with a disability, mentally and/or physically, is very difficult as it is but it becomes even more difficult with all the crimes against disabled people. For example, disabled women and girls in India were beaten at home and around 20% of intellectually disabled women were raped. There are also cases of disabled people who would like to work but were rejected because of their disabilities. This is where disability advocates, a person or a group of people whose goal in life is to help you live a normal life and uphold your rights, come in. A disability advocate could be a professional group or even a friend trying to help. The only thing you will need to do is look for an advocate. To make things easier, here are some steps that could help you find a disability advocate:
- What kind of help do you need? Before you look for an advocate, think first about what you need help with and make a sort of list. This list could be a criterion for you to use in looking for the most suitable advocacy. Create another list, but this time make a list about how you were disrespected or marginalized. Cite examples or instances in your life wherein you could have used someone’s help.
- Go online. The Internet is your friend. Fire up Blackle or Google. Search for disability advocates and carefully look through all of the disability advocates you come across. Afterward, narrow down your search by gathering the names of the advocates you think will help you the most. Then, after careful deliberation (using the list you have made), select which advocate you think can help you the most. When you have chosen one, click on their link and follow the instructions on how to contact them.
- Look through your local listings. Contact your local operator and ask them about disability advocates in your area or close to your area and then get that advocate’s contact details from the operator. You could also try checking your local listings. Look for disability advocates, preferably in your area, and give them a call.
- Ask the people around you. Ask your friends and family if they know of any disability advocate or have heard of any advocate. If they know a lot about the advocate, ask them what its contact details are and give that advocate a call.
- Check first. Do not think that just because you have contacted a disability advocate or you have heard of one your search is over. Talk to the disability advocate first and ask them if they can truly help you with your problem. If you feel that they cannot, politely decline their offer and ask them if they could give you the details of an advocate that can cater to your needs.
- Make do. If you really cannot find any professional disability advocate, ask a family member or a friend to be your own advocate. You don’t need a professional advocate. Anyone willing to help you could be your disability advocate. Anyone who wants and can help you is better than not having any help at all.
- Other things to remember. Once you’ve found your disability advocate, do not forget about them. Always stay in constant communication. They may have other advices and suggestions that can help you live a better life.
Just remember, even if you have a disability, it doesn’t mean no one will help you. There is someone or some group of people that are willing to sacrifice a lot just so you could live a normal life. They are out there, all you have to do, is look. And with these steps guiding, hopefully it would be easier for you to find a disability advocate.