Far too often, people with disabilities are left out of conversations and decisions that affect their own lives. Self-advocacy is a way for people with disabilities to ensure that their needs, rights and requests are respected and listened to. The Self-Advocacy council represents an inclusive environment where the diverse voices of our clients are amplified, and heard.
The SAC Council is made up of volunteers, who are individuals living with an IDD who are currently receiving or have received services from Surrey Place in the past. Together, they collaborate with staff, clients, management and the Board of Directors to provide ongoing input and feedback towards improving programs and services at Surrey Place. Some of their priorities include:
- Speaking up on behalf of current and future clients
- Suggest changes that can improve the quality of care and services from a client’s point of view
- Explore and advocate on topics such as police relations, housing, medical care, voting, and others
- Prepare and present recommendations to staff, management and the Board of Directors
- Offer learning opportunities to community members about intellectual and developmental disabilities
“My name is Sarah J. (she/her), and I’m a volunteer in Surrey Place’s Self-Advocacy Council. We’re a team of volunteers who identify as having a developmental disability and currently receive or have received services from Surrey Place. I first heard about the council while volunteering for Surrey Place’s Symphonic Passion Chorus and I was excited about the opportunity! I saw the importance of self-advocacy and the joy that comes from helping others. At every meeting, I’ve taken on a leadership role in guiding the conversation. I enjoy making sure that… READ MORESarah J.
What are the eligibility criteria?
To be eligible for this service, you must:
- Have an intellectual and developmental disability
- Be receiving services from Surrey Place or have received one in the past
- Be passionate about the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Be interested in sharing their knowledge and experience to educate others
- Be able to attend weekly council meetings